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midsummer-night's DREAM. LOVS's LABOUR 's IX)ST. 











• •• . 

• • • 

* • 

• • • • • • 

• • • • 

: y • . . - 

• • • 


• • 




• • • 

0UMVin tot 0uUmw* 



Shakspeare took the faUe of this plaj from the PtoiBmjA 
CaM«Ddn of George Whetstone, published in 1578, of whicft jfif/ 
is • The Argument* *••..; 

' In the citj of Julio (s<Mnetimes under the dominion of Coirinas** 
King of Hottgarj snd Bohemia), there was a law, that what man * 
aoerer committed adoltery shoold lose his head, and the woman 
•finder should wear some disguised apparel, during her life, to 
make her infamouslj noted. This seTere law, bj the farour of 
some merciful magistrate, became little regarded, until the time 
of Lord Promos*s authorit j ; who conTicting a jonng gentleman 
named Andmgio of incontinencj, condemned both him and his 
minion to the execution of this statute. Andrugio had a Terj rir- 
taous and beautiful gentlewoman to his sister, named Cassandra. 
Cassandra, to enlarge her brother's life, submitted an humble 
petition to the Lord Promos. Promos regarding her good beha- 
riour, and fantasjing her great beautj, was much delighted with 
tiie sweet order of her talk ; and doing good, that e^il niigfat oome 
thereof, for a time he reprieved her brother : but wicked man, 
turning his liking into unlawful lust, he set down the spoil of her 
honour, ransom for her brother's life : chaste Cassandra, abhorring 
both him and his suit, bj no persuasion would yield to this ran- 
som. But in fine, won bj the importunity of her brother dread- 
ing for life), upon these conditions she agreed to Promos : First, 
that he should pardon her brother, and after many her. Promos, 
as fearless in promise, as careless in performance, with solemn 
TOW signed her conditions ; but worse than any infidel, his will 
satisfied, he performed neither the one nor the other : for to keep 
his authority unspotted with faronr, and to prcTcnt Cassandra's 
clamours, he commanded the jailer secretly to present Cassandra 
with her brother's head. The jailer [touched] with the outcries 



of Andnigio (abhorring Pronftw's lewdness), bj the proTidence of 
God provided thus for bf^'j^ofetj. He presented Cassandra with 
a felon's head newl^ ^k^ cited ; who knew it not, being mangled, 
from her brother's,(w^ 'was set at liberty bj the jailer). [She] 
was so aggriereld tbihu treachery, that, at the point to kill her- 
self, she spared tb^t stroke to be avenged of Promos : and devising 
a way, sbe*icvi6hflled, to make her fortunes known to the king. 
She, exeo^tfn^ this resolotion, was so highly favoured of the king, 
that forlivwiQi he hasted to do jostice on Promos : whose jndg- 
mei^ was to marry Cassandra, to repair her erased honour; which 
done, To/ his heinous offence, he should lose his head. This mar- 
^fjitg^ solemnized, Cassaqdra tied in the greatest bonds of affec- 
^ **ttflW to her husband, became an earnest suitor for his life : the 
r,**klng tendering the general benefit of the commonweal before her 
**fpecial case, although he favoured her much, would not grant her 
, \* * foit. Andmgio (disguised among the company), sorrowing the 
%^* grief of his sistor, bewrayed his safety, and craved pardon. The 
king to renown the Tirtaes of Cassandra, pardoned both him and 
Pk^mos. The circumstances of this rare history, in action lively 

Whetstone, however, has not afforded a very correct analysis 
of his play, which contains a mixture of comic scenes, between a 
bawd, a pimp, felons, &c. together with some serious situations 
which are not described. A hint, like a seed, is more or less pro- 
lific, according to the qualities of the soil on which it is thrown. 
This story, which in the hands of Whetstone produced little more 
than barren insipidity, under the culture of Shakspeare became 
fertile of entertainment. The curious reader may see the old play 
of Promos and Cassandra among * Six old plays on which Shak- 
speare founded, &o.' published by Mr. Steevens, printed for 
S. Leacroft, Charing Cross. The piece exhibits an almost com- 
plete embryo of Measure for Measure ; yet the hints on which it 
is formed are so slight, that it is nearly as impossible to detect 
them, as it is to point out in the acorn the future ramifications of 
the oak. The story originally came from the * Hecatommithi' of 
Cinthio. Decad 8, novel 6, and is repeated in the Tragic His- 
tories of Belleforest. 

" This play," says Mr. Hazlitt, " is as full of genius as it is of 
wisdom. Yet there is an original sin in the nature of the subject, 
which prevents as from taking a cordial interest in it. * The 
height of mon^ argoment/ whkh the author has maintained in 


the intervals of passion, or blended with. the more powerfol im- 
pulses of nature, is hardly surpassed in atij of his plays. Bat 
there is a general want of passion; the aiTo'ctions are at a stand; 
oor sympathies are repnlsed and defeated in v^ directions." 

Isabella is a lovely example of female pdrity ju^d virtoe ; with 
mental energies of a yery superior kind, she is ptaced in a situation 
to make trial of them all, and the firmness with whtcfe her yirtoe 
resists the appeal of natural affection has something in it ^roically 
sublime. The passages in which she encourages hec orother to 
meet death with finnness rather than dishonour, his bursty af in- 
dignant passion on learning the price at which his life ibight be 
redeemed, and his subsequent clinging Xa life, and desire tbttt/lrer 
would make the sacrifice required, are among the finest dramatic , •. 
passages of Shakspeare. What heightens the effect is that this J" -^ 
scene follows the fine exhortation of the Duke in the character of ^ . -^ 
the Friar about the little value of life which had almost made 
Claudio ' resolved to die/ The comic parts of the play are lively 
and amusing, and the reckless Bamardine, ' fearless of what's 
past, present, and \d come,' is in fine contrast to the sentimentality 
of the other characters. Shakspeare " was a moralist in the same 
sense in which nature is one. He taught what he had learnt from 
her. He showed the greatest knowledge of humanity with the 
grreatest fellow feeling for it*." 

Malone supposes this play to have been written about the close 
of the year 1603. 

* Characters of Shid^speare's Plays, 2d ed. London, 1818, 
p. 120. 

• • • 

• • • 
• • • 

•• • 




« • 


• • 

ViNGBNTio, Dvke qf Vienna. 
••^NGELO, Lord DqnUy in the Duke's absence, 

E^ALVS, an ancient Lord, joined loith Angelo in the 
•. ' Depiuittion, 

Claddio, a young Gentleman, 

Lucio, a Fantastick, 

Two other like Gentlemen. 

Varrius, a Gentlenum, Servant to the Duke, 
% • Provost. 


9 J 

A Justice. 

Elbow, a nmpte Constable, 
VRxyrayafooUsh Gentleman, 
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Oyer-done. 
Abhorson, an Exeoutioner, 
BARNARDDiEy a dissohOc Prisoner, 

• ". Thomas, - -, „ . ^ 

Isabella, Sister to Claudio. 
Mariana, betrothed to Angelo. 
Juliet, beloved by Claudio. 
Francisca, a Nun. 
Mistress Oter-ix>me, a Bawd, 

Lords, GtnUemen, Guards, Officers, and other 


SCENE, Vienna. 



SCENE I. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. 
Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants. 

Escalus, — 

Escal. My lord. 

Duke. Of government the properties to unfold, 
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse ; 
Since I am put to know ^, that your own science 
Exceeds, in that, the lists ^ of all advice 
My strength can give you : Then no more remains 
But that to your sufficiency ^, as your worth is able. 
And let them work. The nature of our people. 
Our city's institutions, and the terms 
For common justice, you are as pregnant^ in, 

^ i. e. since I am «o placed as to know. Mr. Stevens sajt it 
may mean, I am compelled to acknowledge. And instances fro^ 
Henrj VI. Pt. ii. Sc. 1. 

' had I first been put to speak mj mind.* 

^ Lists are bounds. 

^ Some words seem to be lost here. The sense of which may 
have been 

Then no more remains 

Bat that to yoar sufficiency you join 
A zeal as willing, as your worth is able, 
And let them work. 
Sufficiency is shiU in government; ability to execute his office. 
^ i. e. ready in. 



As art and practice hath enriched any 

That we remember : There is 

From which we would not have jo« warp. — Call 

I say, bid come before uh Angelo,^ 

[Exit an Attendant. 
"What figure of us think you he will bear? 
For you must know, we have with special soul 
Elected him our absence to supply; 
Lent him our terror, drest him with our love; 
And given his deputation all the organs 
Of our own power : What think you of it? 

Eical. If any in Vienna be of worth 
To undero;o such ample grace and honour. 
It is lord Angelo. 

Enter Angelo. 

Duke. Look, where he comes. 

Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will, 
I come to know your pleasure. 

Duke. Angelo, 

There is a kind of character in thy Ufe, 
That, to the observer doth thy history 
Fully unfold : Thyself and thy belongings 
Are not thine own so proper'', as to waste 
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee. 
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do; 
Not hght them for themselves r for if our virtues 
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike 
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely toucb'd, 
But to fine issues'': nor nature never lends' 
The smallest scruple of her excellence, 

" So mncli thj own property. • i. e. high purposea. 


But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines 

Herself the glory of a creditor. 

Both thanks and use ^. But I do bend my speech 

To one that can my part in him advertise ^; 

Hold therefore. — Angelo; 

In our remove, be thou at full ourself ; 

MortaUty and Mercy in Vienna 

Live in thy tongue and heart ^^: Old Escalus, 

Though first in question, is thy secondary : 

Take thy commission. 

Ang, Now, good my lord. 

Let there be some more test made of my metal. 
Before so noble and so great a figure 
Be stamp'd upon it. 

Duke. No more evasion : 

We have with a leaven'd^^ and prepared choice 
Proceeded to you ; therefore take your honours. 
Our haste from hence is cit so quick condition, 
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd 
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you. 
As time and our coneemings shall importune. 
How it goes with us ; and do look to know 
What doth befall you here. So, fare you well : 
To the hopeful execution do I leave you 
Of your commissions. 

Ang. Yet, give leave, my lord. 

That we may bring you something on the way. 

^ i.e. Natare requires and aUota to herself ihe same advantages 
that creditors nsaally enjoy — thanks for the endowments she has 
bestowed, and extraordinary exertions in those whom she has fa- 
voared ; by way of use (i. e. interest) for what she has lent. 

^ i. e. to one who is already sufficiently conversant with the 
natare and daties of my office ; — of that office which I have now 
delegated to him, 

^^ i. e. I delegate to thy tongne the power of pronouncing sen- 
tence of death, and to thy heart the privilege of exercising mercy. 

** A choice mature, concocted, ferment^; i. e. not hasty^ but 


Duke, My haste may not admit it; 
Nor need you on mine honour have to do 
With any scruple : your scope ^^ is as mine own; 
So to enforce or qualify the laws. 
As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand ; 
I'll privily away : I love 'the people. 
But do not like to stage me to their eyes : 
Though it do well, I do not rehsh well 
Their loud applause, and aces^^ vehement; 
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion. 
That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. 

Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes ! 

EscaL Lead forth, and bring you back in hap- 

Duke. I thank you : Fare you well. [Exit. 

EscaL I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave 
To have free speech with you ; and it concerns me 
To look into the bottom of my place : 
A power I have ; but of what strength and nature 
I am not yet instructed. 

Ang, 'Tis so with me : — Let us withdraw together, 
And we may soon our satisfaction have 
Touching that point. 

EscaL I'll wait upon your honour. 


SCENE II. A Street. 

Enter Lucio and two Gentlemen. 

Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come 
not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, 
then all the dukes fall upon the king. 

1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the 
king of Hungary's ! 

2 Gent. Amen. 

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious 

*' Scope is extent of power. ^^ Aves are hailings. 


pirate, that went to sea with the ten command- 
ments, but scraped one out of the table. 

2 Gent, Thou shalt not steal ? 

Lucio. Ay, that he razed. 

1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command 
the captain and all the rest from their functions; 
they put forth to steal : There's not a soldier of us 
all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth re- 
lish the petition well that prays for peace. 

2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. 
Lttdo. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never 

wast where grace was said. 

2 Gent. No ? a dozen times at least. 

1 Gent. What? in metre? 

Lucio. In any proportion^, or in any language. 

1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. 

Lucio. Ay ! why not? Grace is grace, despite of 
all controversy : As for example ; Thou thyself art 
a wicked villain, despite of all grace. 

1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of shears 
between us^. 

Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists 
and the velvet : Thou art the list. 

1 Gent. And thou the velvet : thou art good vel- 
vet ; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee : I 
had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pil'd, 
as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet^. Do I speak 
feelingly now ? 

Lucio. I think thou dost ; and, indeed, with most 
painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine 

' i. e. measure. ' We are both of the same piece. . 

' * PiCd, for a French velvet. ' — ^Velvet was esteemed accord- 
ing to the richness of the pUe; three-pil'd was the richest. But 
PiFd also means bald. The jest allndes to the loss of hair in the 
French disease. Lucio, finding the Gentleman understands the 
distemper so well, and mentions it so feelingly , promises to remem- 
ber to drink his health, but to forget to drink after him. In old 
times the cop' of an infected person was thought to be contagious* 


own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, 
whilst I live, forget to drink after thee. 

1 Gent, I think, I have done myself wrong ; have 
I not? 

2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art 
tainted, or free. 

Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation 
comes ! I have purchased as many diseases under 
her roof, as come to — 

2 Gent. To what, I pray ? 

1 Gent. Judge. 

2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a-year. 
1 Gent. Ay, and more. 

Lucio. A French crown more. 

1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me : 
but thou art full of error; I am sound. 

Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy ; but 
so sound, as things that are hollow ; thy bones are 
hollow : impiety has made a feast of thee. 

Enter Bawd. 

1 Gent. How now ? Which of your hips has the 
most profound sciatica? 

Bawd. Well, well ; there's one yonder arrested, 
and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of 
you all. 

1 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee? 

Batvd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio. 

1 Gent. Claudio to prison ! 'tis not so. 

Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so ; I saw him ar- 
rested ; saw him carried away ; and which is more, 
within these three days his head's to be chopped off. 

Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not 
have it so : Art thou sure of this ? 

Bawd. I am too sure of it : and it is for getting 
madam Julietta with child. 

Lucio. Believe me, this may be : he promised to 


meet me two hours since ; and he was ever precise 
in promise^keepmg. 

2 Gent. Besides, yoii know, it draws something 
near to the speech we had to such a purpose. 

1 Gent. But most of ail, agreeing with the pro- 

Ludo. Away; let's go learn the truth of it. 

[Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. 

Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the 
sweat '^y what with the gallows, and what with po- 
verty, I am custom-shrunk. How now ? what's the 
news with you ? 

Enter Clown. 

Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison. 

Bawd, Well ; what has he done ? 

Clo, A woman. 

Bawd. But whaf s his offence ? 

Ch. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. 

Bawd, What is there a maid with child by him ? 

Ch. No ; but there's a woman with maid by 
him : You have not heard of the proclamation, have 

Bawd. What proclamation, man ? 

Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must 
be pluck'd down. 

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the 

Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone 
down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. 

Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the 
suburbs be puU'd down^? 

Clo. To the ground, mistress. 

^ The aweat ; the consequences of the curative process then 
used for a certain disease. 

' In one of the Scotch Laws of James it is ordered, ' that com- 
mon women be pat at the utmost endes of townes, qneire least 


Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, m the com- 
monwealth ! What shall become of me ? 

Clo, Come, fear not you ; good counsellors lack 
^o clients : though youx^hange your place, you need 
not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. 
Courage ; there will be pity taken on you : you that 
have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you 
wiU be considered. 

Bawd, What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? 
Let's withdraw. 

Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the pro- 
vost to prison : and there's madam Juliet. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. The same. 

Enter Provost^, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers; 
Lucio, and two Gentlemen. 

Clattd. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to 
the world ? 
Bear me to prison where I am committed. 

Prov. I do it not in evil disposition. 
But from lord Angelo by special charge. 

Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, 
Make us pay down for our offence by weight. — 
The words of heaven ; — on whom it will, it will ; 
On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just^. 

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes 
this restraint? 

peril of fire is.' — It is remarkable that the licensed houses of re- 
sort at Vienna, are at this time all in the suburbs, under the per- 
mission of the Committee of Chastity. 

* i.e. gaoler. 

^ Authority being absolute in Angelo, is finely styled by Clau- 
dio, the demigod, whose decrees are as little to be questioned as 
the words of heaven. The poet alludes to a passage in St. Paul's 
Epist, to the Romans, ch. ix. y. 15 — 18 : ' I will have mercy on 
whom I will have mercy.' 


Ckmd. From too much liberty 9 my Locioy liberty ; 
As surfeit is the £fttlier of moch £uty 
So every scope by the immoderate use 
Tunis to restraint: Our natures do pursue, 
(like rats that ravin^ down tfaeir proper bane) 
A thirsty evil ; and when we drink, we die^. 

iMcio. If I could speak so wis^ under an arrest, 
I would send for certain of my creditors : And yet, 
to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of 
freedom, as the morality of imprisonment. — Wfaafs 
thy offence, Claudio? 

Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again. 

Lucio. What is it? murder? 

CltnuL No. 

Lucio. Lechery? 

Claud. Call it so. 

Prov. Away, sir; you must go. 

Claud. One word, good friend: — Lucio, a word 
with you. [Takes him aside. 

Ludo. A hundred if theyll do you any good. — 
Is lechery so look'd after? 

Claud. Thus stands it with me: — Upon a true 
I got possession of Julietta's bed^; 
You know the lady ; she is fast my wife. 
Save that we do the denunciation lack 
Of outward order : this we came not to, 

* To ravm is to ▼oncioiulj deiroiir. 

^ So, in ChiipinMi*g Reirenge for Honour: 

* Like poison'd rats, which, when they're fwnUowed 
The pleasing hane, rest not ontH thej drimk. 
And can rest then moch less, until thej harsL 

^ This speech is sorel j too indelicate to be spoken concerning 
Juliet before her face. Claudio maj therefore be supposed to 
speak to Locio apart. 

VOL. 11. C 


Only for propagation ^ of a dower 

Remaining in the coffer of her friends ; 

Prom whom we thought it meet to hide our love, 

Till time had made them for us. But it chances. 

The stealth of our most mutual entertainment, 

With character too gross, is writ on Juliet. 

Lucio. With child, perhaps ? 

Claud. Unhappily, even so. 
And the new deputy now for the duke, — 
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness ; 
Or whether that the body public be 
A horse whereon the governor doth ride, 
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know 
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur : 
Whether the tyranny be in his place. 
Or in his eminence that fills it up, 
I stagger in : — But this new governor 
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties. 
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall 
So long, that nineteen zodiacks^ have gone round. 
And none of them been worn ; and, for a name, 
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act 
Freshly on me : — 'tis surely, for a name. 

Lucio. I warrant, it is : and thy head stands so 
tickle^ on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she 

^ This sin^lar mode of expression has not been satisfactorily 
explained. The old sense of the word is ' promoting, inlarging, 
increasing, spreading.' It appears that Clandio woold say : ' for 
the sake of promoting such a dower as her friends might hereafter 
bestow on her, when time bad reconciled them to her clandestine 
marriage.' The verb is as obscorely nsed by Chapman in the 
Sixteenth book of the Odyssey : 

* to try if we 

Alone may propagate to victory 

Our bold encounters.' 

Shakspeare uses ' To propagate their states/ for to improve or 
promote their conditions, in Timon of Athens, Act i. Sc. 1. 
^ Zodiacs, yearly circles. ^ Tickle, for ticklish. 


be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, 
and appeal to him. 

Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found* 
I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service : 
This day my sister should the cloister enter, 
And there receive her approbation^: 
Acquaint her with the danger of my state ; 
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends 
To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him ; 
I have great hope in that : for in her youth 
There is a prone ^^ and speechless dialect. 
Such as moves men; besides, she hath prosperous art 
When she will play with rcEUson and discourse. 
And well she can persuade. 

Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encou- 
ragement of the like, which else would stand under 
grievous imposition ; as for the enjoying of thy life, 
who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost 
at a game of tick-tack ^^. 111 to her. 

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. 

Lucio. Within two hours, 

Claud. Come, officer, away. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. A Monastery. 

Enter Duke and Friar Thomas. 

Duke. No ; holy Father ; throw away that thought ; 
Believe not that the dribbling dart of love 
Can pierce a c6mplete bosom^ : why I desire thee 
To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose 
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends 
Of burning youth. 

Fri. May your grace speak of it? 

^ i. e. enter on her novieiate or probation. 

'^ Prone, is prompt or ready. 

^^ Jouer au trie trae is used in French in a wanton sense. 

* ' A c6mplete bosom' is a bosom completely armed. 


Dtthe. My holy sir, none better knows than you 
How I have ever iov'd the lite removed'; 
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies. 
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps '. 
I have delivered to lord Angelo 
(A man of stricture '* and lirm abstinence), 
My absolute power and place here in Vienna, 
And he supposes me travell'd to Poland ; 
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear, 
And so it is receiv'd: Now. pious sir, 
Vou will demand of me, why I do this 7 

Fri. Gladly, my lord. 

Dvke. We have strict statutes and most biting laws, 
(The needful bits and curbs for headstrong steeds). 
Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep ; 
Even like an o'ergrown hon in a cave. 
That goes not out to prey : Now, as fond fathers. 
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch. 
Only to stick it in their children's sight. 
For terror, not to use ; in time the rod 
Becomes more raock'd than fear'd : sb our decrees. 
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead; 
And hberty plucks justice by the nose ; 
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart 
Goes all decorum. 

Pri. It rested in your grace 

To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd; 
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd. 
Than in Lord Angelo. 

Duke. I do fear, too dreadful: 

Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, 
'Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them 
For what I bid them do: For we bid this be done. 
When evil deeds have their permissive pass, 

' BroMtTy a showy dreu. Ketps, i. e. resides. 


And Dot the punishment Therefore, indeed, my 

I have on Angelo imposed the office ; 
Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home. 
And yet my nature never in the sight. 
To do it slander : And to behold his sway, 
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, 
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr'ythee. 
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me 
How I may formally in person bear me 
Like a true friar. More reasons for this action. 
At our more leisure shall I render you; 
Only, this one : — Lord Angelo is precise ; 
Stands at a guard ^ with envy; scarce confesses 
That his blood flows, or that his appetite 
Is more to bread than stone : Hence shall we see. 
If power change purpose, what our seemers be. 


SCENE V. A Nunnery. 

Enter Isabella and Francisca. 

Imb. And have you nuns no further privileges ? 

Fran. Are not these large enough ? 

Isab. Yes, truly : I speak not as desiring more ; 
But rather wishing a more strict restraint 
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare. 

Lucio. Ho! Peace be in this place? [Within.] 

