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Now are frolick ; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house :
I am sent, with broom, before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.

Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their train. Obe. Through this house give glimmering

By the dead and drowsy fire:
Every elf, and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty, after me,
Sing, and dance it trippingly.

Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote:
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace with sweet peace :
E'er shall it in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.

Trip away ;

Make no stay ;
Meet me all by break of day.

[Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and train.


Obe. Now, until the break of day, Through this house each fairy stray. To the best bride-bed will we, Which by us shall blessed be ; And the issue, there create, Ever shall be fortunate. So shall all the couples three Ever true in loving be: And the blots of nature's hand Shall not in their issue stand ;

Puck. If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, (and all is mended,)

have but slumber'd here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long :
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends. [Exit.



PERDINAND, king of Navarre.

Moth, page to Armado. BIRON,


lords attending on the king. DUMAIN,

Princess of France. BOYET, , lords attending on the princess of Rosaline, MERCADE, France.

MARIA, ladies attending on the princess. Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Span KATHARINE, niard.

JAQUENETTA, a country wench.
Sir NATHANIEL, a curate.
HOLOFERNES, a schoolmaster.

Officers and others, attendants on the King and DULL, a constable.

Princess. COSTARD, a clown.



ACT 1.

And make us heirs of all eternity. SCENE I.--Navarre. A park, with a palace Therefore, brave conquerors !—for so you are, in it.

That war against your own affections,

And the huge army of the world's desires,Enter the King, Biron, LONGAVILLE, and

Our late edíct shall strongly stand in force: DUMAIN.

Navarre shall be the wonder of the world; King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their Our court shall be a little academe, lives,

Still and contemplative in living art. Live register'd upon our brazen tombs, You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville, And then grace us in the disgrace of death ; Have sworn for three years' term to live with me, When, spite of cormorant devouring time, My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes, The endeavour of this present breath may buy That are recorded in this schedule here: That honour, which shall bait his scythe's keen Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your edge,




That his own hand may strike his honour down, Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain : That violates the smallest branch herein : As, painfully to pore upon a book,

a If you are arm’d to do, as sworn to do,

To seek the light of truth; while truth the Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.

while Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years' Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:

Light seeking light, doth light of light beguile: The mind shall banquet, though the body pine: So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Your light grows dark, by losing of your eyes. Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the wits. Study me how to please the eye

indeed, Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ; By fixing it upon a fairer eye ; The grosser manner of these world's delights Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed, He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves: And give him light that was it blinded by. To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ; Study is like the heaven's glorious sun, With all these living in philosophy.

That will not be deep-search'd with saucy Biron. I can but say the protestation over.

So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, Small have continual plodders ever won,
That is, to live and study here three years. Save base authority from others' books.
But there are other strict observances :

These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, As, not to see a woman in that term;

That give a name to every fixed star, Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : Have no more profit of their shining nights, And, one day in a week to touch no food; Than those that walk, and wot not what they And but one meal on every day beside ; The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : Too much to know, is to know nought but fame; And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, And every godfather can give a name. And not be seen to wink of all the day;

King. How well he's read, to reason against (When I was wont to think no harm all night,

reading! And make a dark night too of half the day ;) Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good prome Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there:

ceeding! 0, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep; Long: He weeds the corn, and still lets grow Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

the weeding King: Your oath is pass’d to pass away from Biron. The spring is near, when green geese these.

are a-breeding. Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you Dum. How follows that? please;

Biron. Fit in his place and time. I only swore, to study with your grace,

Dum. In reason nothing. And stay here in your court for three years' Biron. Something then in rhyme. space.

Long. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost, Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the That bites the first-born infants of the spring. rest.

Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in summer boast, jest.

Before the birds have any cause to sing ? What is the end of study ? let me know. Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? King. Why, that to know, which else we At Christmas I no more desire a rose, should not know.

Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows; Biron. Things hid and barr’d, you mean, from But like of each thing, that in season grows. common sense?

So you, to study now it is too late, King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense. Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.

Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so, King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron ; To know the thing I am forbid to know:

adieu ! As thus,-To study where I well may dine, Biron. No, my good lord ; I have sworn to When I to feast expressly am forbid;

stay with you: Or, study where to meet some mistress fine, And, though I have for barbarism spoke more,

When mistresses from common sense are hid : Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
07, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath, Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,
Study to break it, and not break my troth. And bide the penance of each three years' day.
If study's gain be thus, and this be so,

Give me the paper, let me read the same;
Study knows that, which yet it doth not know: And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say, no. King. How well this yielding rescues thee
King. These be the stops that hinder study from shame!

Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall And train our intellects to vain delight.

come within a mile of my court. Biron. Why, all delights are vain ; but that and hath this been proclaim'd? most vain,

Long. Four days ago.


Biron. Let's see the penalty.

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, [Reads. ]-On pain of losing her tongue.- A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Who devis'd this?

Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our Long. Marry, that did I.

sport; Biron. Sweet lord, and why?

And so to study, three years is but short. Long. To fright them hence with that dread penalty.

Enter Dull with a letter, and CostaRD. Biron. A dangerous law against gentility. Dull. Which is the duke's own person?

[Reads] Item, if any man be seen to talk with Biron. This, fellow; What would'st ? a woman within the term of three years, he shall Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for endure such publick shame as the rest of the court I am his grace's tharborough : but I would see can possibly devise.

his own person in flesh and blood. This article, my liege, yourself must break; Biron. This is he.