Isab. Who's that which calls ? 

Fran. It is a man's voice : Gentle Isabella, 
Turn you the key, and know his business of him; 
You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn : 
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with men. 
But in the presence of the prioress : 
Then, if you speak, you must not show your face ; 

* i. e. OD his defeDce* 



Or, if you show your face, you rausl not apeak. 
He cnlla again ; I pray you, answer him. 

[Exit Francisca. 
hab. Peace and prosperity ! Who is 't that calls? 

Enter Lucio. 

Liicio. Hail,vir^D, ifyoube; as those cheek-roses 
Proclaim you are no less ! Can you so stead me. 
As bring me to die sight of Isabella, 
A novice of this place, and the fair sister 
To her unhappy brother Claudio? 

Imb, Why her unhappy brother? let me ask; 
The rather, for I now must make you know 
I am that Isabella, and his sister. 

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets 
Not to be weary with you, he's in prison, 

hab. Woe me! For what? 

Zweio. For that, which, if myself might be hisjudge. 
He should receive his punishment in thanks : 
He hath got his friend with child. 

Isab. Sir, mock me not: — your story'. 

Lucio. Tis true, I would not, — though 'tis iiiy 
familiar sin 
With mmds to seem the lapwing^, and to jest. 
Tongue far from heart, — play with all virgins so : 
I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted; 
By your reoouncement, an immortal spirit; 


■ Tile old oopj reads : 

' Tliii bird is fUi to draw pnranera rrom her d 

otbar places. Tbie nas formerl; Ihe subject of 

proierb, ' T 

lapwing oriea moit, farlbest rrom her neat,' i. <. 


htart. So, ia The Comedy oF Errors : 


And to be talked with in sincerity. 
As with a saint. 

Isah. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me. 

Lucio, Do not belicTe it. Fewness and truth ^^ 
'tis thus : 
Your brother and his lovpr* have embrac'd: 
As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time. 
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings 
To teeming foison^; even so her plenteous womb 
Expresseth his full tilth^ and husbandry. 

Isab, Some one with child by him? — My cousin 
Juliet ? 

Lucio, Is she your cousin ? 

hah. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their 
By vain though apt affection. 

Lucio. She it is. 

Isab. O let him marry her ! 

Ltudo. This is the point. 

The duke is very strangely gone from hence ; 
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one. 
In hand, and hope of action : but we do learn 
By those that know the very nerves of state, ^ 
His givings out were of an infinite distance 
From his true-meant design. Upon his place. 
And with full line*^ of his authority. 
Governs Lord Angelo; a man, whose blood 
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels 
The wanton stiogs and motions of the sense ; 

^ Fewness and truth, in few and trne words. 

* i. e. his mistress. 

^ Teeming foison is abundant produce. 

^ Tilth M tillage. So in Shakspeare's third Sonnet : 

' For who is she so fair, whose nnrear'd womb 
Disdains the tiUage of thy husbandry ?' 

7 Full Une, extent. 


But doth rebate^ and blunt his natural edge 

With profits of the mind, study and fast. 

He (to give fear to use^ and liberty, 

Which have, for long, run by the hideous law. 

As mice by lions), hath pick'd out an act, 

Under whose heavy sense your brother's life 

Falls into forfeit : he arrest^ him on it ; 

And follows close the rigour of the statute. 

To make him an example : all hope is gone. 

Unless you have the grace ^® by your fair prayer 

To soften Angelo : And that's my pith 

Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother. 

Isah, Doth he so seek his life ? 

Lncio, Has censur'd^^ him 

Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath 
A warrant for his execution. 

Isab. Alas ! what poor ability's in me 
To do him good ? 

Lncio. Assay the power you have. 

Isab, My power ! Alas ! I doubt, — 

Lucio. Our doubts are traitors. 

And make us lose the. good we oft might win, 
l^y fearing to attempt : Go to Lord Angelo, 
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue, 
Men give like gods ; but when they weep and kneel. 
All their petitions are as freely theirs 
As they themselves would owe^^ them. 

^ To rebate is to make dull: Aoiem ferri hebetare. — Buret. 

^ i. e. to intimidate use, or practices long countenanced by 

*° i. e. power of gaining fayonr. 

^* To censure is to judge. This is the poet's general meaning 
for the word, bat the editors have given him several others. Here 
they interpret it censured, sentenced. We have it again in the next 

* When I that censure him do so offend, 

Let mine own judgment pattern out my death.' 

*^ To owe is to have, to possess. 


Imh, 111 see what I can do. 
Lucio. But speedily. 

Isab. I will about it straight; « 

No longer staying but to give the mother ^^ 
i Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you : 

i Commend me to my brother : soon at night 

I'll send him certain word of my success. 
Lucio. I take my leave of you. 
Isab, Good sir, adieu. 


SCENE I. A Hall in Angelo's Hmse. 

Enter Angelo, Escalus, a Justice, Provost^ 
Officers, and other Attendants, 

Ang, We must not make a scare-crow of the law. 
Setting it up to fear ^ the birds of prey. 
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it 
A Their perch, and not their terror. 

Escal. Ay, but yet 

Let us be keen, and rather cut a little. 
Than fall ^, and bruise to death : Alas ! this gentleman, 
Whom I would save, had a most noble father. 
Let but your honour know*, 
(Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue). 
That, in the working of your own affections. 
Had time coher'd^ with place, or place with wishing, 
Or that the resolute acting of your blood 

' *' i. e. the ahhess, 
^ A kind of sheriff or jailer, so called in foreign coantries. 
' To fear is to affright. 

^ i. e. throw down ; tofaU a tree is still ased for tofeU it. 
* i. e. examine. ^ i. e. suited. 


Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose, 
Whether you had not sometime in your life 
Err'd in this point which now you censure him^. 
And puU'd the law upon you. 

Aug, Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, 
Another thing to fall. I not deny. 
The jury, passing on the prisoner's life. 
May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two 
Guiltier than him they try : What's open made to 

That justice seizes. What know the laws. 
That thieves do pass "^ on thieves ? 'Tis very pregnant^. 
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it, 
Because we see it ; but what we do not see. 
We tread upon, and never think of it. 
You may not so extenuate his offence, 
For^ I have had such faults ; but rather tell me. 
When I, that censure him, do so offend. 
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death. 
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die. 

EscaL Be it as your wisdom will. 

Ang. Where is the provost? 

Prov, Here, if it like your honour. 

Ang, See that Claudio 

Be executed by nine to-morrow morning : 
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared ; 
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage. 

[Exit Provost. 

EscaL Well,heaven forgive him ; and forgive us all ! 

^ To complete the sense of this line for seems to be required :— 
' which now jon censnre him for,* Bat Shakspeare h'equently 
uses eliptical expressions. 

"* An old forensic term, signifying to pass judgment, or sentence, 

® Full of force or conviction, or fuU of proof in itself. So, in 
OtheUo, Act ii. Sc. 1, ' As it is a most pregnant and unforc'd 

^ i. e. cause I have had snch faults. 


Some rise by sin, and some by virtue falP^: 
Some run from brakes ^^ of vice, and answer none ; 
And some condemned for a fault alone. 

Enter Elbow, Froth, Clown, Officers, ^c. 

Elb. Come, bring them away : if these be good 
people in a common-weal, that do nothing but use 
their abuses in common houses, I know no law; 
bring them away. 

Ang. How now, sir! What's your name? and 
what's the matter? 

Elb, If it please your honour, I am the poor duke's 
constable, and my name is Elbow ; I do lean upon 
justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good 
honour two notorious benefactors. 

Ang. Benefactors! Well; what benefactors are 
they? are they not malefactors? 

JElb. If it please your honour, I know not well 
what they are : but precise villains they are, that I 
am sure of; and void of all profanation in the world, 
that good christians ought to have. 

JEscal. This comes off welP^; here's a wise officer. 

^^ This line is printed in Italics as a quotation in the first folio. 

^^ The first folio here reads — ' Some run from brakes of iceJ 
The correction was made by Rowe. Brakes most probablj here 
signify thorny perplexUiet ; bat a brake was also used to signify a 
trap or snare, Thns in Skel ton's Ellinoar Rommin : 

' It was a stale to take-- the devil in a hrake,* 
And in Holland's Leaguer, a Comedy, by Sh. Marmion — 

* her I'll make 

A stale to catch this courtier in a brake.* 

There can be no allnsion to the instrument of torture mentioned 
by Steerens. A brake seems to have signified an engine or in- 
strument in general. 

*^ i. e. is weU told. The meaning of this phrase, when se* 
riously applied to speech, is ' This is well delivered/ ' this story 
is well told.' But in the present instance it is used ironically. 


Ang. Go to : 'What quality are they of? Elbow 
is your name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow? 

Clo. He canoot, air; he's out at elbow, 

Aug. What are you, sir? 

Elk He, sir? a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; 
that serves a bad woman ; whose house, sir, was 
they say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now 
she professes'^ a hot-house, which, I tJiiak, 
very ill house too. 

Escal. How know you that? 

£11). My wife, sir, whom I detest'* before hea- 
ven and your honour, — 

Escai. How! thy wife? 

Elb. Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an ho- 
nest woman,— 

Escal. Dost thou detest her therefore ? 

Elb. I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well 
as she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house, 
it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house. 

Escal. How dost thou know that, constable? 

Elb. Marry, air, by ray wife ; who, if she had been 
a woman cardinally given, might have been accused 
in fornication, adultery, and all unclean I iness there. 

Escal. By the woman's means? 

Elb. Ay, sir, by mistress Over-done's means : but 
as she spit in his face, so she defied him. 

Clo. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so. 

Elb. Prove it before these varleta here, thou ho- 
nourable man, prove it. 

Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces? 

[To Angelo. 

Clo. Sir, she came in great with child ; and long- 
ing (saving your honour's reverence), for stew'd 


prunes ^^: sir, we had but two in the house, which 
at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit-' 
dish, a dish of some three pence ; your honours have 
seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but 
very good dishes. 

EscaL Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir. 

Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin ; you are therein 
in the right : but, to the point : As I say, this mis- 
tress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being 
great beliy'd, and longing, as I said, for prunes; 
and having but two in the dish, as I said, master 
Proth here, this very man having eaten the rest, as 
I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly ; 
— ^for, as you know, master Froth, I cou'd not give 
you three pence again. 

Froth, No, indeed. 

Clo. Very well : you being then, if you be remem- 
ber'd, cracking the stones of the aforesaid prunes. 

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed. 

Clo. Why, very well : I telling you then, if you 
be remember'd, that such a one, and such a one, 
were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they 
kept very good diet, as I told you. 

Froth. All this is true. 

Clo. Why, very well then. 

JEscal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the pur- 
pose, — What was done to Elbow's wife, that he 
hath cause to complain of? Come me to what was 
done to her. 

Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet. 

Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not. 

Ch. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your ho- 
nour's leave : And, I beseech you, look into master 
Proth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year; 

'^ A favourite disb, anciently common in brothels. 
VOL. 1 1, D 


whose father died at Hallowmas: — ^Was't not at 
Hallowmas, master Froth? 

Froth. AU-hollond^^ eve. 

Clo, Why, very well; I hope here be truths: 
He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower ^'^ chair, sir; — 
'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you 
have a deUght to sit: Have you not? 

Froth, I have so; because it is an open room, 
and good for winter. 

Clo, Why, very well then : — I hope here be truths. 

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, 
When nights are longest there : I'll take my leave. 
And leave you to the hearing of the cause ; 
Hoping, you'll find good cause to whip them all. 

EscaL I think no less; Good morrow to your 
lordship. [Exit Angelo. 

Now, sir, come on: What was done to Elbow's 
wife, once more? 

Clo, Once, sir ? there was nothing done to her once. 

Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man 
did to my wife. 

Clo, I beseech your honour, ask me. 

Escal, Well, sir : What did this gentleman to her ? 

Clo. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's 
face : — Good master Froth, look lipon his honour ; 
'tis for a good purpose : Doth your honour mark his 

Escal, Ay, sir, very well. 

Clo, Nay, I beseech you, mark it well. 

Escal, Well, I do so. 

Clo, Doth your honour see any harm in his face ? 

Escal, Why, no. 

« All hollond Eve, the Eve of All Saints* day. 

" Every hoase had formerly what was called a low chair, de- 
signed for the ease of sick people, and occasionally oocnpied by 
lazy ones. 


Clo. Ill be supposed upon a book, his face is the 
worst thing about him : Good then ; if his face be 
the worst thing about him, how could master Froth 
do the constable's wife any harm? I would know 
that of your honour. 

Escal, He's in the right: Constable, what say 
you to it? 

Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected 
house: next, this is a respected fellow; and his 
mistress is a respected woman. 

Ch. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected 
person than any of us all. 

Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet : 
the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected 
with man, woman, or child. 

Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he 
married with her. 

Escal. Which is the wiser here ? Justice, or Ini- 
quity ^^? Is this true? 

Elb, O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked 
Hannibal ! I respected with her, before I was mar- 
ried to her? If ever I was respected with her, or she 
with me, let not your worship think me the poor 
duke's officer : — Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, 
or I'll have mine action of battery on thee. 

EscaL If he took you a box o' th' ear, you might 
have your action of slander too. 

Elb, Marry, I thank your good worship for it : 
What is't your worship's pleasure I should do with 
this wicked caitiff? 

EscaL Truly, officer, because he has some of- 
fences in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou 
couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou 
know'st what they are. 

Elb, Marry, I thank your worship for it : — ^Thou 

** i. e. constable or clown. 


see'at, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upoD 
thee; thou art to c«ntinue now, tliou varlet; thou 
art to continue. 

Eical. Where were jou born, friend? 

[To Froth. 

Froth. Here in Vienna, sir. 

Etcal. Are you of fourscore pouods a year ? 

Froth. Yes, and't please you, sir. 

Escal. So.— What trade are you of, sir? 

[ To (Ae Clown. 

Clo. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster. 

Escal. Your mistress's name? 

Clo. Mistress Over-done, 

£ical. Hath she had any more than one husband 1 

Cla. Nine, sir; Over-done by the last. 

Escal. Nine ! — Come hither to me, master Froth. 
Master Froth, I would not have yOu acquainted 
with tapsters; they will draw you, master Froth, 
and you will hang them : Get you gone, and let me 
hear no more of you. 

Froth. I thank your worship r for mine own part, 
I never come into any room in a taphouse, but 1 am 

Egcal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: fare- 
well. [Er(> Froth.] — Comeyou hitherto me, master 
tapster; what's your name, master tapster? 

Clo. Pompey. 

Eseal. What else? 

Clo. Bum, sir, 

Eical. Troth, and your hum is the greatest thino; 
about you: so that, in the beastliest sense, you are 
Pompey the great. Pompey,you are partly abawd, 
Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapst«r. 
Are you not? come, tell me true; it shall be (he 
better for you. 

Ch. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow, that would 


Escal, How would you live, Pompey ? by being 
a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey ? 
is it a lawful trade ? 

Ch. If the law would allow it, sir ? 

Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; 
nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna. 

Cfo. Does your worship mean to geld and spay 
all the youth in the city ? 

Escal, No, Pompey. 

Ch. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't 
then : If your worship will take order ^^ for the drabs 
and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds. 

Escal, There are pretty orders beginning, J can 
tell you : It is but heading and hanging. 

Ch. If you head and hang all that offend that 
way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give 
out a commission for more heads. If this law hold 
in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it, 
after three pence a bay^^: if you live to see this 
come to pass, say, Pompey told you so. 

Escal. Thank you, good Pompey: and, in re- 
quital of your prophecy, hark you, — I advise you, 
let me not find you before me again upon any com- 
plaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you 
do; if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, 
and prove a shrewd Caesar to you; in plain dealing, 
Pompey, I shall have you whipt : so for this time, 
Pompey, fare you well. 

Ch. I thank your worship for your good counsel : 
but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall 
better determine. 

*^ To takB order is to take measures, or preoaations. 

^ A bay is a principal division in building, as a bam of three 
bays is a bam twice crossed bj beams. Coles in his Latin Dic- 
tionary defines ' a bay of boilding, mensura 24 pedum.' Honses 
appear to bare been estimated by the number of bays. 


Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade; 
The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade. 


EscaL Come hither to me, master Elbow; come 
hither, master Constable. How long have you been 
in this place of constable? 

Elb. Seven year and a half, sir. 

EscaL I thought, by your readiness in the office, 
you had continued in it some time : You say, seven 
years together? 

EW. And a half, sir. 

EscaL Alas ! it hath been great pains to you ! 
They do you wrong to put you so oft upbn't: Are 
there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it? 

Elb, Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters : 
as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for 
them; I do it for some piece of money, and go 
through with all. 

EscaL Look you, bring me in the names of some 
six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish. 

Elb. To your worship's house, sir? 

EscaL To my house : Fare you well. [Exit El* 
BOW.] What's o'clock, think you? 

Just, Eleven, sir. 

EscaL I pray you home to dinner with me. 

Just. I humbly thank you. 

EscaL It grieves me for the death of Claudio; 
But there's no remedy. 

Just, Lord Angelo is severe. 

EscaL It is but needful: 

Mercy is not itself that oft looks so ; 
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe : 
But yet, — Poor Claudio! — ^There's no remedy. 
Come, sir. [Exeunt» 


SCENE II. Another Roam in the same. 

Enter Provost and a Servant. 

Serv, He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight. 
Ill tell him of you. 

Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll know * 
His pleasure : may be, he will relent : Alas, 
!Q!e hath but as offended in a dream ! 
All sects, all ages smack of this vice ; and he 
To die for it! — 

Enter Angelo. 

Ang. Now, what's the matter, provost ? 

Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow? 

Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not order? 
Why dost thou ask again? 

Prov. Lest I might be too rash: 

Under your good correction, I have seen. 
When, after execution, judgment hath 
Repented o'er his doom. 

Ang. Go to ; let that be mine : 

Do you your office, or give up your place, 
And you shall well be spar'd. 

Prov. I crave your honour's pardon. — 

What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juhet? 
She's very near her hour. 

Ang. Dispose of her 

To some more fitter place; and that with speed. 

Re-eater Servant. 

Serv. Here is the sister of the majoi condemn 'd> 
Desires access to you. 

Ang. Hath he a sister? 

Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid. 
And to be shortly of a sisterhood. 
If not already. 


Ang. Well, let her be admitted. 

[Exit Servant 
See you, the fornicatress be remov'd ; 
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means ; 
There shall be order for it. 

Enter Lucio and Isabella. 

Prcfo, Save your honour! [Offering to retire. 

Ang. Stay a little while. — [To IsAB.] You are 
welcome : What's your will ? 

Isab. I am a woful suitor to your honour. 
Please but your honour hear me. 

Ang. Well; what's your suit? 

Isab. There is a vice, that most I do abhor. 
And most desire should meet the blow of justice; 
Por which I would not plead, but that I must; 
For which I must not plead, but that I am 
At war, 'twixt will, and will not. 

Ang. Well; the matter? 

Isab. I have a brother is condenm'd to die : 
I do beseech you, let it be his fault, 
And not my brother^. 

Prov. Heaven give thee moving graces ! 

Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it ! 
Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done : 
Mine were the very cipher of a function. 
To fine^ the faults, whose fine stands in record, 
And let go by the actor. 

• Isab. O just, but severe law ! 

I had a brother then.^-Heaven keep your honour ! 


Lucio, [To Isab.] Give't not o'er so: to him 
again, intreat him : 

* i. e. let my brother's fault die or be extirpated, bat let not 
him safi'er. 

' i. e. ' to prononnce the fine or sentence of the law upon the 
crime, and let the delinquent escape.' 


Kneel down before him^ hang upon his gown; 
You are too cold : if you should need a pin^ 
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it : 
To him, I say. 

Isab, Must he needs die ? 

Ang. Maiden, no remedy. 

Isah. Yes ; I do think that you might pardon him^ 
And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy. 

Ang, I will not do't. 

Imh. But can you, if you would? 

Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do. 

Isah. But might you do't, and do the world no 
If so your heart were.touch'd with that remorse 
As mine is to him ? 

Ang, He's sentenc'd ; 'tis too late. 

Zucio. You are too cold. [To Isabella. 

Isab, Too late? why, no ; I, that do speak a word, 
May call it back again : Well, believe ^ this. 
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs. 
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword, 
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe. 
Become them with one half so good a grace. 
As mercy does. If he had been as you. 
And you as he, you would have slipt like him ; 
But he, like you, would not have been so stem. 

Ang, Pray you, begone. 

Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency. 
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus? 
No ; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge. 
And what a prisoner. 

Lucio. Ay, touch him : there's the vein. [Aside* 

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law. 
And you but waste your words. 

Jsab. Alas! alas! 

' i. eu be assared of it. 


Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once; 
And He that might the vantage best have took, 
Found out the remedy : How would you be. 
If he, which is the top of judgment, should 
But judge you as you are? O, think on that; 
And mercy then will breathe within yOur lips. 
Like man new made ^. 

Ang, Be you content, fair maid; 

It is the law, not I, condemns your brother : 
Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son. 
It should be thus with him ; — he must die to-morrow. 

Isab, To-morrow ? O, that's sudden ! Spare him, 
spare him : 
He's not prepar'd for death ! Even for our kitchens 
We kill the fowl of season ^ : shall we serve heaven 
With less respect than we do minister 
To our gross selves ? Good, good my lord, bethink 

Who is it that hath died for this offence ? 
There's many have committed it. 

Lucio. Ay, well said. 

Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath 
slept ^: 
Those many had not dar'd to do that evil. 
If the first man that did the edict infringe 
Had answer'd for his deed : now, 'tis awake ; 
Takes note of what is done ; and, like a prophet. 
Looks in a glass ^, that shows what future evils, 
(Either now, or by remissness new-conceiv'd, 
And so in progress to be hatch'd and bom), 

* * You will then be as tender hearted and merciful as the first 
man was in his days of innocence.' 

^ i. e. when in season. 

^ ' Dortniunt aliquando leges, moriuntur nunquatn/ is a maxim 
of our law. 

"^ This alludes to the deceptions of the fortune-tellers, who pre- 
tended to see future events in a beryl, or crystal glass. 


Are now to hare no s^ccesshre d^prees. 
But, where they lire, to esd. 

Itah. Yet diow imiii pity. 

Ang. I show it most of all, when I fhowjuftice; 
Tor then I pity those I do not know*. 
Which a disnuss'd offence woold after gafl ; 
And do him right, that, answering one fool wrong, 
lives not to act another. Be satisfied ; 
Your hrother dies toHDorrow : be content 

Imb. So yon mast be the first, that gives this sen- 
And he, that suffefs: O, it is excellent 
To hare a giant's strength ; hot it is tyrannous 
To use it like a giant 

LMcio. Thaf s well sakL 

hmb. Could great men thunder 
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet. 
For every pelting^, petty officer, 
Would use his heaven for dumder; nothing but 


Merciful heaven ! 

Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt, 

Split'st the unwedgMble and gnarled ^^ oak, 

TTian the soft myrtle " : — But man, proud man ! 

Drest in a little brief authority : 

Most ignorant of what he's most assured. 

His glassy essence, — like an angry ape. 

Plays such fantasytick tricks before high heaven. 

« Ooeof JlldgeHale*s<MeBoriab'isofthestaeteBdMeJ:— 
' When I find mjadf swmjcd to mercj, let Me ifiMbu tint 
there is a mercj likewise doe to the oomitry.' 

* Pdimg for paltiy. ** GmmrUi, knotted. 

^* Bfr. Doooe has lenMiked the dose afinity between this pas- 
sage and one in the seomid satire of Persias. Yet we have no 
translation of that poet of Shakspeare's age. 

< Ignorisse pvtas, qaia, cum tonat, oejos flex 
Solfiire disentitar sacro, qnani tuqoe dcMMsqvef 


As ma^ke the angels weep; who, with our spleens, 
Would all themselves laugh mortal i^. 

Ludo. O, lo bim, to him, weoch: he will relent; 
He's comina;, I perceive 't. 

Prov. Pray heaven, she win him ! 

hab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself : 
Great men may Jest with saints : 'tis wit in them ; 
But, in the less, foul profanation. 

Lvdo. Thou'rt in tlie right, girl; more o' that. 

Itab. That in the captain's but a cholericlc word. 
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy. 

Lueio. Art advis'd o' that '( more on 't. 

Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me? 

Isab. Because authority, though it err hke others. 
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself. 
That skins the vice o' the top ^^ : Go to your bosom ; 
Knock there, and ask your heart, what it doth know 
That's like my brother's fault : if it confess 
A natural guiltiness, such as is his. 
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue 
Against my brother's life, 

Anff. She speaks, and 'tis 

Such sense, that my sense breeds with it". Fare 

you well. 

laab. Gentle my lord, turn back. 

Ang. I will bethink me: — Come again to-morrow. 

I»ab. Hark, how I'll bribe you: Good my lord, 
turn hack. 

" The DOtion of sngela weeping Tor tie ains of men h mijliini- 

Uld the uigeU Ikal, the]' would laugh themaeties onl of Iheir 
mortalilj, by indnlging a paasion unwoilhj of Ihal prerogativi 
" Shakspeare has oied this ladelicDle ntetephDr again in Hi 
Ifll :— ' It will bal skin and firm the alceroaa plice.' 

mind, Halone tboUEbt thai ai 


Amg. How ! bribe me ? 

Isab. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall share 
with you. 

Lucio. You had marr'd all else. 

Isab. Not with fond^^ shekels of the tested ^^ gold. 
Or stones, whose rates are either rich, or poor. 
As fancy values them : but with true prayers. 
That shall be up at heaven, and enter there. 
Ere sun-rise ; prayers from preserved ^^ souls. 
From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate 
To nothing temporal. 

Aug. Well : come to me 


Lucio. Go to ; it is well away. [Agide to Isabel. 

Isab, Heaven keep your honour safe ! 

Ang. Amen ^® : 

For I am that way going to temptation, [Aside. 
Where prayers cross ^^. 

^Isab. At what hour to-morrow 

Shall I attend your lordship ? 

Ang. At any time 'fore noon. 

Isab. Save your honour ! 

[Exeunt Lucio, Isabella, and Provost. 

Ang. From thee; even from thy virtue. — 

What's this ? what's this ? Is this her fault, or mine? 

*^ Fondi in its old si^ifioation sometimes meant foolish. In 
its modern sense it evidently implied a doting or extrayagant af- 
fection ; here it signifies overvalued or prized by folly. 

*• 1. e. tried, refined, 

^^ Presenred horn the cormption of the world. 

*^ Isabella prays that bis honour may be safe, meaning only te 
giye him his title : his imagination is caught by the word honour, 
be feels that it is in danger^ and therefore says amen to her bene- 

'^ The petition of the Lord's Prayer, ' Lead us not into tempta- 
tion/ — is here considered as crossing or intercepting the way in 
which Angelo was going : he was exposing himself to temptation 
by the appointment for the morrow's meeting. 



The tempter, or the tempted, wbo sins most? 

Not she; nor doth she tempt: but it is I, 

That lying by the violet, in the sun. 

Do, as the carrion does, not as the flower. 

Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be, 

That modesty may more betray our sense"" 

Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground 

^hatl we desire to raze the sanctuary. 
And pitch our evils there ^'^? O, fy, fy, fy! 
"What dost thou? or, what art thou, Angelo? 
Dost thou desire her foully, for those things 
That make her good? O, let her brother bve: 
Thieves for their robbery have authority. 
When judges steal themselves. What? do I love her. 
That I desire to hear her speak again. 
And feast upon her eyes ? What is 't I dream on 1 
O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint. 
With saints dost bait thy hook ! Most dangerous 
Is that temptation, that doth goad us on 
To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet, 
With all her double vigour, art and nature. 
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid 
Subdues me quite;— Ever, till now, 
When men were fond, I smil'd, and wonder'd how!** 

» Smi. for sensnal appelile. 

BBgTBvated pro- 

"' Nc 


CDpId mi 











e. The' 



ion, hj 


5 them t 

o th. 

: .bje=t p= 



Bin me 





SCENE III. A Room in a Prmm. 

Enter Duke, habited like a Friar, and Provost. 

Duke. Hail to you. Provost ! so, I think you are. 

Prov. I am the provost: Whafs your wUl, good 

Duke. Bound by my charity, and my bless'd order, 
I come to visit the afflicted spirits 
Here in the prison : do me the common right 
To let me see them ; and to make me know 
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister 
To them accordingly. 

Prov, I would do more than that, if more were 

Enter Juliet. 

Look, here comes one ; a gentlewoman of mine. 
Who falling in the flames ^ of her own youth. 
Hath blister'd her report : She is with child : 
And he that got it, sentenc'd : a young man 
More fit to do another such offence, 
Than die for this. 

Duke. When must he die ? 

Prov. As I do think, to-morrow. — 
I have provided for you ; stay a while, [ To Juliet. 
And you shall be conducted. 

Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry? 

Juliet. I do ; and bear the shame most patiently. 

Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign your 
And try your penitence, if it be sound. 
Or hollowly put on. 

Juliet. I'll gladly learn. 

Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you ? 

Juliet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him. 

^ The folio reads ftmoes. 

40 measure: for measure. act ii, .] 

Duke. So then, it seems, your most offeaceful a, 
Was mutually committed ? 

Juliet. Mutually. 

Diihe. Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.. ' 

Juliet. I do confess it, and repent it, lather. 

Ihtke. "I'is meet so, daughter*. But lest you do | 

As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,— 
Which sorrow is always towards ourselves, not hea- 
Showing, we'd not spare^ heaven as we love it. 
But as we stand in fear, — 

Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil ; 
And take the shame with joy. 

Diihe. There rest^. 

Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow. 
And I am going with instruction to him. — 
Grace go with you ! Bcaedicite! [Exit, 

Juliet. Must die to-morrow ! O, injurious love*. 
That respites me a life, whose very comfort 
Is still a dying horror I 

ProB. Tis pity of him. [Exeunt. 

SCEXE IV. A Room in Angelo 
Enter Angelo. 
Anp'.Whenl would pray and think, Tthii 

To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words; 
Whilst my invention', hearing not my tongue. 

And in K. Hkii 

r imsgiaatioD. S 
vergoes oij Wnn 

18 H^EimeT proposed Lc 
in Shakepeare's 103d S< 


Anchors on Isabel : Heaven in my mouthy 
As if I did but only chew his name ; 
And in my heart, the strong and swelling evil 
Of my conception : The state, whereon I studied. 
Is like a good thing, being often read, 
Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity. 
Wherein (let no man hear me) I take pride. 
Could I, with boot ^, change for an idle plume. 
Which the air beats for vain. O place ! O form ! 
How often dost thou with thy case ^, thy habit. 
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls 
To thy false seeming^? Blood, thou still art blood! 
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn, 
'TIS not the devil's crest*. 

Enter Servant. 

How now, who's there? 

Serv» One Isabel, a sister. 

Desires access to you. 

Ang. Teach her the way, [Exit Serv. 

P heavens ! 

Why does my blood thus muster to my heart; 
Making both it unable for itself. 
And dispossessing all the other parts 
Of necessary fitness ? 
So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons; 

^ Boot is profit. ' i. e. outside. 

* Shakspeare jadiciously distinguishes the different operations 
of high place upon different minds. Fools are frighted and wise 
men allured. Those who cannot judge but by the eye are easily 
awed by splendour ; those who consider men as well as conditions, 
are easily persuaded to love the appearance of virtue dignified 
with power. 

^ ' Though we should write good angel on the DeviVs horn, it 
will not change his nature, so as to give him a right to wear that 
crest,* This explanation of Malone's is confirmed by a passage 
in Lylys Midas, ' Melancholy ! is melancholy a word for barber's 
mouth ? Thou shonldst say heavy, dull, and doltish ; melancholy 
is the crest of courtiers.' 

E 2 


Come all to help hmiy and so stop the air 
By which he should revive : and even so 
The general^, subject to a well-wish'd king. 
Quit their own paxt, and in obsequious fondness 
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love 
Must needs appear offence. 

Enter Isabella. 

How nowy fair maid ? 

Isab, I am come to know your pleasure. 

Ang. That you might know it, would much better 
please me, 
Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot 

Isab. Even so? — Heaven keep your honour! 


Ang. Yet may he live awhile ; and it may be, 
As long as you, or I: Yet he must die. 

Isah. Under your sentence ? 

Ang. Yea. 

Isab. When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve. 
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted, 
That his soul sicken not. 

Ang. Ha ! Fye, these filthy vices ! It were as 
To pardon him, that hath from nature stolen 
A man already made^, as to remit 
Their saucy sweetness^, that do coin heaven's image 

^ i. e. the people or muhiittde subject to a king. So, in Ham- 
let : ' the play plpased not the million ; 'twas cayiare to the ge- 
neraV It is supposed that Shakspeare, in this passage, and in 
one before (Act i. Sc. 2), intended to flatter the unkiugljr weak- 
ness of James I. which made him lo impatient of the crowds which 
flocked to see him, at his first coming, that he restrained them by 
a proclamation. 

7 i. e. that hath killed a man. 
' ' Sweetness has here probably the sense of lickertehness. 


In stamps that are forbid : 'tis all as easy 
Falsely to take away a life true made. 
As to put mettle in restrained means. 
To make a false one^. 

Isab, Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth. 

Ang, Say you so ? then I shall pose you quickly. 
Which had you rather. That the most just law 
Now took your brother's life ; or, to redeem him. 
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness, 
As she that he hath stain'd ? 

Imb. Sir, believe this, 

I had rather give my body than my souP^. 

Any. I talk not of your soul: Our compell'd sins 
Stand more for number than accompt^^. 

Isab. How say you? 

Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that ; for I can speak 
Against the thing I say. Answer to this ; — 
I, now the voice of the recorded law, 
Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life : 
Might there not be a charity in sin, 
To save this brother's life ? 

Isab. Please you to do't, 

I'll take it as a peril to my soul. 
It is no sin at all, but charity. 

Ang. Pleas'd you to do't, at peril of your soul. 
Were equal poise of sin and charity. 

Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin. 
Heaven, let me bear it! you granting of my suit, 

' The thought is simply, that murder is as easy as fornication ; 
and the inference which Angelo woold draw is, that it is as im- 
proper to pardon the latter as the former. 

*^ Isabel appears to nse the words ' giye my body/ in a dif- 
ferent sense to Angelo. Her meaning appears to be, ' I had rather 
die than forfeit my eternal happiness by the prostitution of my 

** i. e. actions that we are compelled to, however namerons, 
are not imputed to us by heaven a& crimes. 


If that be sin, I'll make it niy mora prayer 
I'o have it added to tht; faults of mine. 
And Qothing of your answer. 

Ang. Nay, but hear me : 

Your sense pursues not miDe : either you are ig- 
Or aeem so, craftily; and that's not good. 

Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing ^od. 
But graciously to know I am no better. 

Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright, 
When it doth tax itself: as these black masks^ 
Proclaim an enshietd'^ beauty ten times louder 
Than beauty could displayed. — But mark me ; 
To be received plain, I'll speak more gross; 
Your brother is to die. 

bab. So. 

Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears 
Accountant to the law upon that pain '*. 

Isab. True. 

Ang. Admit no other way to save his life, 
(As I subscribe'^ not that, nor any other. 
But in the loss of question'^), that you, his sister, 
Finding yourself desir'd of such a person. 
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place, 
Could fetch your brother from the manacles 
Of the all-binding law ; and that there were 
No earthly mean to save him, but that either 

[fi worn by f« 
nutb of Ani^eli 

.«rlj, a 

or the play ai 

the den 
uticle? At ^e btiginiiiiig of Romeo 
ige of similar import: 

miadtbej hide the fair.' 

'-' Subscribe, agree (d. 

4ut, thi 


You must lay down the tceasures of your body 
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer; 
What would you do? 

Imb. As much for my poor brother, as myself: 
That is. Were I under the terms of death. 
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies. 
And strip myself to death, as to a bed 
T*hat longing I have been sick for, ere I'd yield 
My body up to shame. 

Ang. Then must your brother die* 

Isc^, And 'twere the cheaper way : 
Better it were, a brother died at once. 
Than that a sister, by redeeming him, 
Should die for ever. 

Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence 
That you have slander'd so ? 

Isah. Ignomy ^"^ in ransom, and free pardon. 
Are of two houses : lawful mercy is 
Nothing akin to foul redemption. 

Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant; 
And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother 
A merriment than a vice. 

hah, O pardon me, my lord ; it oft falls out, 
To have what we'd have, we speak not what we 

I something do excuse the thing I hate, 
Por his advantage that I dearly love. 

Ang. We are all frail. 

Isah. Else let my brother die. 

If not a feodary, but only he. 
Owe, and succeed by weakness ^^. 

*^ Ignomy, ignomiDj. 

*^ I adopt Mr. Nares' explanation of this difficult passage as 
the most satisfactory yet offered : — ' If he is the ovlj feodary t i. e. 
subject who holds by the common tenure of human frailty.' Otoe«, 
i. e. possesses and succeeds by, holds his right of succession by it. 


Ang. Nay, women are frail too. 

Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view them- 
selves ; 
Which are as easy broke as they make forms. 
Women ! — Help heaven ! men rtieir creation mar 
In profiting by them ^^. Nay, call us ten times frail ; 
For we are soft as our complexions are^ 
And credulous to false prints^. 

Ang, I think it well : 

And from this testimony of your own sex, 
(Since, I suppose, we are made to be no stronger 
Than faults may shake our frames) let me be bold ; — 
I do arrest your words ; Be that you are, 
That is, a woman ; if you be more, you're none ; 
If you be one (as you are well express'd 
By all external warrants), show it now. 
By putting on the destin'd livery. 

Isab. I have no tongue but one : gentle my lord. 
Let me entreat you speak the former language. 

Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you. 

liudf. My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me, ' 
That he shall die for it. 

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love. 

Isab. I know, your virtue hath a licence in't. 
Which seems a little fouler than it is. 
To pluck on others ^^. 

Ang. Believe me, on mine honour. 

My words express my purpose. 

Warbarton says that ' the allasion is so fine that it deserves to 
be explained. — The comparing mankind lying under the weight of 
original sin, to a feodary who owes suit and service to his lord, is 
not ill imagined.' 

*® The meaning appears to be, that ' men debase their natures 
by taking advantage of women's weakness.' She therefore calls 
on Heaven to assist them. 

^ i. e. impressions. 

^> i. e. ' your virtue assumes an air of iicMftoiiraMt, which is 
not natural to you, on pnipose to trj 


Isab. Ha ! little honour to be much believ'd. 
And most pernicious purpose ! — Seeming, seem- 
ing^! — 
I will proclaim thee, Angelo ; look for't : 
Sign me a present pardon for my brother. 
Or, with an outstretch'd throat, I'll tell the world 
Aloud, what man thou art. 

Ang, Who will believe thee, Isabel ? 

My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life. 
My vouch ^ against you, and my place i'the state. 
Will so your accusation overweigh. 
That you shall stifle in your own report. 
And smell of calunmy^. I have begun; 
And now I give my sensual race the rein : 
Mt thy consent to my sharp appetite ; 
Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes ^, 
That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother 
By yielding up thy body to my will ; 
Or else he n^ust not only die the death ^, 
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out 
To lingering sufferance : answer me to-morrow, 
Or^ by the affection that now guides me most, 
111 prove a tyrant to him : As for you. 
Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true. 


Isab, To whom shall I complain ? Did I tell this. 
Who would beheve me ? O perilous mouths. 
That bear in them one and the selfsame tongue. 
Either of condemnation or approof ! 

^ Seeming is hypocrisy. ^ Vouch, assertion. 

^ A metaphor from a lamp or candle extinguished in its own 

^ Prolixious blushes mean what Milton has elegantly called-^ 
* Sweet reluctant delay,* 

^ The death. This phrase seems originally to have been a 
mistaken translation of the French La mort, Chaucer uses it 
•frequently » and it is common to all writers of Shakspeare's age. 


Bidding the law make court'sy to their will ; 

Hooking both right and wrong to llie appetite. 

To follow aa it draws ! I'll to my brother : 

Thongh he hath fallen by prompture ^ of the bloodj 

Yet hatli he in him such a mind of honour. 

That had he twenty heads to tender down 

On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up. 

Before his sister shonld her body stoop 

To such abhorr'd pollution. 

Then Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die : 

More than our brother is our chastity. 

I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request. 

And tit his mind to death, for his sonl'a rest. 


SCENE I. A Room in the Prism. 

Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost. 

Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord An- 

Chatd. The miserable have no other medicine. 
But only hope : 
I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die. 

Duke. Be absolute ' for death ; either death or life. 
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Keasou thus with 

If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing 
That none but fools would keep-: a breath thou urt, 
(Servile to all the skiey influences), 


That dost this habitation, where thou kecp'st^. 
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool; 
Por him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun. 
And yet ruan'st toward him atill : Thou art not noble ; 
for all the accommodations that thou bear'st. 
Are Durs'd by baseuess*: Thou art by no means 

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork 
Of a poor worm^: Thy best of rest is sleep, 
And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st 
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself; 
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains 
That issue out of dust: Happy thou art not; 
Por what thou haat not, still thou striv'st to get; 
And what thou hast, forget'st : Thou art not certain ; 
Por thy complexion shifts to strange affects^, 
After the moon ; If thou art rich, thou art poor; 
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows. 
Thou beat'st thy heavy riches but a journey, 
And death unloads thee: Friend, hast iJiou none; 
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire. 
The mere effusion of thy proper loins, 

I ' i. B. dwellesl. So, in Henrj IV. Part i : 

I ' 'Twss where the madcap doke bis unelo iept.' 

* .Shakapeare hera meaat lo obscne, tbst a niinule analjsiB o( 
life at once destrD^B tbat Bplendoar wliinh dazxles Ihe iiDagina- 
tioD. WbalEver grandeur can display, or Jnxory enjoj, is prn- 
finred by bastRess^ by oliicea or wliich (be mind ghrjnkfl frnm ibe 
oontemplatiDn. All tbe delicacies of tbe table nay be (raced 
back to tbe ahambles and tbe daagbill, all raagniticeiice of boild- 
¥aB befln froui tbe qaarrv, and all Ihn pomp of oroamenl from 
1^ tbe damps and darkne'sa of the mine. 
Worm is pat for any creepinit tbiog or urpent. Sbakspeare 
adopts the vulgar error, that a serpenl wonads nitb hia loa|pie, 
and that bis tongue it forked. In old tapeatriea and paintings llie 
I tongaCB of serpcDts and dragons alns^a appear barbed like (he 

: old cop; reads effecla. We should read i^ecU, i.e. af- 
, pasaiom of the mind. See Hamlet, Act iii. Sc. 4« 
, VOL. II. F 


Do curse the gout, serpigo'', and the rheum, 

I'or ending thee no sooner: Thou liast nor youth. 

But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep, 
Dreaming; on both"; for all thy blessed youth 
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms 
Of palsied eld ^ ; and when thou art old, and rich. 
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty. 
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this 
Tliat bears the name of life ? Yet in this life 
Lie hid more thousand deaths ; yet death we fear, 
That makes these odds all even. 

Claud. I humbly thank you. 

To sue to live, I find, T seek to die : 
And seeking death, find life : Let it come on. 

Enter Isabella. 
Isab. What, ho ! Peace here ; grace and good 

; the wish deserves 

Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again. 

" This 


ii (he 

gr»tificatioii» lli»l ate before m 

languor at sge with the recoUeetion of jODthfal plensures or per- 

fonnuwet ; bo tfa*t our life, of which no pari is lilJnl witli the 

when the erents of Ihe morning; are mingled with the debigns of 
[he eiening. 

° Oldage. Id yoalh, which ianronghttobe (be Aoppiesl time, 

dependent on pained eld; must beg alms from Ihe colTers of hoar; 
aHTJce; and beiog yerj niggardljF snpplied. becomet aa nurd. 
looks like an old man on happioeanbejond hi 

< old and 
all that fonne 

old man 

■ich, wlicd be I ^ _ 

riy excited his desires, be fau no lon^i the pai 


Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you. 

Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. 

Prov. And very welcome. Look^ signior^ here's 
your sister. 

Duke. Provost, a word with you. 

Prov^ As many as you please. 

Duke. Bring me to hear them speak, where I 
may be conceal'd '^^j 
Yet hear them. ^ [Exewnt Duke and Provost. 

Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort ? 

hah. Why, as all comforts are, most good indeed : 
Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven. 
Intends you for his swift embassador. 
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger^^ : 
Therefore your best appointment^ make with speed ; 
To-morrow you set on. 

Claud. Is there no remedy ? 

Isah. None, but such remedy, as to save a head. 
To cleave a heart in twain. 

Claud. But is there any ? 

Isab. Yes, brother, you may live ; 
There is a devilish mercy in the judge. 
If you'll implore it, that will free your life. 
But fetter you till death. 

Claud. Perpetual durance? 

Isab. Ay, just, perpetual durance ; a restraint. 
Though all the world's vastidity ^^ you had. 
To a determined scope 1*. 

Claud. But in what nature ? 

'^ The first folio reads, ' bring them to hear me speak, &c.' the 
second folio reads, ' bring them to speak.' The emendation is by 

^^ A leiger is a resident. * *^ i. e. preparation. 

*' i. e. yastness of extent. 

** ' To a determined scope.' A confinement of jonr mind to 
one painfol idea: to ignominy, of which the remembrance can 
neither be suppressed nor escaped. 