For, well you know, here comes in embassy Dull. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you. The French' king's daughter, with yourself to There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you

speak, A maid of grace, and complete majesty,- Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touchAbout surrender-up of Aquitain

ing me. To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father : King. A letter from the magnificent

Armado. Therefore this article is made in vain,

Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. God for high words. King. What say you, lords ? why, this was Long. A high hope for a low having: God quite forgot.

grant us patience ! Biron. So study evermore is overshot ;

Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing? While it doth study to have what it would, Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moIt doth forget to do the thing it should : derately; or to forbear both. And, when it hath the thing it hunteth most, Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give 'Tis won, as towns with fire ; so won, so lost. us cause to climb in the merriness. King: We must, of force, dispense with this Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning decree;

Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken She must lie here on mere necessity.

with the manner. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn Biron. In what manner ? Three thousand times within this three years' Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all space :

those three: I was seen with her in the manorFor every man with his affects is born;

house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken Not by might master'd, but by special grace: following her into the park; which, put to If I break faith, this word shall speak for me, gether, is in manner and form following. Now, I am forsworn on mere necessity.

sir, for the manner,-it is the manner of a man So to the laws at large I write my name: to speak to a woman: for the form,-in some form.

[Subscribes. Biron. For the following, sir? And he, that breaks them in the least degree, Cost. As it shall follow in my correction ; Stands in attainder of eternal shame:

And God defend the right! Suggestions are to others as to me;

King. Will you hear this letter with attention? But, I believe, although I seem so loth,

Biron. As I would hear an oracle. I am the last, that will last keep his oath. Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken But is there no quick recreation granted ? after the flesh. King. Ay, that there is : our court you know King. [Reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's is haunted

vicegerent, and sołe dominator of Navarre, my With a refined traveller of Spain ;

soul's earth’s God, and body's fostering patron, A man in all the world's new fashion planted, Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.

That hath a mint of phrases in his brain : King. So it is,
One, whom the musick of his own vain tongue Cost. It may be so: but if he say

it is so, he Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony; is, in telling true, but so, so. A man of complements, whom right and wrong King. Peace.

Have chose as umpire of their mutiny: Cost. —be to me, and every man that dares
This child of fancy, that Armado hight, not fight!
For interim to our studies, shall relate,

King. No words.
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight Cost. -of other men's secrets, I beseech you.
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's de- King So it is, besieged with sable-coloured me-

lancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing huHow you delight, my lords, I know not, I ; mour to the most wholesome physick of thy healthBut, I protest, I love to hear him lie,

giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook And I will use him for my minstrelsy. myself to walk. The time when? About the

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sisth hour ; when beasts most graze, birds best King. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence; peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which You shall fast a week with bran and water. is called supper. So much for the time when : Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton Now for the ground which ; which, I mean, I and porridge. walked upon : it is ycleped thy park. Then for King. And Don Armadoshall be your keeper.-the place where ; where, I mean, I did encounter My lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'erthat obscene and most preposterous event, that And go we, lords, to put in practice that, draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-co- Which each to other hath so strongly sworn. Loured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, [Exeunt King, Longaville, and Dumain. surveyest, or seest : But to the place, where,-It Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat, standeth north-north-east and by east from the These oaths and laws will prove an idle west corner of thy curious-knotted garden : There did I see that low-spirited swain, that base min- Sirrah, come on. now of thy mirth,

Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir : for true it Cost. Me.

is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta King. -that unletter'd small-knowing soul, is a true girl: and therefore, Welcome the sour Cost. Me.

cup of prosperity! Affliction may one day smile King. —that shallow vassal,

again, and till then, Sit thee down, sorrow! Cost. Still me.

[Exeunt. -King. —which, as I remember, hight Costard, Cost. O me!

SCENE II.-Another part of the same. ArmaKing. —sorted and consorted, contrary to thy

do's house. established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with-with-0 withbut with this I passion to

Enter ARMADO and Moth. say wherewith.

Arm. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of Cost. With a wench.

great spirit grows melancholy? King. —with a child of our grandmother Eve, Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad. e female ; or, for thy more sweet understanding, Arm. Why, sadness is one and the self-same

Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty thing, dear imp. pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the Moth. No, no; O lord, sir, no. meed of punishment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Arm. How canst thou part sadness and mea Antony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, lancholy, my tender juvenal ? bearing, and estimation.

Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the Dull. Me, an't shall please you ; I am Antony working, my tough senior. Dull.

Arm. Why tough senior ? why tough senior? King. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker ves- Moth. Why tender juvenal ? why tender jusel called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid venal ? sudin,) I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent and shall

, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devo- we may nominate tender. ted and heart-burning heat of duty,

Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent Don Adriano de Armado. title to your old time, whi we may name tough. Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, but Arm. Pretty, and apt. the best that ever I heard.

Moth. How mean you, sir ? I pretty, and my King. Ay, the best for the worst.—But, sirrah, saying apt ? or I apt, and my saying pretty ? what

Arm. Thou pretty, because little. Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.

Moth. Little pretty, because little: WhereKing. Did you hear the proclamation ?

fore apt? Cust. I do confess much of the hearing it, Arm. And therefore apt, because quick. but little of the marking of it.

Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master ? King. It was proclaimed a year's imprison- Arm. In thy condign praise. ment, to be taken with a wench.

Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise. Cost. I was taken with none, sir ; I was taken Arm. What? that an eel is ingenious ? with a damosel.

Moth. That an cel is quick. King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel. Arm. I do say, thou art quick in answers :

Cost. This was no damosel neither, sir ; she Thou heatest my blood. was a virgin.

Moth. I am answered, sır. Kiny. It so varied too; for it was proclaim- Arm. I love not to be crossed. ed virgin.

Moth. He speaks the mere contrary, crosses Cost. If it were, I deny ber virginity; I was love not him.

[Aside. taken with a muid.

Arm. I have promised to study three years King. This maid will not serve your turn, sir. with the duke. Cost. This maid will serve my turn, sir. Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir.

say you to this?

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