Isab. In such a one as (you conBenting to'l) 
Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear. 
And leave you naked ^^. 

Claud. Let me know the point. 

hab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quaki 
Lest tliou a feverous life should'at entertain, 
And six or seven winters more respect 
Thau a perpetual honour. Dar'st thou die 7 
The sense of death is most in apprehension; 
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon. 
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great 
As when a giant dies '^. 

Claud. Why give you me this shame? 

Think you I can a resolution fetch 
From flowery tenderness? If I must die, 
I will encounter darkness as a bride. 
And hug it in mine arms. 

Imb. There spake my brother; there my father': 
Did utter forth a voice ! Yes, thou must die : 
Thou art too noble to conserve a life 
In base appliances. This outward- sainted deputy, — 
Whose settled visage and deliberate word 
Nips youth i'lhe head, and follies doth enmew*', 
As falcon doth the fowl, — is yet a devil ; 

Tbi) facaatirnl passage is in all oar minds and memories, bat it 
moat freqaeolly alandx in <)natBtion detached from Ihe antecedent 
line:— 'The sense of death it mnst in a|>pnihensian,' witbont 

' Tear a (be principal sensBliaB in death, which has no pain ; aod 
the giant nlien he dies feels no greater pain than the heetlel' 

" ' Id irhase presence the follies of joulh are afraid to ebow 
IbensalTeB, as tbe fowl is afraid to Butter while Ihe falcon haters 
nier it.' To maea is a term in Falconry, lignifyiBg to restrain, 
to keep in a mew or cage cither bj force or t">™-. 



His filth within being cast, he would appear 
A pond as deep as hell. 

Claud. The princfely Angelo ? 

Isab, O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell. 
The damned'st body to invest and cover 
In princely guards ^^! Dost thou think, Claudio, 
If I would yield him my virginity. 
Thou might'st be freed ? 

Clavd. O, heavens ! it cannot be. 

Isab, Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank 
So to offend him still ^^ : This night's the time 
That I should do what I abhor to name. 
Or else thou diest to-morrow. 

Claud, Thou shalt not do't. 

Isab, O, were it but my life, 
I'd throw it down for your deliverance 
As frankly ^® as a pin. 

Claud, Thanks, dear Isabel. 

Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow. 

Claud, Yes. — Has he affections in him. 
That thus can make him bite the law by the nose. 
When he would force it^^? Sure it is no sin; 
Or of the deadly seven it is the least. 

Isab. Which is the least ? 

Claud, If it were damnable, he, being so wise. 
Why, would he for the momentary trick. 
Be perdurably fin'd ? — O Isabel ! 

'^ Guards were trimmings, facings, or other ornaments applied 
upon a dress. It here stands, by synecdoche, for dress. 

^^ i. e. ' From the time of mj committing this offence, joa 
might persist in sinning with safety.' 

«> Frankly, freely. 

^* ' Has he passions that impel him to transgress the law at the 
very moment tiiat he is enforcing it against others ? Svreiy then 
it cannot be a sin so very heinoas, since Angelo, who is so wise, 
will venture it ? Shakspeare shows his knowledge of human na- 
ture in the conduct of Claudio. 



/wifi. What says my bi'otlier? 

Cland. Death is a fearful thing. 

liab. And shamed life a hateful. 

Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where ; 
To lie in cold obatnictioD, and to rot: 
This sensible warm motion to become 
A kneaded clod; and the delighted^ spirit 
To bathe in tiery floods, or to reside 
In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice^; 
To be imprison'd in the viewless-* winds, 
And blown with restless violence round about 
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst 
Of those, that lawless and incertain thoughts 
Imagine howling !^ — -'tis too horrible I 
The weariest and most loathed worldly life, 
TTiat age, ach, penury, and imprisonment 
Can lay on nature, is a paradise 
To what we fear of death. 

Inab. Alas 1 alas ! 

Cland. Sweet sister, let me live: 

What sin you do to save a brother's life. 
Nature dispenses with the deed so far. 
That it becomes a virtue. 

hab. O, you beast! 

O, faithless coward ! O, dishonest wretch ! 

" Deligiled, is oocBsiomillj used bj Sh«k»tieate for deUghlfid, 
or uaoaing delight ; delighted In. So, in Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3 : 

' If virtue no delighted beaat; lack.' 
And CjnibellDe, Act r. Sc. 4 : 

' Whom bBBt I loie, I cmis, lo make my gift 
The more delsjed, delighted. 
" Jonaon, in his Cstaline, Act ii. So. 4, has a similar expres- 
sioB; — ' We're spirits bnand in rita of ice.' Shakspenie retotns 
to the TUious destinations at the diaeiobodied Sj 
thetio speech of Othello in the filUi AoL Milton « 
but Shafcspeaie before ' ' 
FaradiM Lost, v. S9S— 
" VieaUsj, invisible, 


Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice ? 

Is't not a kind of incest, to take life 

From thine own sister's shame ? What should I think ? 

HeaTen shield, my mother play'd my father fair ! 

For such a warped slip of wilderness ^ 

Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take my defiance ^^ : 

Die; perish! might but my bending down 

Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed : 

I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death, 

No word to save thee. 

Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel. 

Tsab, O, fye, fye, fye ! 

Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade ^ : 
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd : 
'Tis best that thou diest quickly. [Going. 

Claud. O hear me, Isabella. 

Re-enter Duke. 

DvJte. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one 

Isab. What is your will ? 

Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I 
would by and by have some speech with you : the 
satisfaction I would require, is likewise your own 

Imb, I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must 
be stolen out of other affairs ; but I will attend you 
a while. 

Duke. [To Claudio, 4iside.] Son, I have over- 
heard what hath past between you and your sister. 
Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only 
he hath made an essay of her virtue, to practise his 
judgment with the disposition of natures: she, hav- 
ing the truth of honour in her, hath made him that 
gracious denial which he is most glad to receive : I 


^ Wilderness, for wildness. * i. e. my refusal, 

^ Trade, an established habit, a custom, a practice* 



am confessoi to Angelo, and I know this to be true ; 
therefore prepare yourself to death : Do not satisfy 
your resolution''^ with hopes that are fallible: to- 
morrow you must die; °;o to your knees, and make 

Claud. Let me nsk my sister pardon. I am so 
out of love with life, that I will sue to be rid of it. 
JHhe. Hoia=s you there: Farewell. 

[^Exit Claudio, 

Re-enter Provost. 
Provost, a word with you. 

pToe. ^V hat's your will, father? 

Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone : 
Leave me awhile with the maid ; my mind promises 
with my habit, no loss shall touch her by my com- 

Prov. In good time*'. [£«( Provost. 

Duk£. The hand that hath made you fair, hath 
made you good : the goodness, that is cheap in 
beauty, makes beauty brief in goodness ; but grace, 
being the soul of your complexion, should keep the 
body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath 
made to you, fortune hath convey'd to my under- 
standing; and, but that frailty hath examples for his 
falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How would 
you do to content this substitute, and to save yonr 
brother ? 

laab. I am now going to resolve him : I had ra- 

" Do fwi aaiisfy jroBr resolution, appears to aignifj rfo no( 
ijuKich or eslinriHiak your raolulioit •niikfaltible iopn. Satufy 

stint! u Id the phraxe * Sormw is satixJiEd with leara; Dolor 
espUtur laohijioia. — To satisfy or )!«( liunuer ; Fomem Kiptert. 
Ta fwnii or saliifj thirst : Sititn expbre.'' A <^onjeclll^f of llie 
Hon. Charlei Yorke'i on this pasHge Kill be foDDd ia Warbiir- 
ton's Lctlera, p. SOO, Sin.ed. 

^ Bold ym there: continue in thai resolulion. 



ther my brother die by the law, than my son should 
be unlawfully bom. But 0, how niucli is the good 
duke deceived in Angelo ! If ever he return, and I 
can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, ut 
discover his government. 

Duke. That shall not be much amiss : Yet, as 
the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusa- 
tion; he made trial of you only. — Therefore, fasten 
your ear on my advisings ; to the love I have b do- 
ing good, a remedy presents itself. I do make my- 
self believe, that you may most uprighteously do a 
poor wronged lady a merited benefit; redeem your 
broker from the angry law; do no stain to your 
own gracious person; and much please the absent 
duke, if, peradventuve, he shall ever return to have 
hearing of this business. 

Isab. Let me hear you speak further; I have spirit 
to do any thing that appears not foul in the trutli of 
my spirit. 

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. 
Have you not heard speak of Mariana the sister of 
Frederick, the great soldier, who miscarried at sea? 

Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words 
went witli her name. 

Duke. Her should this Angelo have married; was 
affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: 
between which time of the contract, and limit^^ of 
the solemnity, ber brother Frederick was wrecked 
at sea, having in that perish'd vessel the dowry of 
his sister. But mark, how heavily this befell to the 
poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and re- 
nowned brother, in his love toward her ever most 
kind and natural ; with him the portion and sinew 
of her fortune, her marriage dowry ; with both, her 
combinate^^ husband, this well-seeming Angelo, 

. appoiBted time. ^ i. e, betrotfaed* 


Isab. Cat) tins be so t Did Angelo so leave herT 

Duke. Left her id her tears, and dry'd. not one of 
them with his comfort; swallowed his tows whole, 
pretending, in her, discoveries of dishonour : in few, 
bestowed ^^ her on her own lamentation, which she 
yet wears for his sake ; and he, a marble to bcr 
tears, is washed with them, but relents not- 

I»ab. What a merit were it in death, to take this 
poor maid from the world ! What corruption in this 
life, that it will let this man live ! — But how out of 
this can she avail? 

Huke. It is a rupture that you may easily heal : 
and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but 
keeps you from dishonour in doing it. 

liab. Show me how, good father. 

Duke. This forenamed maid hath yet in ber the 
continuance of her first affection ; his unjust unkind- 
ness, that in all reason should have quenched her 
lovf , hath, Uke an impediment in the current, made 
it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo: 
answer his requu'ing with a plausible obedience ; 
agree with his demands to the point: only refer" 
yourself to this advantage,^ — first, that your stay 
with him may not be long; ihat the time may have 
all shadow and silence in it; and the place answer 
to convenience: this being' granted in course, now 
follows all. We shaU advise this wi'onged maid 
to stead up your appointment, go in your place ; if 
the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may 
compel him to her recompense : and here, by this, 
is your brother saved, your honour untainted, the 
poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy 

« fle/ir s™™f/. ba™ recourse io. 



scaled ^. The inaid will I frame, and make fit for 
his attempt. If you think well to carry this as 
you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the 
deceit from reproof. What think you of it? 

hah. The image of it gives me content already ; 
and, I trusty it will grow to a most prosperous per- 

Duke. It lies much in your holding up : Haste 
you speedily to Angelo ; if for this night he entreat 
you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. 
I will presently to St. Luke's ; there, at the moated 
grange^, resides this dejected Mariana: At that 
place call upon me; and despatch with Angelo, 
that it may be quickly. 

Isab, I thank you for this comfort: I^are you 
well, good father. [Exeunt severally. 

SCENE II. The Street before the Prism. 

Enter Duke, as a Friar; to him Elbow, Clown, 

and Officers. 

Elb. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that 
you will needs buy and sell men and women like 
beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and 
white bastard^. 

Duke. O, heavens! what stuff is here? 

Clo. 'Twas never merry world, since, of two 
usuries, the merriest was put down, and the worser 
allow'd, by order of law, a furr'd gown to keep him 

^ i. e. stripped of his covering or disguise, his affectation of 
Tirtne ; desguamattts. A metaphor of a similar nature has before 
occurred in this play, taken from the barking, peeling, or strip- 
ping of trees. I cannot convince myself that it means weighed, 
unless we could imagine that counterpoised was intended. 

^ Grange, a solitary farm-house. 

' Bastard. A sweet wine. Raisin wine, according to Minshew. 



warm; and ftirr'd with fox and lamb-skins" too, W 
Bi^it'y, that craft, being richer than innocency, standn 
for the facing. 

Elb. Come your way, sir: — Bless you, good fa- 
ther friar. 

Duke. And you, good brother fatber^: What 
offence halh this man made you, sir? 

Elb. Many, sir, he hath offended the law ; and, 
sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have 
found upon him, sir, a strange pick-lock^, which we 
have sent to the deputy. 

Duke. Fye, sirrah; a bawd, a wicked bawd I 
The evil that thou causest to be done. 
That is thy means to live; Do thou but think 
What 'tis to cram a maw, or clothe a back. 
From such a filthy vice : say to thyself, — 
From their abominable and beastly touches 

1 drink, I eat, array myself, and live. 
Canst thou believe thy living is a life, 

So stinkingly depending? Go, mend, go, mend. 

Clo. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but 
yet, sir, I would prove 

Dukf. Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs 
for sin, 
Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer; 
Correction and inatniction must both work. 
Ere this rude beast will profit. 

were both Died bi 

&o. 1631;— ' A 

'' Tile Dake 
had called him I 
friar being deri- 


EUf. He must before the deputy^ sir; he has given 
him warning: the deputy cannot abide a whore-' 
master : if he be a whoremonger, and comes before 
him, he were as good go a mfle on his errand. 

Duke. That we were all, as some would seem to be. 
Free from our faults, as faults from seeming, free^ ! 

Enter Lucio. 

Elb. His tieck will come to your waist, a cord^, 

Clo. I spy comfort; I cry, bail: Here's a gentle- 
man, and a friend of mine. 

Lucio. How now, noble Pompey ? What, at the 
heels of Caesfur? Art thou led in triumph? What, 
is there none of Pygmalion's images, newly made 
woman ^, to be had now, for putting the hand in the 
pocket and extracting it clutch'd ? What reply ? Ha ? 
What say'st thou to this tune, matter, and method? 
Is't not drown'd i'the last rain? Ha? What say'st 
thou, trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is 
the way ? Is it sad, and few words ? Or how ? The 
trick of it? 

Duke. Still thus, and thus ! still worse ! 

Lucio. How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress ? 
Procures she still ? Ha ? 

Clo. Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, 
and she is herself in the tub^. 

^ i. e. ' As faults are free from or destitute of all oomeliDess or 

^ His neck will be tied, like jour waist, with a cord* The 
friar wore a rope for a girdle. 

' i. 6tf Hate yon no new coortesans to recommend to your cus- 

^ The method of cure for a certain disease was grossly called 
the powdering tub. See the notes on the tub fast «id the diet, in 
Timon of Athens, Act iy. in the Variorum Shakspeare. 



Zucio. ^Vby. 'tis good; it is the right of it; it 
must be so: Ever your I'resh whoie, and your pow- 
der'dbawd: An unsiiunn'd" consequence; 
be so : Art going to prison, Fompey 7 

Ch. Yea, faith, sir. 

Lucio. Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey: Farewell! 
Go ; say, I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey T 
Or how ? 

Elb. For being a bawd, for being a, bawd. 

Lucio. Well, then imprison him: If imprisonment 
be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right : Bawd is 
he, doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-bom. 
Farewell, good Pompey: Commend me to the pri- 
son, Pompey; You will turn good husband now, 
Pompey; you will keep the house'". 

Clo. I hope, sir, yonr good worship will be my bail, 

Imcio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not 
the wear". I will pray, Pompey, to uicrease your 
bondi^e: if you take it not patiently, why your mettle 
is the more ; Adieu, trusty Pompey. — Bless you, 

Duke. And you. 

Lucio. Does Bridget paint still, Pompey? Ha? 

Elb. Gome your ways, sir; come. 

Clo. 'Yon will not bail me then, sir? 

Lucio. Then, Pompey? nor now.— What news 
abroad, friar? Whatnewa? 

Eib. Come your ways, sir; come. 

Lucia. Go, — to kennel, Pompey, go: 

[Exeanl Eibow, Clown, aad Officers. 
What news, friar, of the duke? 

Duke. I know none: Can you tell me of any! 


Ludo. Some say, he is with the emperor of Russia ; 
other some, he is in Rome : But where is he, think 

Duke. I know not where: But wheresoever, I 
wish him well. 

Lucio, It was a mad fant-astical trick of him, to 
steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was 
never bom to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his 
absence ; he puts transgression to 't. 

Duke. He does well in't. 

Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do 
no harm in him : something too crabbed that way, 

Duke. It is too general a vice, and severity must 
cure it. 

Zaudo. Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great 
kindred ; it is well ally'd : but it is impossible to 
extirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put 
down. They say, this Angelo was not made by 
man and woman, after the downright way of crea- 
tion : Is it true, think you? 

Duke, How should he be made then ? 

Lucio. Some report a sea-maid spawn'd him : — 
Some that he was begot between two stock-fishes : 
— But it is certain, that when he makes water, his 
urine is congeal'd ice; that I know to be true: and 
he is a motion ^^ ungenerative, that's infallible. 

Duke, You are pleasant, sir; and speak apace. 

Lucio. Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, 
for the rebellion of a cod-piece, to take away the 
life of a man? Would the duke, that is absent, have 
done this ? Ere he would have hang'd a man for the 
getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for 
the nursing of a thousand : He had some feeling of 

*^ i. e. a pappet, or moving body, without the power of gene- 



the sport; he knew the service, and that instructed I 
him to mercy. 

JOvJte. I never heard tlie absent duke much de- ' 
tected " for women ; he was not inclined that way. 

Lucio. O, sir, you are deceived. 

Duke, Tis not passible. 

Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of ] 
fifty ;— and his use waa, to put a ducat in her clack- 
dish": the duke had crotchets in him: He would ' 
be drunk too; that let me inform you. 

Duke. You do him wrong, surely. 

Lucio. Sir, I vras an inward '^ of his : A shy fellovr 
was the duke; and, I believe, I know the cause of 
his withdrawing. 

Duke. What, I pr'ythee, might be the cause? 

Lucio. No, — pardon; — 'tisa secret must be lock'd 
within the teeth and the lips : but this I can let you 
understand, — The greater file ''' of the subject held 
the duke to be wise. 

Duke. Wise? why, no question but he wag. 

Lucio. A very superJicial, ignorant, unweighing''' 

Ihike. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mis- 
taking; the very stream of his life, and the business 
he hath helmed*", must, upon a warranted need, 
give him a better proclamation. Let him be but 

13 Belertedfnrsnspecled. 8eeMeiTjWLresofW;iidsor,p.254. 

" A wooden disb vitta a moveBbJe cover, farmerl; cBrried bj 
beggara, which thej clacked and elallered to show tbal it w» 
emply. In thi» thej received the alms. It was one mode of at- 
trecliog attention. Lepers tod other panpera deemed infectioni, 
origiDaJlf used it, that Ibe aoDnd migbt giie warning not Id ap- 

rbe custom of dacki-ig at Easier is not je 
.onntiea. Lticio'a meaning U loo evident 

" ' The greater fie,' the majoritj' of bia 

" i. e. inconaiderale. 

1" Guided, steered through,»u. 




testimoiiied in his own bringings forth, and he shall 
appear to the enyious, a scholar, a statesman, and a 
soldier: Therefore, you speak unskilfully; or, if 
your knowledge be more, it is much darkened in 
your malice. 

Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him. 

Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and 
knowledge with dearer love. 

Lucio, Come, sir, I know what I know. 

Duke. I can hardly believe that, since you know 
not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return 
(as our prayers are he may), let me desire you to 
make your answer before him: If it be honest you 
have ipoke, you have courage to maintain it: I am 
bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your 

Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio ; well known to the 

Duke, He shall know you better, sir, if I may 
live to report you. 

Lucio. I fear you not. 

Duke. O, you hope the duke will return no more; 
or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite ^^. But, 
indeed, I can do you little harm; youUl forswear 
this again. 

Lucio. I'll be hang'd first: thou art deceived in 
me, friar. But no more of this : Canst thou tell if 
Claudio die to-morrow, or no? 

Duke. Why should he die, sir? 

Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-dish. 
I would, the duke, we talk of, were retum'd again : 
this ungenitur'd^ agent will unpeople the province 

'' Opposite, opponent. 

^ Ungenitur^dL This word seems to be formed from gemUnrs, 
a word which occnrs seyeral times in Holland's Pliny, toI. ii. 
p. 321, 660, 689, and oomes from the French gmUoires* 


n hia ■ 


with coDtinency; sparrows must not build 
buuse-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke 
yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he 
would never bring them to light: would he were 
retum'd I Marry, this Claudio is condemn'd for un- 
trusaing. Farewell, good friar; 1 pr'ythee, pray for 
ine. The duke, 1 say to thee again, woidd eat mut- 
ton *' on Fridays. He's now past it ; yet, and I say 
to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though she 
smelt^ brown bread and garlick: say, that I said 
so. Farewell. \^Exit. 

Duke. No might nor greatness in mortality 
Can censure 'scape; back^wouoding calumny 
The whitest virtue strikes : What king so strcmg. 
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue? 
But who comes here? 

Enter Escalus, Provost, Bawd, and Officers. 

Eical. Go, away with her to prison. 

Bawd. Good my lord, be good to me; your ho- 
nour is accounted a merciful man ; good my lord. 

Escal. Double and treble admonition, and still 
forfeit"^ in the same kind? This would make mercy 
swear, and play the tyrant, 

Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may 
it please your honour. 

Bated. My lord, this is one Liicio's information 
against me: mistress Kate Keep-down was with 
child by him in the duke's time, he promised her 
marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, 
come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself; and 
see how he goes about to abuse me. 

"' A ivencb wgs calkd s Uced mutloii. \a Doctor Fanstng, 
1604, LecberysnjE, ' I am one tLat loies an iuoh o( raw motto* 
belter Ihan an dl of slooli-fisli.' See vol. i, a. 102, Hole 8. 

o Small, for imcU of. 

" f or/«(, Itanigress, off 


Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much licence :— 
let him be called before us. — Away with her to. 
prison: Goto; no more words. [Exeunt Bowd and 
Officers.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be 
alter'd, Claudio must die to-morrow: let him be 
furnished with divines, and have all charitable prcr 
paration: if my brother wrought by my pity, it 
should not be so with him. 

Prav. So please you, this friar hath been with him, 
and advised him for the entertainment of death. 

Escal, Good even, good father. 

Duke, Bliss and goodness on you ! 

Escal. Of whence are you? 

Duke, Not of this country, though my chance is 
To use it for my time : I am a brother 
Of gracious order, late come from the see. 
In special business from his holiness. 

Escal. What news abroad i' the world ? 

Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on 
goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: 
novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to 
be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to 
be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce 
truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but 
security enough, to make fellowships accurs'd^^: 
much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. 
This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. 
I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke? 

Escal. One, that, above all other strifes, con- 
tended especially to know himself* 

Duke. What pleasure was he given to? 

Escal. Ks^ther rejoicing to see another merry, than 

^ The allusion is to those legal securities into which fellowship 
leads men to enter for each other. For this qnihble Shakspear^ 
has high authoritj, * He that hateth suretiship if sure,* ProT^ 
xi. 15. ; . V . 


merry at any thing which professed to make him re- 
joice; a gentlemim of all tempemace. But leave 
vre him to his events, with a prayer they may prove 
prosperous ; and let me desire to know how you find 
Claudio prepared. I am made to understand, that ^ 
you have lent him visitation. I 

Duke. He professes to have received no sinister'' 
measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles 
himself to die determination of justice; yet had he 
framed to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, 
many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my 
good leisure, have discredited to him, and now is 
he resolved'* to die. 

Eical. You have paid the heavens ynur function, 
and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I 
have labonr'd for the poor gentleman, to the ex- 
tremest shore of my modesty; but my brother jus- 
tice have I found so severe, that he halh forced me 
to tell him, he is indeed— justice •''. 

Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his 
proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein, if 
he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself. 

Escal. I amgoingto visit the prisoner: Fareyou 

Dnke. Peace be with you! 

[Exeunt Escalus and Provost. 
He, who the aword of heaven will bear. 
Should be as holy as severe; 
Pattern in himself to know, 
Graco to stand, and virtue e 


More nor less to others paying, 

Than by self-offences weighing. 

Shame to him, whose cruel striking 

Kills for faults of his own liking! 

Twice treble shame on Angelo, 

To. weed my vice^, and let his grow? 

O, what may man within him hide. 

Though angel on the outward side ! 

How may likeness, made in crimes. 

Mocking^, practice on the times. 

To draw with idle spiders* strings 

Most pond'rous and substantial things! 

Craft against vice I must apply : 

With Angelo to-night shall lie 

His old betrothed, but despised ; 

So disguise shall, by the disguis'd. 

Pay with falsehood false exacting. 

And perform an old contracting. [Exit. 

^ The duke s vice may be explained bj what be sajs himself, 
Act i. Sc. 4. 

* 'twas my fault to give the people scope.". 

Angelo's vice requires no explanation. 

^ ' How may lihenesSf made in crimes, 
Mocking, practice on the times.' 
The old copies read tnahing. The emendation is Mr. Malone's. 
The sense of this obscnre passage appears to be :■ — ' How may 
persons assuming the Hheness or semblance of virtne, while they 
are in fact goilty of the grossest crimes, impose with this coun- 
terfeit sanctity npon the world, in order to draw to themselves by 
the flimsiest pretensions the most solid advantages ; snch as plea- 
sure, hononr, repntation, &c.' Moche and make in old MSS. are 
easily confounded, and the words have frequently been thus mis- 
printed in the old editions of these plays ; in this very play we 
have before make instead of mock. [See p. 18, note 1.] Malone 
is generally sufficiently scmpnloas in adhering to the old read- 
ings where it is possible to elucidate them. On the present 
occasion I think his emendation just and necessary. It is well 
supported by the frequent use the poet makes of the word mock. 
Thus in Macbeth : — 

' Away and nutck the lime with fairest show,' 
Made in crimes, is trained in iniquity and perfect in it« Likenesf 
is seeming^ 



SCENE I. A Room in Mariana's Hoitse. 
Mariana discovered fitting; a Boy singing. 

Take, oh take those lips away. 

Thai so sweetly were forsworn ; 
And those eyes, the break of day. 

Lights that do mislead the mom: 
Sut my kisses bring again, 

bring again. 
Seals of love, but seaCd in vain, 

Mori. Break off tliy song, and haste thee quick 

Here conies a man of comfort, whose advice 
Hath often still'd my brawling discontent. — 

[Erii Boy. 
Enter Duke. 
I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish 
You had not found me here so musical : 

riefatlj belong!. It a SoaoA with ai 

I additiooalatuisain Fletober' 

Bloody Brotber. Mr. Malone pr[t 

.UitulJbakapeare'B, Mr. Boa 

»e!l Ibinka Fletcher hat tlie best 

, cisim to il, Mr. Weber tha 

first stanza and Fletcher th 

abakspeare inaj Have written Ette 
lecond. It maj indeed be the pr< 

ipertj of aoiue unknown or for 

gotten aalbor. Be this aa il maj 

, the reader will be pleated t 

baTe tb. aecoad atema. 

• Hide, ob bide thoie hi! 

la of snow 

■Which Ibj frozen boa. 

om beara, 

On whose tops the pink) 

, that glow 

Are of those that Apr 

il wears. 


Let me excuse me, and believe me so, — 

My mirth it much displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe ^« 

Duke* Tis good : though musick oft hath such a 
To make bad, good, and good provoke to harm. 
I pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me 
here to-day? much upon this time have I promised 
here to meet. 

Mori. You have not been inquired after: I have 
sat here all day. 

Enter Isabella. 

Duke. I do constantly believe you: — ^The time 
is come, even now. I shall crave your forbearance 
a little; may be, I will call upon you anon, for some 
advantage to yourself. 

MarL I am always bound to you. [Exit. 

Duke. Very well met, and welcome. 
What is the news from this good deputy ? 

Isah. He hath a garden circummur'd^ with brick. 
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd ; 
And to that vineyard is a planched^ gate. 
That makes his opening with this bigger key: 
This other doth command a little door. 
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads; 
There have I made my promise to call on him. 
Upon the heavy middle of the night. 

Duke, But shall you on your knowledge find this 

I9ah. I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't; 
With whispering and most guilty diligence. 
In action all of precept, he did show me 
The way twice o'er. 

' Though the music sootiied mj sorrows, it bad no tendency to 
produce light merriment. 

^ Circummur*d, walled round. * Ptanehed, planked, wooden. 


Duke. Are there no other tokens 

Between you 'greed, concerning her observance? 

Imb. No, none, but only a repair i'the dark; 
And that I have possess'd^ him, my most sta^y 
Ca.n be but brief: for I have made him know, 
I have a servant comes with me along. 
That stays'' upon me; whose persuasion is, 
T come about my brother. 

Duke. Tis well borne np. 

I have not yet made known to Mariana 
A word of this: — What, ho! within! come forth I ' 

Re-eater MaRIANA. 
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid; 
She comes to do you good. 

hab. I do desire the like. 

Duke. Do you persuade yours elf that I respect you ? 

ilfaii. Goodfriar,Iknowyoudo; andliavefoundit. 

Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand, 
Who hath a story ready for your ear : 
I shall attend your leisure; but make haste; 
The vaporous night approaches. 

Slari. Will 't please you walk aside ? 

\Exeajit Mariana and Isabella. 

Ditke. O place andgreatness, millions of false eyes 
Are stuck upon thee ! volumes of report 
Run with these false and most contrarious quests^ 
Upon thy doings? thousand 'scapes^ of wit 
Make thee the father of their idle dream. 
And rack thee in their fancies ! — Welcome ! How 

« i. e. iH/oni«A Thm Shjlocli says— 


Re-enter Mariana uTid Isabella. 

IsaJf. She'll take the enterprise upon her, father. 
If you advise it. 

Duke, It is not my consent. 

But my entreaty too. 

Isab. Little have you to say. 

When you depart from him, but, soft and low. 
Remember now my brother, 

Mari, Fear me not. 

Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all : 
He is your husband on a pre-contrdct: 
To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin ; 
Sith that the justice of your title to him 
Doth flourish^ the deceit. Come, let us go ; 
Our corn's to reap, for yet our tilth 's ^^ to sow. 


SCENE II. A Room in the Prison, 

Enter Provost and Clown. 

Prov, Come hither, sirrah : Can you cut off a 
man's head? 

Clo, If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can : but if 
he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I 
can never cut off a woman's head. 

Prov, Come, sir, leave me your . snatches, and 
yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are 
to die Claudio and Bamardine: Here is in our pri- 
son a common executioner, who in his office lacks 
a helper : if you will take it on you to assist him, it 
shall redeem you from your gyves ^; if not, you 

' i. e. ornament, embellish an action that would otherwise seem 

*^ Tilih here means land prepared for sowing. The old copy 
reads tithe; the emendation is Warbnrton's, y.p. 19. note 6. ante, 
M. e. fetters. 



shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your 
deliverance with an unpitied* whipping; for yoa 
have been a notorious bawd. 

C'lo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time ont 
of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful 
hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruc- 
tion from my fellow partner. 

Prov. What ho, Abhorson ! Where's AbUorson, 

Eater Abhorson, 

Abhor. Do yon call, sir? 

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to- 
morrow in your execution: If you think it meet, 
compound with him by the year, and let him abide 
here with you ; if not, use him for the present, and 
dismiss him : He cannot plead his estimation vritii 
you; he hath been a bawd. 

Abitor, A bawd, air ? Fye upon him, he will dis- 
credit our mystery. 

Prov. Go to, air; you weigh equally; a feather 
will turn the scale. [Elxit. 

Cla. Pray, sir, by your good favour (for, surely, 
sir, a ^od favour^ you have, but that you have a 
hanging look), do you call, sir, your occupation a 
mystery ? 

Abhor. Ay, sir; a mystery. 

Clo. Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery ; 
aad yonr whores, sir, bemg members of ray occupa- 
tioa, using painting, do prove my occupation a mys- 
tery : but what mystery there should be in hanging;, 
if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine. 

Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery. 

Clo. Proof. 

Abhor. Everytnie* maa'sapparel fits yourthiefr 


If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks 
it big enough ; if it be too big for your thief, your 
thief thinks it little enough : so every true man's ap- 
parel fits your thief ^. 

Re-enter Provost. 

Prov. Are you agreed ? 

Clo. Sir, I ivill serve him; for I do find, your 
banyan is a more penitent trade than your bawd ; 
he doth oftener ask forgiveness. 

Prov. You, sirrah, provide your block and your 
axe, to-mon*ow four o'clock. 

Abhor, Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in 
my trade ; follow. 

Clo, I do desire to learn, sir; and, I hope, if you 
have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall 
find me yare^; for, truly, sir, for your kindness, I 
owe you a good turn. 

Prov, Call hither Bamardine and Claudio : 

[Exeunt Clown and Abhorson. 
One has my pity ; not a jot the other. 
Being a murderer, though he were my brother. 

Enter Claudio. 

Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death : 
Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow 
Thou must be made immortal. Where's Bamardine ? 

' Warbarton says, ' this proves the thief s trade a mjsterj, not 
the han^an's/ and therefore sapposes that a speech in which the 
hangman proved his trade a mystery is lost, part of this last speech 
being in the old editions given to the clown. Bat Heath observes, 
' The argument of the hangman is exactly similar to that of the 
clown. As the latter pnts in his claim to the whores as members 
of his occupation, and in virtue of their painting would enroll his 
own fraternity in the mystery of painters ; so the former equally 
lays claim to the thieves as members of his occupation, and in their 
right endeavours to rank his brethren the hangmen under the mys- 
tery of fitters of appaiel, or tailors.' ' 

• i. e. ready. 


Claud. As fast lock'd up in alcrp, 
Wben it lies starkly ' in the traveller's bones 
He will not wake. 

Prov. Who can do good on hii 

Well, go, prepare yourself. But hark, what n 

[Knocking wit kin. 
Heaven give your spirits comfort! [£rt(CLAUDio, 

By and by:— 
I hope it is some pardon, or reprieve. 
For the moat gentle Claudio.^Welcome, father. 

Enter Duke. 

Ihike. The best and wholesomest spirits of the 
Envelope yoii, good Provost! Who call'd here of 

Ptov. None, since the curfew ning. 

Duke. Not Isabel? 

Prm. No. 

Jhtke. They will then, ere't be long. 

Prov. What comfort Js for Claudio T 

Jhiie. There's some in hope. 

Prov. It is a bitter deputy. 

Duke. Not so, not so; his life is parallet'd 
Even with the stroke" and line of his great justice; 
He doUi with holy abstinence subdue 
That in himself, which he spurs on his power 
To qualify ^ in others ; were he meal'd '" 
With that which he corrects, then were he tyrannous; 
But this being so, he's just. — Now are they come. — 
[Knocking within. — Provost goea out. 

■ To qualify ii lo temper 
» Mtatd ■ppears lo moi 
ciDDol Ihiok Ihut in i!i» 


This is a gentle provost: Seldom when^^ 

The steeled gaoler is the friend of men.— ^ 

How now ? What noise ? That spirit's possess'd with 

That wounds the unsisting^^ postern with these 


Provost returns, speaking to one at the door. 

Prov. There he must stay, until the officer 
Arise to let him in; he is call'd up. 

Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet. 
But he must die to-morrow? 

Prov, None, sir, none. 

Duke. As near the dawning, Provost, as it is, 
You shall hear more ere morning. 

Prov. Happily ^^, 

You something know ; yet, I believe, there comes 
No countermand ; no such example have we : 
Besides, upon the very siege ^* of justice, 
Lord Angelo hath to the publick ear 
Profess'd the contrary. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Duke. This is his lordship's man. 
Prov. And here comes Claudio's pardon. 
Mess. My lord hath sent you this note ; and by 
me this further charge, that you swerve not from 

^* This is absnrdly printed Seldom, when, &c. in all the late 
editions. ' Seidomrvohen (i. e. rarely ^ not often) is the steeled 
gaoler the friend of men.' Thus in old phraseology we haye 
neldom- timet any-token, &c. The comma between seldom and 
when is not in the old copy, but an arbitrary addition of some 

'^ The old copies read thus. — Monok Mason proposed, tm- 
listing^ i. e. nnheediog, which is intelligible. Bat I prefer Sir 
W. Blackstone's suggestion, that unsisting may signify ' neyer 
at rest,' always opening. 

^^ HapUy, hapiy, perhaps the old orthography of the word. 

'^ i.e. seat. 



the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or' I 
other circumstance. Good-inoirow ; for, as I take | 
it, it is almost day. 

Prm. I shall obey him. [Exit Messenger, j 

Duke. This is his pardon ; purctaaa'd by such sin. , 
[Agide, I 
For which the pardoner himself is in : 
Hence hadi offence his quick celerity. 
When it is borne in high authority: 
When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended. 
That for the fault's love, is the offender friended.— 
Now, sir, what news ? 

Prav. I told you ; Lord Angelo, be-like, think- 
ing me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this 
unwonted putting on"; methinks, strangely; for he 
hath not used it before. 

Dvke. Pray you, let's hear, 

Proe. [Reads.] Whatsoever ymt may hear to the 
contrary, let Claudia he executedby four of the clock; 
and, in the afternoon, Bamardine : for my better ia- 
tirfaction, let me have Clavdio'» head sent me by Jive, 
Let this be duly performed; with a thimgkt, that 
more dependx on it than we mvit yet deliver. Thut 
fail not to do your office, as yon will answer it at 
yotiT peril. 
What say you to this, sir? 

Duke. What is that Bamardine, who is to be ese-> 
cuted in the afternoon? 

Prov. A Bohemian born ; but here nursed up and 
bred: one that is a prisoner nine years old'^ 

Duke. How came it that the absent duke had not 
either deUver'd him to his liberty, or executed him? 
I have heard, it was ever his manner to do so. 

Prop. His friends still wrought reprieves for him : 


And, indeed, his fact, till now in the goyemment of 
Lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof. 

Duke, Is it now apparent? 

Prov. Most manifest, and not denied by himself. 

Duke, Hath he borne himself penitently in prison? 
How seems he to be touch'd ? 

Prov, A man that apprehends death no more 
dreadfully, but as a drunken sleep : careless, reck- 
less, and fearless of what's past, present, or to come ; 
insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal ^^^ 

Duke, He wants advice. 

Prov, He will hear none : he hath evermore had 
the liberty of the piison; give him leave to escape 
hence, he would not : drunk many times a day, if 
not many days entirely drunk. We have very often 
awaked him, as if to carry him to execution, and 
show'd him a seeming warrant for it: it hath not 
moved him at all. 

Duke, More of him anon. There is written in 
your brow. Provost, honesty and constancy : if I 
read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me ; but 
in the boldness of my cunning ^^, I will lay myself 
in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have a war- 
rant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than 
Angelo who hath sentenced him : To make you un- 
derstand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four 
days respite ; for the which you are to do me both a 
present and a dangerous courtesy. 

Prov, Pray, sir, in what? 

Duke, In the delaying death. 

Prov, Alack ! how may I do it? having the hour 
limited ; and an express command, under penalty, 
to deliver his head in the view of Angelo ? I may 

^7 Perhaps we should read mortally detperat; As we have bar- 
mooioos charmio^y for charmiogly harmonioiu, in the Tempest. 
'^ L e. in ccmfidence of my sagacity. 


make my case as Claudio's, to cross this id the 

Duke. By the vow of mine order, I warrant you, 
if my instructionB may be your guide. Let this 
Bamardbe be this morniiig executed, and his head 
borne to Angelo. 

Ptov. Angelo bath seen them both, and will dis- 
cover the favour '^. 

Ihike. O, death's a great disguiscr: and you may 
add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard; and 
say, it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared. 
before hb death: You know, the course is com- 
mon-". If any thing fall to you upon this, more 
than thanks and good fortune, by the saint whom I 
profess, I will plead against it with my life. 

Prov. Pardon me, good father ; it is against my 

Duhe. Were yoii sworn to the duke, or to the 

Proti. To him, and to his substitutes. 

Duke, Vou will think you have made no offence, 
if the duke avouch the justice of your dealing ? 

Prov. But what likelihood is in that? 

Duhe. Not a resemblance, but a cerla.inty. Ifet 
since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, in- 
tegrity, nor my persuasion, can with ease attempt 
you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all 
fears out of you. Look you, sir, here is the hand 
and seal of the duke. Ifou know the character, I 
doubt not; and the signet is not strange to you. 

Prov. I know them both. 

Duke. The contents of this is the return of the 

" Countenance. 

'" • Sfaive the lieid iind tie the tie«rd— the conrae is camnmn.' 
This prDbaUj alladea to > practice unong Rointui Calholici uf de- 
hiring lo reccicG tLu loiaare of tliu [ouqIlb bcfure thov died. 


duke ; you shall anon overread it at your pleasure ; 
"where you shall find, within these two days he will 
be here. This is a thing that Angelo knows not : 
for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor ; 
perchance, of the duke's death ; perchance, entering 
into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of 
what is writ^^. Look, the unfolding star calls up 
the shepherd ^^. Put not yourself into amazement, 
how these things should be : all difficulties are but 
easy when they are known. Call your executioner, 
and off with Bamardine's head : I will give him a 
present shrift, and advise him for a better place. 
Yet you are amazed ; but this shall absolutely re- 
solve ^ you. Come away ; it is almost clear dawn. 


SCENE III. Another Room in the same. 

Enter Clown. 

Clo. I am as well acquainted here, as I was in 
our house of profession : one would think it were 
mistress Overdone's own house, for here be many 
of her old customers. First, here's young master 
Rash ^ ; he's in for a commodity of brown paper 
and old ginger, ninescore and seventeen pounds ; of 

21 * What is writ ;' we should read *here writ j' the Duke point- 
log to the letter in his hand. 

^ So Milton in Comus : — 

' The star that bids the shepherd fold 
Now the top of heaven doth hold.' 

^ i. e. convince you. 

^ This enumeration of the inhabitants of the prison affords a 
Terj striking view of the practices predominant in Shakspeare's 
age. Besides those whose follies are common to all times, we 
have four fighting men and a traveUer. It is not unlikely that the 
originals of the pictures were then known. Rash was a silken 
stuff formerly worn In coats : all the names are characteristic 


which he made five marks, leady money-: marry, 
then, ginger was not much in request, for the old 
women were all dead. Then is there here one mas- 
ter Caper, at the suit of master Three-pile the mer- 
cer, for some four suits of peach-colour 'd salin, 
which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we 
here young Dizy, and young master Deep-vow, and 
master Copper-spur, and master Starve-lackey the 
rapier and dagger man, and young Drop-hen* that 
kill'd lusty Pudding, and master Forthright the tilter, 
and brave master Shoe-tie the great traveller, and 
wild Half-can that stabb'd PoU, and, I think, forty 
more; all great doers in our trade, and are now for 
the Lord's sake^. 

■' II 

nas tlie praflice of money lendei 

a in Shakapeare'a time. 

ally, to advaa 

as partli in ^ods and 


i.™h. The 

oods were lobe res 

Id eeneriily at ao enor- 



tlial brmen paptr and 

ginger ofteo formed 

apart. This coBlomu 


ed by oddiero 


m S1.ak>pear 

. Id Grccu'l Defe 


'if ho borrow 

a taodred pomid, h 

e shall have fort; b lU- 

d tbfoescore 

D wares; u late a 

broan paper,' ke. • 

Wbich when the poo 

genllemao cane to sell 


a could not m 

ake threescore and 

eninfte hundred be,ido 

IT.' — Quip for m upslart Cou/tic 


> It 


1611, that tbU was the 



aonets wbo were co 

lined for debt addreised 

debt'—' And therefore methjoke it i 
that Inltreil will be jajned wilb Mm, 
and ChU, ooly in the abUtJie eana. I 
posaeasives. For how gre»t -" 


Enter Abhorson. 

Abhor. Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither. 

Clo. Master Barnardine! you must rise and be 
hang'd, master Barnardine ! 

Abhor. What, ho, Bamardiqe ! 

Bamar. [ Within.] A pox o' your throats ! Who 
makes that noise there? What are you? 

Clo. Your friends, sir; the hangman: You must 
be so good, sir, to rise and be put to death. 

Bamar. [Within.] Away, you rogue, away; I 
am sleepy. 

Abhor. Tell him, he must awake, and that quickly 

Clo. Pray, master Barnardine, awake till you are 
executed, and sleep afterwards. 

Abhor. Go in to him, and fetch him out. 

Clo. He is coming, sir, he is coming ; I hear his 
straw rustle. 


Abhor. Is the axe upon the block, sirrah? 

Clo. Very ready, sir. 

Bamar. How now, Abhorson ? what's the news 
with you ? 

Abhor. Truly, sir, I would desire you to clap into 
your prayers; for, look you, the warrant's come. 

Bamar. You rogue, I have been drinking all night, 
I am not fitted for't 

lands be that haonteth tbe compaoy of this impergoiial], if now 
perchance he be able to kepe three perions, at length he tball not 
be able to kepe one : jea he hiaiaelfe shaU thortlj become «neh an 
impersonally that he shall be counted as nobodj, withoot aoj conn' 
tenance, credit, person, or estimation among men. And when be 
bath thns filched, and fleeced bis possessive §o long till be bath 
made him as rich as a new sbom sbeepe, then will be tnm bim to 
commons into LudgaU : when for his ablatiTe ease be shall bmTe 
a dative cage, crmnmg mmd eryimg at the graU, fowr wcrsk^s' 
eharUU for THE LORD*S SAKE.' 


Clo. O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all uight, 
and is hanged betimes in the morning, may steep the 
sounder all the next day. 

Enter Duke. 

Abhor. Look you, sir, here comes your ghostly 
father; Do we jest now, think you? 

Duke. Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing 
how hastily you are to depart, I am come to advise 
you, comfort you, and pray with you. 

Barnar. Friar, not 1; I have been drinking hard 
all uight, and I will have more time to prepare me, 
or they shall beat out my brains with billets : I will 
not consent to die this day, that's certain. 

Duke. O, sir, you must : and dierefore, 1 beseech 


Look forward on the journey you shall go. 

Barnar. I swear, I will not die to-day for any 
man's persuasion. 

Duke. But hear you. 

Barnar. Not a word; if you have any thing to 

say to me, come io my ward; for thence will not I 

to-day. [Exit. 

Enter Ptovost. 

Dnke. ITnfit to live, or die : O, gravel heart!— 
After him, fellows ; bring him to the block. 

[Exeiint Abhorson and Clown. 

Prov. Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner? 

Duke. A creature unprepar'd, unmeet for death; 
And, to transport'' him in the mind he is. 
Were damnable. 

Prov. Here in the prison, father, 

Th»e died this morning of a cruel fever 

* i. e. to remoiG him FrDm one world la aiuithcr. Tbe Prencb 
trlpita Birurd) a kindred sense. 


One Kagozine, a most notorious pirate, 

A man of Claudio'a years ; his beard and head. 

Just of his colour : What if we do omit 

This reprobate, till he were well inclined; 

And satisfy the deputy with the visage 

Of Ragozine, more hke to Claudio ? 

Duke. O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides ! 
Despatch it presently ; the hour draws on 
Prefix'd by Angelo; See, this be done, 
And sent according to command; whiles I 
Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die. 

Proe. This shall be done, good father, presently. 
But Bamardine must die this afternoon : 
And how shall we continue Claudio, 
To save me from the danger that might come, 
If he were known alive? 

D/iAc. Let this be done: — Put them in secret holds, 
Both Barnardine and Claudio: Ere twice 
The sun hath made his Journal greeting to 
The under generation^, you shall find 
Your safety manifested. 

PrOD. I am your free dependant. 

Duke. Quick, despatch. 

And send the head fo Angelo. {Exit Provost, 

Now will I write letters to Angelo, — 
The provost, be shall bear them, — whose contents 
Shall witness to him, I am near at home; 
And that, by great injunctions, I am bound 
To enter publickly : him 111 desire 
To meet me at the cnnsecrated fount, 
A league below the city; aod from tbence. 
By cold grotlation and weal-balanced form. 
We shall proceed with Angelo. 



Re-enter Provost. 

Prov. Here U the head; I'll carry it myself. 

Ihtke. Convenient is it : Make a swift return ; 
For I would commune with you of Huch things. 
That want no ear but youcs. 

Prov. I'll make all speed. 


Jmb. [TTifAtn.] Peace, ho, be here! 

Duie. The tongue of Isabel :— She's come to know. 
If yet her brother's pardon be come hither : 
But I will keep her ignorant of her good. 
To make her heavenly comforts of despair, 
Whea it is least expected. 

Enter Isabella. 

hah. Ho, by your leave. 

Duke. Good morning to you, fair and gracious 

Isab. The better, given me by so holy a man. 
Hath yet the deputy sent ray brother's pardon? 

Duke. He hath releas'd him, Isabel.from the world ; 
His head is off, and sent to Angelo. 

Isab. Nay, but it is not so. 

Duke. It is no other : 

Show your wisdom, daughter, in your close patience. 

Imh. O, I will to him, and pluck out his eyes. 

Dnke. You shall not be admitted to his sight. 

/mJ. Unhappy Claudio ! Wretched Isabel! 
Injurious world! Most damned Angelol 

Duke. This nor hurts him, nor profits you a jot : 
Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven. 
Mark what I say, which you shall find 
By every syllable a faithful verity : 
The duke (>omes home to-morrow ; — nay, dry your 


One of our convent, and his confessor, 

Gives me this instance : Already he hath carried 

Notice to Escalus and Angelo ; 

Who do prepare to meet him at the gates, 

There to give up their power. If you can pace your 

In that good path that I would wish it go ; 
And you shall have your bosom ^ on this wretch, 
Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart. 
And general honour. 

Isab. I am directed by you. 

Duke, This letter then to friar Peter give ; 
^is that he sent me of the duke's return : 
Say, by this token, I desire his company 
At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause, and yours, 
I'll perfect him withal ; and he shall bring you 
Before the duke ; and to the head of Angelo 
Accuse him home, and home. For my poor self, 
I am combined^ by a sacred vow. 
And shall be absent. Wend^ you with this letter; 
Command these fretting waters from your eyes 
With a light heart; trust not my holy order. 
If I pervert your course. — Who's here ? 

Enter Lucio. 

Lucio. Good even ! 

Friar, where is the Provost? 

Duke. Not within, sir. 

Lucio. O, pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart, 
to see thine eyes so red: thou must be patient: I 
am fain to dine and sup^ with water and bran ; I dare 

^ Yoar bosomy is yonr heart's desire, yoar wish. 
7 Shakspeare ases combine for to bind by a pact or agreement ; 
so he calls Angelo the am^inate husband of Mariana. 
® i. e. Go. 


not for my bead fill my belly : one fruitful meal would 
set me to't: But they say the duke will be here to~ 
morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I loy'd thy brother: 
if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been 
at home, he had lived. [Exit Isabella. 

Duke. Sir, the duke is marvellous Uttle beholden 
to your reports ; but the best is, he lives not in them^. 

Lucio. Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well 
as I do : he's a better woodman '" than thou takest 
liim for. 

Dnke. Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare 

Lucio. Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee; I 
can tell thee pretty tales of the duke. 

Duke. Youhave toldmetoo many of hira already, 
sir, if they be true; if not true, none were enough. 

Lucio. I was once before him for getting a wench 
with child. 

Duke. Did you such a thing? 

Lucio. Yes, marry, did I ; but was fain to for- 
swear it; tJiey would else have married me to the 
rotten medlar. 

Duke. Sir, your company is fairer than honest : 
Rest you well. 

Lucio. By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's 

end: If bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little 

of it: Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. 


' i. B. he dependn not od tbem. 

hoDler of i dilTereiX sort of game. So, PuIitaB' asks bia mistreiies 
in the Merrj Wives of Windsor; — 

■ Am I a woodman 7 Ha !" 


SCENE IV. A Room in Angelo's Home, 

Enter Angelo and EscALUS. 

Escal. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouch'd^ 

Ang. In most uneven and distracted manner. His 
actions show much like to madness : pray heaven^ 
his wisdom be not tainted ! And why meet him at 
the gates, and re-deliver our authorities there ? 

Escal. I guess not. 

Ang. And why should we proclaim it in an hour 
before his entering, that, if any crave redress of in- 
justice, they should exhibit their petitions in the 

Escal. He shows his reason for that : to have a 
despatch of complaints ; and to deUver us from de- 
vices hereafter, which shall then have no power to 
stand against us. 

Ang. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd: 
Betimes i' the mom, I'll call you at your house : 
Give notice to such men of sort and suit^. 
As are to meet him. 

Escal. I shall, sir : fare you well. 


Ang. Good night. — 
This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant^ 
And dull to all proceeding. A deflower'd maid ! 
And by an eminent body, that enforced 
The law against it ! — But that her tender shame 
Will not proclaim against her maiden loss, 

' Disvouched is contradicted. ' Figure and rank. 

' Unready, unprepared ; the contrarj to pregnant in its sens* 
of ready, apprehensive* 



How might she tongue me? Yet reason dares* 

her? — no: 
For my authority bears a credent^ bulk, 
That no particular^ scaudal once can touch. 
But it confounds the breather^. He should haveliv'd, 
Save that his riotous youth, vith dangerous sense. 
Might, in the times to come, have ta'en revenge. 
By so receiving a diahonour'd lite. 
With ransom of such shame. 'Would yet he had 

liv'd ! 
Alack, when once our grace we have forgot, 
Nothing goes right; we would, and we would not 

* To dan bu two signiGcatioDB ; to lerrify, ta in Tbi Haid'i 

And to challe 

,ge or ™«>r(A, »» id 
' Unless a hrolber sIiod 
To gentle e«r=ise/ &< 
;e will tberefore bear 


wbicb niBj be e:ipl« 
doing it, aoil ci ' 
ongue Angel 

.' Dare 

led, ' Yet reawn 4.™ or ot 
la her wbcneversbe finds 1^ 
iften osed in tbis sen» 

lo satisfj the norld n 

Dot, for I charged bir 

And in A Wife fo 

The inlerpretetioi 
does not reason ol 
t,men the speaker 

' Crcdrnt, creditable, not qi 

° Pariiatlar is privatt: a Frencb sense or Ibe w 

in thongbt tbe faurtb Act shonld end 

Iween Ibe passaiies of Ibis scene Di 
wilb Ihe rullaHioE 

aulborily bear* off,' &c. 

» Dr.Jobn 
> properlj a 
is abanged between 
next. The Uflh Act, 



SCENE V. Fields without the Town. 

Enter Duke in his own habits and Friar Peter. 

Duke. These letters at fit time deliver me. 

[Giving letters. 
The provost knows our purpose, and our plot. 
The matter being afoot, keep your instruction, 
And hold you ever to our special drift; 
Though sometimes you do blench^ from this to that, 
As cause doth minister. Go, call at Flavins' house. 
And tell him where I stay : give the like notice 
To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus, 
And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate ; 
But send me Flavins first. 

F, Peter. It shall be speeded well. 

[Exit Friar. 
Enter Varrius. 

Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made 
good haste : 
Come, we will walk : There's other of our friends 
Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius. 


SCENE VI. Street near the City Gate. 

Enter Isabella and Mariana. 

Isah. To speak so indirectly, I am loath ; 
I would say the truth ; but to accuse him so. 
That is your part: Yet I'm advis'd to do it; 
He says, to Vailfull^ purpose. 

Mari. Be rul'd by him. 

Isab. Besides; he tells me, that, if peradventure 
He speak against me on the adverse side, 

* To hknekt to start off, to flj off. ' AyaOfaL 


I should not think it strange; for 'ds a physick, 
That's bitter to sweet end. 

Mart. I would, friar Peter — 

Inab. O, Peace ; the friar is come. 

Enter Friar Peter^, 
F. Peter. Come, I have found jou out a stand 
most fit. 
Where you may have such vantage on the duke. 
He shall Dot pass you ; Twice have the trumpets 

sounded ; 
The generous* and gravest citizens 
Have bent^ the gates, and very near upon 
The duke is ent'ring; therefore hence, away. 



SCENE I. A publick Place near t/ic City Gate. 

Mariana (veiVd), Isabella, and Peter, at a 
distance. Eater at opposite dnors, Duke, Vah- 
Rius, Lords; Anbelo, EscALus, Lucio, Pro- 
vost, Officers, and Citizens. 
I>uhe. My very worthy cousin, fairly met:— 

Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you. 
Ang. and Escal. Happy return be to your royal 

Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both. 

We have made inquiry of you ; and we hear 

Huch goodness of your justice, th^t our soul 

° He ii called friiir Thomaa Ld tbe first AcL 

' Gemrous. for most noble, or Uioee nf ranli. Gcwroii, Lat. 

' i. e, leiied, laid hold on, from tbe Sa«uii benian. 


Cannot but yield you forth to publick thanks, 
Forerunnmg more requital. 

Afig, You make my bonds still greater. 

Duke, O, your desert speaks loud; and I should 
wrong it. 
To lock it in the wards of covert bosom. 
When it deserves with characters of brass 
A forted residence, 'gainst the tooth of time. 
And razure of oblivion : Give me your hand. 
And let the subject see, to make them know 
That outward courtesies would fain proclaim 
Favours that keep within. — Come, Escalus ; 
You must walk by us on our other hand ; — 
And good supporters are you. 

Peter and Isabella covne forward. 

F, Peter. Now is your time; speak loud, and 
kneel before him. 

Isab. Justice, O royal duke ! Vail ^ your regard 
Upon a wrong'd, I'd fain have said, a maid ! 
O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye 
By throwing it on any other object, 
Till you have heard me in my true complaint. 
And given me, justice, justice, justice, justice ! 

Duke. Relate your wrongs: In what? By whom? 
Be brief: 
Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice ! 
Reveal yourself to him. 

Isab. O, worthy duke. 

You bid me seek redemption of the devil : 
Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak 
Must either punish me, not being believ'd. 
Or wring redress from you; hesx me, O, hear me, 

Aug. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm : 

^ To vail is to lower, to let fall, to cast down. 


She hath been a suitor to me for her brother. 
Cut off by course of justice. 

Jsab. By course of justice! 

Ang. And she will speak most bitterly, and strange. 

Imb. Mostst]'ange,butyet most truly,witl I speak: 
That Angelo's forsworn; is it not strange? 
That Angelo's a murderer; is't not strange? 
That Angelo is an adulterous thief. 
An hypocrite, a virgin-violator; 
Is it not strange, and strange? 

Duke. Nay, ten times strange. 

hab. It is not truer he is Ajigelo, 
Than this is all as true as it is strange: 
Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth 
To the end of reckoning. 

Duke. Away with her: — Poor soul. 

She speaks this in the infirmity of sense. 

Isab. O prince, I c6njure thee, as thou beUev'st 
There is another comfort than this world. 
That thou neglect me not, with that opinion 
That I am touch'd with madness: make not impos- 
That which but seems unlike : 'tis not impossible. 
But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground. 
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute. 
As Angelo; even so may Angelo, 
In all his dressings^, characts^ titles, forms, 
Be an arch-villain : believe it, royal prince, 
Tr he be less, he's nothing ; but he's more. 
Had I more name for badness. 

Dvke. By mine honesty, 

' i. e. hibiliments oFnffice. 
' Ckaracli are diHi, 
Edward VI. direoti thi 


If she be mad (as I believe no other), 
Her madness bath the oddest frame of sense. 
Such a dependency of thing on thing, 
As e'er I heard in madness. 

hah, O, gracious duke. 

Harp not on that ; nor do not banish reason 
For inequality ^ : but let your reason serve 
To make the truth appear, where it seems hid ; 
And hide the false, seems true^. 

Duke. Many that are not mad. 

Have, sure, more lack of reason. — ^What would you 

Isah, I am the sister of one Claudio, 
Condemn'd upon the act of fornication 
To lose his head ; condemn'd by Angelo : 
I, in probation of a sisterhood. 
Was sent to by my brother: One Lucio 
As then the messenger; — 

Lucio. That's I, an't like your grace : 

I came to her from Claudio, and desir'd her 
To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo, 
For her poor brother's pardon. 

Isab. That's he, indeed. 

Duke. You were not bid to speak. 

Lucio. No, my good lord ; 

Nor wish'd to hold my peace. 

Duke. I wish you now then; 

Pray you, take note of it: and when you have 
A business for yourself, pray heaven you then 
Be perfect. 

Lucio. I warrant your honour. 

* The meaning appears to be ' do not suppose me mad because 
I speak inconsistently or unequaUtf.* 

^ I mast say with Mr. Steevens that ' I do not profess to qd- 
derstand these words.' Mr. Phelps proposes to read ' And hid, 
the false seems tme.' i. e. ' The trath being hid, not discovered 
or made known, what is false seems tme.* 


Dvke, The warrant's for yourself : take heed to it, 

hab. This gentleman told somewhat of my tale. 

Lucio. Kight. 

Duke. It may be right ; but you are in the wrong 
Tq speak before your time. — Proceed. 

bah. I went 

To this pernicious caitiff deputy. 

Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken. 

hab. Pardon it: 

The phrase is to the mattci''. 

Ditke. Mended again: the matter; — Proceed. 

hab. In brief,- — to set the needless process by. 
How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd. 
How he refell'd' me, and how I reply'd; 
(For this was of much length), the yile conclusion 
I now begin with grief and shame to utter: 
He would not, but by gift of my chaste body 
To his concupiscible intemperate lust. 
Release my brother; and, after much debatement, 
My sisterly remorse^ confutes mine honour. 
And I did yield to him. But the next mom betimes. 
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant 
For my poor brother's head. 

Dttke. This is most likely ! 

Isab. O, that it were as like as it is true ^ ! 

Duke. By heaven, fond'" wretch, thou know'st 
not what thou speak'st; 
Or else thou art subom'd against his honour. 
In hateful practice": First, his integrity 

be more ^nnaij to tlie matter. 

' BeftU'd is refuled. ' Btmnrii U pitj, 

" Tfae meaning appears lo be ' O, Ibat rt bid as mach of Ule 

likeneas or sppearaaie, as it bus of tbo realiij of Irulh.' 


Stands without blemish: — next, it imports no reaaon, 
That with such veheraency he should pursue 
Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended, 
He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself. 
And not hare cut him off : Some one hath set you on; 
Confess the trnth, and say by whose advice 
Thou cam'st here to complaJD. 

hab. And is this all? 

Then, oh, you blessed ministers above. 
Keep me in patience; and, with ripen'd time. 
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up 
In countenance ^° ! — Heaven shield your grace from 

As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieyed go ! 

Duke. I know, you'd fain be gone ; — An officer ! 
To prison with her; — Shall we thus permit 
A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall 
On him so near us? This needs must be a practice. 
— ^Who knew of your intent, and coming liithcr ? 

hab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick. 

Duhe. A ghostly father, belike : — Who knows 
that Lodowick ? 

Ludo. My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling A-Iar ; 
I do not like the man : had be been lay, my lord. 
For certain words he spake a^inst your grace 
In your retirement, I had swing'd him soundly. 

Duke. Words against me? This a good fHar be- 
And to set on this wretched woman here 
Against our substitute ! — Let this friar be found. 

Lttcio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar 
I saw them at the prison : a saucy friar, 
A very scurvy fellow. 

F. Peter. Blessed be your royal grace '. 

I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard 

" i.e. false appeETijice. 
VOL. 1 





Yiiur ttiyni our abus'd: Tirst, hatb this wc 
Mi>*t w(un)|;l'ully accus'd your substitute; 
WIto i> nit free I'runi touch or soil with ber, 
v\n lite fruiu one uagot. 

thike. We did believe n 

know you that friar Lodowick that she speaks of! 

/''. Heter. I know hiiu for a man divine and holy ; 
Not ncurvy nor a temporary medlet'-''. 
An he's reported by this gentleman: ■ 

And, on my trust, a man that never yet ^ 

Did, as he vouches, loisreport your grace. 1 

Lvcio. My lord, most villanously; believe it. 

F. Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear 
But at this instant he is sick, my lord, 
Of a strange fever : Upon his mere '* request 
(Being come to knowledge that there was complaint 
Intended 'gainst lord Angelo) came I hither. 
To speak, as from his mouth, what be doUi know 
Is true, and false; and what he with his oath, 
And all probation, will make up full clear. 
Whensoever he's convented'^. First, for this wo- 

(To justify this worthy nobleman. 
So vulgarly"' and personally accused); 
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes. 
Till she herself confess it. 

Duke. Good friar, let's hear it. 

\ls hBEi.L A is carried off", t/uarded; €md 
Mariana eomes foncard. 
Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo ! — 
O heaven ! the vanity of wretched fools ! — 

'' II is h»rd to know ivhat in mesat bj a lamporary »idItT, 
perhmps it was inleiided Id Blgnirr ' ons uAi> iutrodatal himitlf ai 
oflen M lie coold Uiid opportnnitj inio alhtra me«a cimcerw.' 

I* Mrrt iiete means aliiKlale. 

IS CoHvtstfd, cited, .ummoBed. i" i, e. ji-'I'li^b- 


Give us some seats. — Come, cousin Angelo ; 
In this I'll be impartial ^^ ; be you judge 
Of your own cause. — ^Is this the witness, friar? 
First, let her show her face ; and, after, speak. 

Mori, Pardon, my lord ; I will not show my face 
Until my husband Ud me. 

Duke, What, are you married? 

Mart. No, my lord. 

Duke. Are you a maid ? 

Mari. No, my lord. 

Duke. A widow then ? 

Mari. Neither, my lord? 

Duke. Why, you 

Are nothing then : — Neither maid, widow, nor wife? 

Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk; for many 
of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife. 

Duke. Silence that fellow ; I would he had some 
To prattle for himself. 

Lucio. Well, my lord. 

Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married ; 
And, I confess, besides, I am no maid : 
I have known my husband ; yet my husband knows 

That ever he knew me. 

Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord; it can be 
no better. 

Duke. For the benefit of silence, 'would thou wert 
so too. 

'"^ Impartial was used sometimes in the sense of partial; and 
that appears to be the sense here. In the language of the time, 
tm was frequently used as an intensive or augmentative particle. 
I7s^>artia] was sometimes used in the modem sense of impartial. 
Yet Shakspeare uses the word in its proper sense in Richard IL 
Act i. Sc. 2. 

' Mowbray, iw^Kortial are our eyes and ears/ &c. 
( • • • » 

Should nothing priTilege him nor porKoXue,' 


Lwno. Well, my lord, 

Ihthe. This is no witness for lord Angelo. 

Mart. Now I come to't, my lord : 
She, that accuses him of fornication. 
Id selfsame manner doth accuse my husband; 
And charges him, my lord, with such a time, 
When I'll depose I had him in mine arms. 
With all the effect of love. 

Ang. Charges she more than me ? 

Mari. Not that I know. 

Duke. No? you say, your husband, 

Mari. Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo, 
Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my 

But knows, he thinks, tiiat he knew Isabel's, 

Aug. This is a strange abuse "*: — Let's see thy 

Mari. My husband bids me ; now I will unmask. 
This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, 
Which, once thou Hwor'st,was worth the lookingon: 
This is the hand, which, with a vow'd contract. 
Was fast belock'd in Uiine : this is the body 
That took away the match from Isabel, 
And did supply thee at thy garden-house '3, 
In her imagin'd person. 

Duke. • Know you this woman? 

Lucio. Carnally, she says. 

1^ Millie stands lo this place Tar deception or piatit. So in 
MacbelU : 

* .Mj Btrui^s and self abbse,' 

meant thie itrange deeiplion of mjaclf. 

" OardtK hoiaes vera forni«rIj much in foafaion, and orien 
used na plaoei Df clandestine meeting and intrigne. They «ero 

standing in n walled or enclosed garden in the subnrbs a( Lun- 
don. See Stobb's Analomia of AbnaEB, p. 5T. 41o. IS97, or 
Reed'a Old Plaja, Vol. V. p. M. 


• • 

. •• • 

SC. I. MEASURE FOR lillS^URE. 101 

• ••• 

Duke, ^Ci^ no more. 

Lwsio. Enough, my lord. y'\ 

Ang. My lord, I must confess, I kiiotr«feb}s woman; 
And, five years since, there was soioe\^ech of 

marriage '• . •* 

Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off;' 
Partly, for that her promised proportions \ 
Came short of composition^^ ; but, in chief, * .** 
For that her reputation was disvalued 
In levity : since which time of five years, 
I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her. 
Upon my faith and honour. 

Man. Noble prince. 

As tbese comes light from heaven, and words from 

As there is sense in truth, and truth in virtue, 
I am affianc'd this man's wife, as strongly 
As words could make up vows : and, my good lord. 
But Tuesday night last gone, in his garden-house, 
He knew me as a wife : As this is true 
Let me in safety raise me from my knees ; 
Or else for ever be confixed here, 
A marble monument ! 

Ang. I did but smile till now ; 

Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice ; 
My patience here is touch'd : I do perceive, 
These poor informal ^^ women are no more 
But instruments of some more mightier member, 

^ Her fortune which was promised proportiotuUe to mine fell 
short of the compositiotif i. e. contract or bargain. 

*^ Informal si^fies otff of their senses. So in the Comedj of 
Errors, Act v. Sc. 1. 

' To make of him tifomuii man again.' 

The speaker had just before said that she would keep Anti- 
pholis of Syracuse, who is behaving like a madman, 'till she 
had brought him to his right wits again. 



That sets theifl inn f Let me bave way, my lord. 
To find thi!i.]pttLctice out. 

Duhe. :'■_:'■' Ay, with my heart; 

And putnih-fhem unto your height of pleasure. — 
Thou fttJish friar; and thou pernicious womau. 
Compact with her that's gone! think'st thou, thy 

. ■^Pfjoiigh they would swear down each particular saint, 
. '^ere testimonies against his worth and credit, 
, That's seai'd in approbation "-? — You, lord Escalus, 
Sit with my cousin ; lend him your kind pains 
To find out this abuse, whence 'tis deriv'd. — 
There is another friar that set them on ; 
Let him be sent for. 

F. Peter. Would he were here, my lord; for he, 
Hath set the women on to this complaint: 
Your proTDSt knows the place where he abides. 
And he may fetch him. 

Duke. Go, do it instantly. — [Exit Provost, 
And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin, 
Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth ^^, 
Do with your injuries as seems you best, 
In any chastisement : I for a while 
Will leave you ; but stir not you, till you have well 
Determined upon these slanderers. 

Escal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly.—- [Erif 
Hvke.} Siguier Lucio, did not you say, you knew 
that friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person? 

Zucto. CucuUui non fadt mcmachum : honest in 
nothing, but in his clothes ; and one liiat hath spoke 
most villanous speeches of the duke. 

Eacat. We shall entreat you to abide here till he 





come, and enforce them agaiDst him : we sball find 
this friar a notable fellow. 

Lucio. Ah any in Vienna, on my word. 

£scal. Cal) that same Isabel here once again; 
[To an Attendant.] I would speak with her : Pray 
you, my lord, give me leave to question ; you shall 
see how I'll handle her. 

Jjudo. Not better than he, by her own report. 

£scal. Say you ? 

Lucio. Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her 
pripat«ly, she would sooner confess; perchance, 
publickly, she'll be ashamed. 

Re-enter Officers, iviih Isabella, tlie Duke, m the 
friar's habit, and Provost. 

Eacal. I will go darkly to work with her. 

Lucia. That's the way ; for women are light"* at 

Escal. Gome on, mistress : [ To Isabella.] here's 
a gentlewoman denies all that you have said. 

Lvdo. My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke 
of; here with the provost. 

Escal. In very good time: — speaknot you to him, 
till wc call upon you. 

Lficio. Mum. 

Escal. Come, sir : Did you set these women on 
to slander lord Angelo? they have confess'dyou did. 

Duie. Tis false. 

Eacal. How! know you where you are? 

Duhe. Respect to your a;reat place ! and let the 
Be sometimes honour'd for his burning throne:— 
Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak. 

one of Ihe wonla on which Shakspeare delishts to 



Eical. The duke's in us ; and he will hear you 
speak ; 
Look, you speak justly. 

Jhtke. Boldly, at least : — But, O, poor souls. 
Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox ? 
Good night to youc redress. Is the duke gone ? 
Then is your cause gone too. The duke's uojust. 
Thus to retort^ your manifest appeal. 
And put your trial in the villain's mouth. 
Which here you come to accuse. 

Zuci'o. This is the ra.scal : this is he I spoke of. 

Etcat. Why, thou unreverend and uuhallow'd 
Is't not enough, thou hast subom'd these women 
To accuse this worthy man ; but, in foul mouth. 
And in the wilnesB of his proper ear. 
To call him villain? 

And then to glance from him to the duke himself; 
To tax hira with injustice? — Take him hence; 
To the rack with him : — We'll toujie you joint by 

But we will know this purpose : — What ! unjust ? 

Duke. Be not so hot; the duke 
Dare uo more stretch this finger of mine, than he 
Date rack his own ; his subject am I not, 
Nor here provincial^: My business in this state 
Hade me a looker-on here in Vienna, 
Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble. 
Till it o'errun the stew : laws, for all faults ; 
But faults so countenanc'd, that the strong statutes 


Stand like the forfeits id a barber's shop. 
As much in mock as mark^. 

Escal. Slander to the state ! Away with him to 

Ang. What can you vouch against him, signior 
Ludo ? 
Is this the man that you did tell us of? 

Lucio. Tis he, my lord. Come hither, good- 
man bald'patc : Do you know me ? 

Duke. I remember you, sir, by the sound of your 
voice : I met you at the prison in the absence of the 

Lucio. O, did you so? And do you remember 
what you said of the duke ? 

Duke. Most notedly, sir. 

Lucia. Do you so, sir? And was the duke a 
flesh-monger, a fool, and a coward, as you then re- 
ported him to be ? 

Duke. You must, sir, change persons with me, 
ere you make that my report : you, indeed, spoke 
so of him ; and much more, much worse, 

Ludo. O thou damnable fellow ! Did not I pluck 
thee by the nose, for thy speeches ? 

Duke. I protest, 1 love the duke, as I love my- 

Anff. Hark ! how the villain would close now, 
after his treasonable abuses. 

Escal. Such a fellow is not lo be talk'd withal : — 
Away with him to prison : — Where is the provost 
— Away with him to prison ; lay bolts enough upon 

n Barter 

«' 'hop' «"« ""'i 

leMl, pi 

aces of 


reiorl for 

pasiing awi 

vy time in an idle 

. Bj V 

fa I of cnrorome 





drinking. c< 

nuJD Inns »ere uac 

lalU bun 




which wii t 

be pi>nisb«i by 



; wbi. 

ch were « 

nwA i^moctai n™-*, beoBiue 

: the b>I 

ber had 

Dlborlty of 

biniBelf lo enforce lliem, >r>d 

>1<o be< 


r* of > li' 


b plaii 


him : — Let liim speak no more: — Away with those 
giglota^ too, and with the other confederate com- 
panion, [ The FroTost krys hands on the Duke. 

Duke. Stay, sir; stay a while. 

Aug. What I resists he ? Help him, Lucio. 

Lucio. Come, air; come, sir; come, sir; foh, sir; 
Why, you bald-pated, lying rascal ! you must be 
hooded, must you? Show your knave's visage, with 
a pox to you ! show your sheep-biting face, and be 
hang'd an hour^l Wilt not off? 

[Pidk off the Friar's hood, and discovers 
'th£ Duke. 

Duke. Thou art the first knave that e'er made a 

First, Provost, let me hail these gentle three : 

Sneak not away, sir; [To Lucio.] for the friar atid 

Must have a word anon : — lay hold on him. 
Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging, 
Duke. What yon have spoke, I pardon; sit you 

down. [T^EscALUs. 

We'll borrow place of him: — Sir, by your leave: 

[To Angelo. 
Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence. 
That yet can do thee office'"? If thou hast, 

" Gightj are WBnlons.— 

' jonng Tidhot waa Dot born 

To be the pillage of a gigM nencli.' 

K. Benrj VI. P. i. 
^ Dr. Johnson ^ea serioiu]; to work lo proie Diat be did 
not andsFBland this piete of lolgar hutuoor ; and Henl»j Ibioka 

Piper ho ! be kaag'd amhilt,' is a line in an old madrig^al. And 
in Ben Jmson's llartbolomew Pair, we bare 

' Leave the bottle bcbind jou, nud be curst amkUi.' 

ire petty and fauitiar maledictions rigbtlj ex- 
plained ' a plague or a miacbief on jou.' 
~ ■ ■ thee wrnice. 


Kely upon it till my tale be heard. 
And bold no longer out. 

Ang, O my dread lord, 

I should be guiltier than my guiltiness, 
To think I can be undiscemible, 
When I perceive, your grace, like power divine. 
Hath look'dupon my passes ^^: Then, good prince, 
No longer session hold upon my shame. 
But let my trial be mine own confession ; 
Immediate sentence then, and sequent death. 
Is all the grace I beg. 

Ihike. Come hither, Mariana; — 

Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman ? 

Ang, I was, my lord. 

Duke. Go take her hence, and marry her in- 
stantly. — 
Do you the office, friar; which consummate. 
Return him here again : — Go with him. Provost. 
[Exeunt Angelo, Mariana, Peter, 
and Provost. 

JEscaL My lord, I am more amaz'd at his dis- 
Than at the strangeness of it. 

Duke. Come hither, Isabel : 

Your friar is now your prince : As I was then 
Advertising, and holy^ to your business. 
Not changing heart with habit, I am still 
Attomey'd at your service. 

Imb. O, give me pardon. 

That I, your vassal, have employed and pain'd 
Your unknown sovereignty. 

'^ Passes probably put for trespasses ;, or it may mean courses 
from pass^es, Fr. Les pass^es cTtiit eerf is the track or passages 
of a stag, his courses. I camiot think the word has any rela- 
tion to the forced explanation of artful devices, thceitful contri^ 
vanee. From * Tows de passe pass^e.* 

^ Advertising and holy, attentive and faithfal. 


Duke. Yon are pardon'd, Isabel ; 

And now, dear maii], be you as free" to us. 
Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart; 
And you may marvel, why I obscur'd myself. 
Labouring to save his life; and would not rather 
Make rash remonstrance of my bidden poner^. 
Than let him. so be lost: O, most kind maid. 
It was the swift celerity of his death, 
Which I did Uiink with slower foot came on. 
That brajn'd my purpose^: But, peace be with him! 
That life is beUer life, past fearing death. 
Than that which lives to fear : make it your comfort, 
So h^py is your brother. 

Re-enter Angelo, Mariana, Peter, and 

bob. I do, my lord. 

Duke. For this new-married man, approaching 

Whose salt imagiDatioo yet hath wrong'd 

Your well-defended honour, you must pardon 

For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudg'd your brother 

(Being criminal, in double violation 

Of sacred chastity, and of promise- breach.^. 

Thereon dependent for your brother's life). 

The very mercy of the law cries out 

Most audible, even from his proper^ ton^e. 

An Angelo far Ctaudio, death for death. 

Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure ; 

ire display of ll, pet- 
Hord mil tw tanmei 


Like doth quit like, and Measure still ybr Measure^? 
Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested; 
Which though thou would'st deny, denies thee van- 
We do condemn thee to the very block 
Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like 

haste; — 
Away with him« 

Mari. O, my most gracious lord, 

I hope you will not mock me with a husband ! 

Duke. It is your husband mock'd you with a 
husband : 
Consenting to the safeguard of your honour, 
I thought your marriage fit ; else imputation, 
Por that he knew you, might reproach your life. 
And choke your good to come : for his possessions. 
Although by confiscation they are ours, 
We do instate and widow you withal^ 
To buy you a better husband. 

Mart. O, my dear lord, 

I crave no other, nor no better man. 

Duke. Never crave him; we are definitive. 

Mari. Gentle, my liege, — [Kneeling. 

Duke, You do but lose your labour; 

Away with him to death. — Now, sir, [To Lucio.] 
to you. 

Mari. O, my good lord! — Sweet Isabel, take my 
Lend me your knees, and, all my life to come, 
I'll lend you all my life to do you service. 

^ Measure still for measure. This appears to have been a 
curreDt expression for retributive justice. Equivalent to Ukt 
for like. So, in the 3d part of Hen^ VI. 

* Measure for measure must be answered.' 

^ i. e. ' to deny which will avail thee nothing.' 


Duke. Against all sense*" you do imp6rtnne her ; 
Should she kneel down, in mercy of this fact, 
Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break. 
And take her hence in horror. 

Mari. Isabel, 

Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me ; 
Hold up your hands, say nothing, I'll speak all. 
They say, best men are moulded out of faults ; 
And, for the most, become much more the better 
For being a little bad : so may my husband. 
O, Isabel! will you not lend a knee? 

Duke. He dies for Clandio's death. 

laab. Most bounteous sir, 

Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd. 
As if my brother Uv'd ; I partly think, 
A due sincerity govem'd his deeds. 
Till he did look on me : since it is so. 
Let liim not die: My brother had but justice, 
In that he did the tlung for which he died: 
For Angelo, 

His act did not o'ertake his bad intent? 
And must be buried bjjt as an intent 
That perish'd by the way *' : thoughts are no subjects ; 
Intents but merely thoughts. 

Mari. Merely, my lord. 

Duke. Your suit's unprofitable ; stand up, I say.- — 
I have bethought me of another fault: — 
Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded 
At an unusual hour ? 

Ptov. It was commanded so. 

*' j. e. like the traveller, whu dies od bis journej, is obscurely 
intertBd, and tbonjht of no more : 

' ninm ej-piraotem 

Oblili ignolo ctunpomm io pulvere Ui 


Duke, Had you a special warrant for the deed? 

Prov. No, my good lord ; it was by private mes- 

Duke, For which I do discharge you of your office : 
Give up your keys. 

Prov. Pardon me, noble lord : 

I thought it was a fault, but knew it not ; 
Yet did repent me, after more advice*^ : 
For testimony whereof, one in the prison 
That should by private order else have died, 
I have reserv'd alive. 

Duke. What's he ? 

Prov. His name is Bamardine. 

Dvke. I would thou had'st done so by Claudio.— 
Go, fetch him hither ; let me look upon him. 

[Exit Provost* 

Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise 
As you, lord Angelo, have still appear'd. 
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood. 
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward. 

Ang, I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure : 
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart, 
That I crave death more willingly than mercy ; 
'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it. 

Re-enter Provost, Barnardine, Claudio, and 


Duke, Which id that Bamardine ? 

Prov, This, my lord. 

Duke. There was a friar told me of this man : — 
Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul. 
That apprehends no further than this world. 
And squar'st thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd; 
But, for those earthly^ faults, I quit them all; 

^ i. e. better consideraHon. R. Henry V. Act ii. Sc. 2. 
^ i. e. so far as they are punishable on earth. 


And pray thee, take this mercy to provide 

For better times to come :- -Friar, advise him ; 

I leave him to your hand. — What muffled fellow's 

Prov. This is another prisoner, tliat I sav'd. 
That should have died when Claudio lost his head ; 
As like almost to Claudio, as himself. 

[UnnniffifK Claudio. 

Duke. If he be like your brother, [To Isabella.] 
for his sake 
Is he pardoned ; And, for your lovely sake. 
Give me your hand, and say you will be loine. 
He is my brother too : But fitter time for that. 
By this, lord Angelo perceives he's safe; 
Methinks, I see a quick'ning in his eye : — 
Well, Angelo, your evil quits*' you well: 
Look that you love your wife; her worth, worth 

I find an apt remission in myself: 

And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon ; — 

You, sirrah, [To Lccio.] that knew me for a fool, 

a coward. 
One all of luxury^^, an ass, a madman; 
Wherem have I so deserved of you, 
That you ejtol me thus? 

Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according 
to the trick*': If you wilt hang me for it, you may, 
but I had rather it would please you, I might be 

Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after. — 
Proclaim it, provost, round about the city ; 
If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow. 

« 'Her wortll wortli jonrs;' thai is, ' lier 
yoars, Ihe malch i! nat onworlliy of jruu.' 
« Incontineuce. " ThDughUesi 



(As I have heard him swear himself, there's one 
Whom he begot with child), let her appear. 
And he shall marry her : the nuptial finished. 
Let him be whipp'd and hang'd. 

Lucio, I beseech your highness, do not marry me 
to a whore ! Your highness said even now, I made 
you a duke ; good my lord, do not recompense me 
in making me a cuckold. 

Duke. Upon mine honour thou shalt marry her. 
Thy slanders I forgive : and therewithal 
Kemit thy other forfeits^ : — ^Take him to prison : 
And see our pleasure herein executed. 

Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to 
death, whipping, and hanging. 

Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it. — 
She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. — 
Joy to you, Mariana ! — love her, Angelo ; 
I have confessed her, and I know her virtue. — 
Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much good- 
There's more behind, that is more gratulate^. 
Thanks, Provost, for thy care and secrecy ; 
We shall employ thee in a worthier place : — 
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home 

^ * Remit thy other forfeits.* Dr. Johnson says, forfeits 
mean punishmentSf bat is it not more likely to signify misdoings, 
transgressions, from the French /or/ai^ ? Steevens's Note affords 
instances of the word in this sense. 

^ i. e. more to be rejoiced in. As Steevens rightly explained 
it. Dr. Johnson's proposed arrangement of the text is very plau- 
sible ; for it is evident, from the context, that this gratukUion 
which is yet behind relates to Isabel, and not to Escalns, as Ma-' 
son had imagined. In the Dedication to * Lambarde's Archeion,' 
which is dated 1591, the word occnrs in this sense : ' to gratu- 
late unto you that honourable place whereunto you are right' 
worthily advanced. Reward must be a very unusual meaning 
of the word, for gratulatio is explained in Hutton's Dictionary, 
1583, ' Rejoysing in ones behalfe : grcUulation, thankes giving.* 



The head of Ragozine for Claudio's ; 
The offence pardons itself. — Dear Isabel, 
I have a motion much imports your good ; 
Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline, 
What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine : — 
So, bring us to our palace ; where we'll show 
What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know* 


Thp novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is sap- 
posed to have borrowed this fable, maj be read in Shakspeare 
Illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks, which will assist 
the inquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has 
admitted or avoided. 

I cannot but suspect that some other had new-modelled the 
novel of Cinthio, or written a story which in some particulars 
resei^bled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shak- 
speare immediately followed. The Emperor in Cinthio is named 
Maximine : the Duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of Uie per- 
sons of the drama, is called Vincentio. This appears a very 
slight rei;nark ; but ^ince the Duke has no nam^ in the pla^, nor 
is ever mentioned but by his title, why should he be called 
Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was copied 
from the story, and placed superfluously at the head of the list 
by the mere habit of transcription ? It is therefore lil^^T that 
there was then a story of Vincentio, Duke of Vienna, differept 
from that of Maximine, Emperor of the Romans. 

Of this play, th^ light or comick part is very natural and 
pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, 
have more labour thai;i elegance. The plot is rather intricate 
than artful. The time of the action is indefinite ; some time, 
we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess 
of the Duke and the imprisonment of Claudio ; for he must have 
learned the story of Mariapa in his disguise, or he delegated his 
power to a man already known to be corrupted.* The unities 
of action and place are sufficiently preserved. Johnson. 

f The Duke probably had learnt the story of Mariana in some 
of his former retirements, * haying ever loved the life removed.' 
And he.had a suspicion that Angelo was but a seemer, and there- 
fore stays to watch him. Blackstone. 


Mutb ^tfo atiottt j^otj^ing. 


It is said that the main plot of this play is derived from the 
story of Ariodante and Ginemra, in the fifth book of Ariosto's 
Orlando Farioso. Something similar may also be found in the 
fourth canto of the second book of i^penser's Faerie Queene ; but 
a novel of Bandello's, copied by Belleforest in his Tragical His- 
tories, seems to have furnished Shakspeare with the fable. It 
approaches nearer to the play in all particulars than any other 
performance hitherto discovered. No translation of it into Eng- 
lish has, however, yet been met with. 

The incidents of this play produce a striking effect on the 
stage, where it has ever been one of the most popular of Shakr 
speare's Comedies. The sprightly wit-encounters between Be- 
nedick and Beatrice, and the blundering simplicity of those 
inimitable men in office Dogberry and Verges relieve the serious 
parts of the play, which might otherwise have seemed too serious 
for comedy. There is a deep and touching interest excited for 
the innocent and much injured Hero, ' whose justification is 
brought about by one of those temporary consignments to the 
grave, of which Shakspeare appears to have been fond.' In an- 
swer to Steevens's objection to the same artifice being made use 
of to entrap both the lovers, Schlegel observes that * the drollery 
lies in the very symmetry of the deception. Their friends attri- 
bute the whole effect to themselves ; but the exclusive direction 
of their raillery against each oth^r is a proof of their growing 

This play is supposed to have been written in 1600, in which 
year it was first published. 


Don Pedro, Prince qfArrsigon, 

Don John, his bastard Brother. 

Claudio, a young Lord qf Florence, favowriie to 

Don Pedro. 
Benedick, a young Lord qf Padua, faoourite likewise 

qf Don Pedro. 
* Leonato, Governor qf Messina. 
Antonio, his Brother, 
Balthazar, Servant to Don Pedro. 

CO^E? J ^^"^"^^* '-^ ^^" •^^^• 

VergeT^^' I '^"'^f^^^^ Officers. 
A Sexton. 
A Friar. 
A Boy. 

Hero, Daughter to Leonato. 
Beatrice, Niece to Leonato. 

U uil*^*^' i G^^'**^"''^"'^ attending on Hero. 

Messengers, Watch, and Attendants. 
SCENE, Messina. 



SCENE I. Before Leonato's House, 

Enter Leonato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, 

with a Messenger. 


I LEARN in this letter, that Don Pedro ^ of Arragon 
comes this night to Messina. 

Mess, He is very near by this ; he was not three 
leagues off when I left him. 

Leon, How many gentlemen haye you lost in this 
action ? 

Mess, But few of any sort, and none of name.. 

Leon, A victory is twice itself, when the achiever 
brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don 
Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young Flo- 
rentine, called Claudio. 

Mess, Much deserved on his part, and equally 
remembered by Don Pedro : He hath borne himself 
beyond the promise of his age ; doing, in the figure 
of a lamb, the feats of a lion : he hath, indeed, bet- 
ter bettered expectation, than you must expect of 
me to tell you bow. 

Leon, He hath an uncle here in Messina will be 
very much glad of it. 

Mesi, I have already delivered him letters, and 

* The old copies read Don Peter, 


there appears much joy in him ; even so much, tha 
joy could not show itself modest enough, without i 
badge of bitterness^. 

Leon, Did he break out into tears ? 

Mess, In great measure ^. 

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness : There an 
no faces truer than those that are so washed. Hov 
much better it is to weep at joy, than to joy a 
weeping ! 

Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto^ returned 
from the wars, or no ? 

Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there wa 
none such in the army of any sort^. 

Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ? 

Hero, My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua 

Mess. O, he is returned ; and as pleasant as eve 
be was. 

Beat, He set up his bills ^ here in Messina, an< 

^ Of all the transports of joy, that which is attended by teai 
is least offensive ; becanse, carrying with it this mark of paii 
it allays the envy that usaally attends another's happiness. Thi 
is finely called a modest joy, such a one as did not insult tli 
observer by an indication of happiness unmixed with pain. I 
Chapman's version of the 10th Odyssey, a somewhat similar ei 
pression occurs : 

our eyes wore 

The same wet badge of weak humanity.' 
This is an idea which Shakspeare seems to have delighted 1 
introduce. It occurs again in Macbeth : 

' my plenteous joys, 

Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves 

In drops of sorrow.' 

^ i. e. in abundance. 

* Montanto was one of the ancient terms of the fencing school 
a title humorously given to one whom she would represent i 
a bravado. ^ Rank. 

^ This phrase was in common use for affixing a printed noti< 
in some public place, long before Shakspeare's time, and loi 
after. It is amply illustrated by Mr. Douce, in bis < IlluStr 
tions of Shakspeare.' 


challenged Cupid at the flight 7: and my uncle's 
fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, 
and challenged him at the bird-bolt. — I pray you, 
how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars ? 
But how many hath he killed? for, indeed, I pro- 
mised to eat all of his killing. 

Leon, Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too 
much; but he'll be meet^ with you, I doubt it not. 

Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these 

Beat, You had musty victual, and he hath holp 
to eat it : he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath 
an excellent stomach. 

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. 

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ; — But what 
is he to a lord ? 

Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; stuffed^ 
with all honourable virtues. 

Beat. It is so, indeed ; he is no less than a stufied 
man : but for the stuffing, — Well, we are all mortal. 

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece : there 

"^ FlightSf were long and light feathered arrows, that went 
direcUj to the mark ; bird-hoUs, short thick arrows without a 
point, and spreading at the extremity into a blunt nobbed head. 
See Vol. I. p. 312, note 6. The meaning of the whole is : — 
Benedick, from a vain conceit of his influence over women, chal- 
lenged Cupid at the flight (i. e. to shoot at hearts). The fool, 
to ridicule this piece of vanity, in his turn challenged Benedick 
at the bird-bolt, an inferior kind of archery used by fools, who, 
for obvious reasons, were not permitted to shoot with pointed 
arrows : whence the proverb — * A fool's holt is soon shot.' 

" Even. 

* Stuffed, in this first instance, has no ridiculous meaning. 
Mede, in his discourses on Scripture, quoted by Edwards, speak- 
ing of Adam, says, * he whom Grod had stuffed with so many ex- 
cellent qualities.' And in the Winter's Tale : 

* Of stuffed sufficiency.' 
Beatrice starts an idea at Uie wordS stuffed man, and prudently 
checks herself in Uie pursuit of it. A stuffed man appears to 
have been one of the many cant phrases for a cuckold. 


is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and 
her : they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit 
between them. 

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last 
conflict, four of his five wits ^^ went halting off, and 
now is the whole man governed with one : so that if 
he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him 
bear it for a difference ^^ between himself and his 
horse : for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to 
be known a reasonable creature. — ^Who is his com- 
panion now? He hath every month a new sworn 

Mess. Is it possible ? 

Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith 
but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with 
the next block ^; 

Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your 
books ^^. 

B^t. No : an he were, I would bum my study. 
But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there 
no young squarer^* now, that will make a voyage 
with him to the devil ? 

*® In Shakspeare^s time nit was the general term for intel- 
lectual power. The wits seem to have been reckoned Jive by 
analogy to the fire senses. So in Lear, Act iii. Sc. 4 : ' Bless 
thy five wits.* 

** This is an heraldic term. So, in Hamlet, Ophelia says, 
* Yon may wear your rue with a difference.* 

^^ The mould on which a hat is formed. It is here used for 
shape or fashion. See note on Lear, Act iv. Sc. 6. 

^^ The origin of this phrase, which is still in common use, has 
not been clearly explained, though the sense of it is pretty ge- 
nerally understood. The most probable account derives it from 
the circumstance of servants and retainers being entered in the 
books of those to whom they were attached. To be in one*s 
books was to be in favour. That this was the ancient sense of 
the phrase, and its origin, appears from Florio, in V. — * Casso. 
Cashier'd, crossed, cancelled, or put out of booke and eheek* 

** Quarreller. 


Mess. He is most in the company of the right no- 
ble Claudio. 

Beat O Lord ! he will hang upon him like a dis- 
ease : he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and 
the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble 
Claudio ! if he have caught the Benedick, it will 
cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured. 

Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. 

Beat. Do, good friend. 

Leon. You will never run mad, niece. 

Beat. No, not till a hot January. 

Mess. Don Pedro is approached. 

Enter Don Pedro, attended by Balthazar and 
others, Don John, Claudio, and Benedick. 

D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come 
to meet your trouble : the fashion of the world is to 
avoid cost, and you encounter it. 

Xeon. Never came trouble to my house in the 
likeness of your grace : for trouble being gone, com- 
fort should remain ; but, when you depart from me, 
sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave. 

D. Pedro. You embrace your charge ^* too wil- 
lingly. — I think, this is your daughter. 

Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so. 

Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her? 

Leon. Signior Benedick, no ; for then were you a 

D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick : we may 
guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly, 
the lady fathers herself ^^: — Be happy, lady! for 
you are like an honourable father. 

*^ Barthen, incmnbraiice. 

*^ This phrase is common in Dorsetshire. * Jack father's 
himself/ is like his father. 



Bene. If si^ior Leonato be her father, she would 
not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, 
as like him as she is. 

Beat, I wonder, that you will still be talking, 
signior Benedick ; no body marks you. 

Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain ! are you yet 

Beat. Is it possible disdain should die, while she 
hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick ? 
Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come 
in her presence. 

Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat : — But it is 
certain, I am lov'd of all ladies, only you excepted : 
and I would I could find in my heart that I had not 
a hard heart ; for, truly, I love none. 

Beat. A dear happiness to women ; they would 
else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I 
thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour 
for that ; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, 
than a man swear he loves me. 

Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind ! 
so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predesti- 
nate scratched face. 

Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 
'twere such a face as yours were. 

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. 

Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast 
of yours. 

Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your 
tongue ; and so good a continuer : But keep your 
way o'God's name ; I have done. 

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know 
you of old. 

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all : Leonato, — sig- 
nior Claudio, and signior Benedick, — my dear friend 


Leonato, hath invited you all. I tell him, we shall 
stay here at the least a month ; and he heartily prays, 
some occasion may detain us longer : I dare swear 
he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart. 

Leon, If you swear, my lord, you shall not be 
forsworn. — Let me bid you welcome, my lord, being 
reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all 

D, John, I thank you : I am not of many words, 
but I thank you. 

Xeoro. Please it your grace lead on ? 

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato ; we will go toge- 
ther. * [Exeunt all bat Benedick and Claudio. 

Claud, Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of 
signior Leonato? 

Bene. I noted her not ; but I looked on her. 

Clatid. Is she not a modest young lady ? 

Bene, Do you question me, as an honest man 
should do, for my simple true judgment; or would 
you have me speak after my custom, as being a 
professed tyrant to their sex ? 

Clatid, No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment. 

■Bene, Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low for a 
high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too lit- 
tle for a great praise : only this commendation I can 
afford her ; that were she other than she is, she were 
unhandsome ; and being no other but as she is, I do 
not like her. 

Claud, Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray thee, 
tell me truly how thou likest her. 

Bene, Would you buy her, that you inquire after 

Claud, Can the world buy such a jewel ? 

Bene, Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak 
you this with a sad brow ? or do you play the flout- 

124 MrCH ADO 

wg Jack ; to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and 
VulcftD a rare carpenter'^? Come, in wliat key shall 
a man take you to go in the song'"? 

Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that 
ever I looked on. 

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I 
see no such matter: there's her coiieui, an she were 
not possessed with a fury, exceeds her us much in 
beauty, as the first of May doth the last of Decem- 
ber. But I hope, you have no intent to turn hus- 
band; have you? 

Claud. I wonid scarce trust myself, though I had 
BwotQ the contrary, if Hero would be my wife. 

Bejie. Is it come to this, i'faith? Hath not the 
world one man, but he will wear his cap with sus- 
picion '3 ? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore 
again? Go to, i'faith; an thou wilt needs thrust thy 
neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh 
away Sundays'". Look, Don Pedro is returned to 
seek you. 

Re-eater Don Pedro, 

D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that 
you followed not to Leonato's? 

Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me to 

D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. 

Bene. You hear. Count Claudio ; I can be secret 

ai tu Hitli improbable 

'8 i. a. to join jn the aonj. 

'• i. e. gobject his head to tbe disquiet of jralonaj-. 

" i.e. beconie and aod serioBs. Allading lo the manner in 
which the Parilaus uimsllj ap«nt the Sabbath, with iighs and 
gnintiDga, and other hjpocriticsl marka of devOLloB. 



as a dumb man, I would have you think so ; bujt on 
my allegiance, — mark you this, on my allegiance : 
— He is in love. With who? — now that is your 
grace's part. — Mark, how short his answer is: — 
With Hero, Leonato's short daughter. 

Claud, If this were so, so were it uttered. 

BcTie. Like the old tale, my lord : it is not so, 
nor 'twas not so ; but, indeed, God forbid it should 
be so ^^. 

Claud, If my passion change not shortly, God for- 
bid it should be otherwise. 

D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her ; for the lady 
is very well worthy. 

Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. 

D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. 

Claud. An4> in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. 

Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, 
I spoke mine. 

Claud. That I love her, I feel. 

D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. 

BeTie. That I neither feel how she should be loved, 
nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion 
that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die > in it at 
the stake. 

D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretick 
in the despite of beauty. 

Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in 
the force of his will ^^. 

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; 
that she brought me up, I likewise give her most 

^* The old tale, of which this is the burthen, has been tradi- 
tionally preserved and recovered by Mr. Blakeway, and is per- 
haps one of the most happy illustrations of Shakspeare that has 
ever appeared. It is to be found at the end of the play in the 
late edition of Shakspeare by Mr. Bos well. I regret that its 
length precludes me from printing it. 

^ Alluding to the definition of a heretic in the schools. 

M 2 


humble thanks : but that I will have a recheat ^ 
winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle ^ in an 
inyisible baldrick^, all women shall pardon me: 
Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust 
any, I will do myself the right to trust none ; and 
the fine^ is (for the which I may go the finer), I 
will liye a bachelor. 

D. Pedro, I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale 
with love. 

Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hun- 
ger, my lord ; not with love : prove, that ever I lose 
more blood with love, than I will get again with 
drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's 
pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house, 
for the sign of blind Cupid. 

D. Pedro, Well, if ever thou dost fall from this 
faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument^. 

Bene, If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat^, 
and shoot at me ; and he that hits me, let him be 
clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam^^. 

^ That is, wear a horn on my forehead^ which the huntsman 
may bhw, A recheat is the sound bj which the dogs are called 

" i. e. bugle-horn. 

^ A belt. The meaning seems to be — * or that I should be 
compelled to carry a horn on mj forehead where there is nothing 
yisible to support it.' 

^ The fine is the conclusion. ^ A capital subject for satire. 

^ It seems to have been one of the inhuman sports of the 
time, to enclose a cat in a wooden tub or bottle suspended aloft 
to be shot at. The practice was, not many years since, kept up at 
Kelso in Scotland, according to Ebenezer Lazarus, a silly me- 
thodist, who has described the whole ceremony in his account of 
Kelso. He, however, justly stigmatizes it, saying : 

* The cat in the barrel exhibits such a farce, 
That he who can relish it is worse than an ass/ 
^ i. e. Adam Bell, ' a passing good archer,' who, with Clym 
of the Cloughe and William of Cloudeslie, were outlaws as fa- 
mous in the north of England, as Robin Hood and his fellows 
were in the midland counties. 


D. Pedro, Well, as time shall try : 
In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke^. 

Bene, The savage bull may ; but if ever the sen- 
sible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, 
and set them in my forehead : and let me be vilely 
painted; and in such great letters as they write. 
Here is good horse to hire, let them signify under my 
sign — Here you may see Benedick the married man. 

Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st 
be horn-mad. 

D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his 
quiver in Venice ^^, thou wilt quake for this shortly. 

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then. 

D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the 
hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, 
repair to Leonato's ; commend me to him, and tell 
him, I will not fail him at supper ; for, indeed, he 
bath made great preparation. 

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for 
such an embassage : and so I commit you — 

Claud. To the tuition of God : From my house, 
(if I had it)— 

D. Pedro. The sixth of July : Your loving friend. 

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not : The body of 
your discourse is sometime guarded ^^ with fragments, 
and the guards are but slighUy basted on neither : 
ere you flout old ends any further, examine your 
conscience ^^, and so I leave you. 

[Exit Benedick. 

^ This line is from The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo, &c. ; 
and occurs, with a slight variation, in Watson's Sonnets, 1581. 

^* Venice is represented in the same light as Cyprus among 
the ancients, and it is this character of the people Uiat is here 
alluded to. 

'^ Trimmed, ornamented. 

^ * Examine if your sarcasms do not touch yourself/ Old 
mtds probably means the conclusions of letters, which were fre- 
quently couched in the quaint forms used above. 


Clavd. My liege, your highness now may do me 

D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach; teach it 
but bow, 
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn 
Any hard lesson that may do thee good. 

Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord! 

J). Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only 

Dost thou aAcct her, Claudio? 

Claud. O my lord, 

Wheu you went onward on this ended action, 
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye. 
That lik'd, but had a rougher task in hand 
Than to drive likins; to the name of love : 
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts 
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms 
Gome throning Noft and delicate desires, 
All promptmg me how fair youn^ Hero is, 
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars. 

D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently. 
And tire the hearer with a book of words : 
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it ; 
And I will break with her, and with her father. 
And thon shalt have her: Was't not to this end. 
That thou began 'st to twist bo line a story? 

Clatid. How sweetly do you minister to love. 
That know love's grief by his complexion ! 
But lest my liking might too sudden seem, 
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. 

J}. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader 
thui the flood ? 
The fairest grant is the necessity": 

" Mr. Hsjie}, nitli great acDteaesa, proposed (a read, ■ The 
The meuiini mnj ho»e>er bi>— ' The fiireet or DiMt eqwUble 


Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once^, thou lov'st; 

And I will fit thee with the remedy. 

I know we shall have revelling to-night; 

I will assume thy part in some disguise. 

And tell fair Hero I am Claudio ; 

And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart. 

And take her hearing prisoner with the force 

And strong encounter of my amorous tale : 

Then, after, to her father will I break ; 

And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine : 

In practice let us put it presently. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. A Room in Leonato'« House. 

Enter Leonato and Antonio. 

Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, 
your son? Hath he provided this musick ? 

Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I 
can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed 
not of. 

Leon. Are they good ? 

Ant. As the event stamps them ; but they have 
a good cover, they show well outward. The prince 
and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached^ 
alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard by 
a man of mine : The prince discovered to Claudio, 
that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant 
to acknowledge it this night in a dance ; and, if he 
found her accordant, he meant to take the present 
time by the top, and instantly break with you of it. 

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? 

Ant. A good sharp fellow : I will send foi; him, 
and question him yourself. 

^ i. e. once for all. So, in Coriolanas : * Once if he do re- 
quire our voices, we ought not to deny him.' See Comedy of 
Errors, Act iii. Sc. 1, 

* Thickly interwoven. . 


Lecn, No, no ; we will hold it as a dream, till it 
appear itself: — but I will acquaint my daughter 
withal, that she may be the better prepared for an 
answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, and 
tell her of it. \^Sev€ral persons cross the staged] Cou- 
sins^, you know what you have to do. — O, I cry 
you mercy, friend ; you go with me, and I will use 
your skill: — Good cousins, have a care this busy 
time. [ExeunU 

SCENE III. Another Room in Leonato's House, 

Enter Don John and Conrade. 

Con. What the good year ^, my lord ! why are you 
thus out of measure sad ? 

D. John. There is no measure in the occasion 
that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit. 

Can. You should hear reason. 

D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing 
bringeth it? 

Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient suf- 

D. John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou say'st 
thou art) bom under Saturn, goest about to apply 
a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I can- 
not hide what I am^: I must be sad when I have 

* Cousins were formerly eDrolIed among the dependants, if 
not the domestics of great families, such as that of Leonato. — 
Petmchio, while intent on the subjection of Katharine, calls out 
in terms imperative for his cousin Ferdinand. 

^ The commentators say, that the original form of this excla- 
mation was the gou^ere, i. e. morbus gallicus; which nltimatelj 
became obscure, and was corrupted into the good year, a very 
opposite form of expression. 

' This is one of Shakspeare's natural touches. An envious 
and unsocial mind, too proud to give pleasure, and too sullen to 
receive it, always endeavours to hide its malignity from the 
world and from itself, under the plainness of simple honesty, or 
the dignity of haughty independence. 


cause, and smile at no man's jests ; eat when I have 
stomach, and wait for no man's leisure ; sleep when 
I am drowsy, and tend to no man's business ; laugh 
when I am merry, and claw^ no man in his humour. 

Con, Yea, but you must not make the full show 
of this, till you may do it without controlment. You 
have of late stood out against your brother, and he 
hath ta'en you newly into his grace ; where it is im- 
possible you should take true root, but by the fair 
weather that you make yourself: it is needful that 
you frame the season for your own harvest. 

D. John, I had rather be a canker'* in a hedge, 
than a rose in his grace ; and it better fits my blood 
to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to 
rob love from any ; in this, though I cannot be said 
to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied 
that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with 
a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog ; therefore 
I have decreed not to sing in my cage : If I had 
my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I 
would do my liking : in the mean time, let me be 
that I am, and seek not to alter me. 

Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? 

D, John, I make all use of it, for I use it only^. 
Who comes here? What news, Borachio? 

Enter Borachio. 


Bora, I came yonder from a great supper; the 
prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leo- 
nato ; and I can give you intelligence of an intended 

9 Flatter. 

^ A canker is the canker-rose, or dog-rose. * I had rather be 
a neglected dog-rose in a hedge, than a garden-rose if it profited 
by his culture.' 

^ i. e. ' for I make nothing else my counsellor.' 


D. John. Will it serve for any model ^ to build 
mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths 
himself to unquietness? 

Bora, Marry, it is your brother's right hand. 

D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio? 

Bora. Even he. 

D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? 
which way looks he ? 

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of 

D, John. A very forward March chick ! How 
came you to this? 

Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was 
smoking a musty room*^, comes me the prince and 
Claudio, hand in hand, in sad^ conference: I whipt 
me behind the arras ; and there heard it agreed upon, 
that the prince should woo Hero for himself, and 
having obtained her, give her to count Claudio. 

D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may 
prove food to my displeasure : that young start-up 
hath all the glory of toy overthrow ; if I can cross 
him any way, I bless myself eveiy way : You are 
both sure^, and will assist me? 

Con. To the death, my lord. 

D. John. Let us to the great supper ; their cheer 
is the greater, that I am subdued : 'Would the cook 
were of my mind ! — Shall we go prove what's to be 

B&ra. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt. 

* Model is here used in an unusual sense, but Bullokar ex- 
plains it, ' Model J the plaiformef or form of any thing.' 

^ The neglect of cleanliness among our ancestors rendered 
such precautions too often necessary. In Burton's Anatomy of 
Melancholy : * the smoke of juniper is in great request with us 
at Oxford to sweeten our chambers.' See also K. Henry IV. P. 
2. Act V. Sc.4. 

' Serious. ^ i. e. to be depended on. 


ACT 11. 

SCENE I. ' A Hall in Leonato's House. 

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, 

and others. 

Leon. Was not count John here at supper? 

Ant 4 I saw him not. 

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks ! I never 
can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after. 

Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. 

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made 
just in the mid-way between him and Benedick : the 
one is too like an image, and says nothing ; and the 
other, too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling. 

Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in 
count John's mouth, and half count John's melan- 
choly in signior Benedick's face, — 

Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, 
and money enough in his purse, such a man would 
win any woman in the world, — if he could get her 
good will. 

Xeon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee 
a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue. 

Ant. In faith, she is too curst. 

Beat. Too curst is more than curst : I shall lessen 
God's sending that way : for it is said, God sends a 
curst cow short horns; but to a cow too curst he 
sends none. 

Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you 
no horns. 

Beat. Just, if he send me no husband: for the 
which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every 
morning and evening : Lord ! I could not endure a 



husband wiUi a beaid on his face ; I had ntber lie 
in tlie woollen. 

Leon. Von may light upon a husband, that halh 

Beal. What should I do with hitn? dress h 
my apparel, and make him my waiting gentlewoman ? 
He that hath a beard, is more than a vouth ; and he 
that ball) no beard, is less than a man : and he that 
is more than a youth, is not for me ; and he Aat ia 
less than a roan, I am not for him. Therefore I will 
even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-herd, and 
lead his apes into bell. 

Letm. Well then, go you into hell t 

Beat. Xo; but to the ^ate; and there will the 
devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on 
his head, and say. Get you to hearen, Beatrice, get 
yoH to hcaveti ; Acre's no place for you maids: so de- 
liver I up my apes, and awav to Saint Peter for the 
heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and 
there live we as merry as the day is long. 

Ant. Well, niece, [Tu Hero.] I trust, you will 
be ruled by your father. 

Beat. Yes, faith ; it is my cousin's duty to make 
courtesy, and say, Father, as it please yoti: — but 
yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fel- 
low, or else make another courtesy, and say, FofAer, 
a» it pleage me. 

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day 
fitted with ft husband. 

Beat. Nottill God make men of some other metal 
than earth. Would it not E;rieve a woman to be 
over-inasiered with a piece of valiant dust 1 to make 
an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl 7 
No, uncle, I'll none ; Adam's sons are my brethren ; 
and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred. 

Lean. Daughter, remember what I told you : if 


the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know 
your answer. 

Beat, The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if 
you be not woo'd in good time : if the prince be too 
important^, tell him, there is measure^ in every thing, 
and so dance out the answer. For hear me. Hero ; 
Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, 
a measure, and a cinque-pace : the first suit is hot 
and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical ; 
the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a measure full of 
state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, 
and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace 
faster and faster, till he sink into his grave. 

Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. 

Beat, I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a 
church by day-light. 

Leon, The revellers are entering; brother, make 
good room. 

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Bal- 
thazar; Don John, Borachio, Marga- 
ret, Ursula, and others, marked. 

D, Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your 
friend ^ ? 

Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and 
say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, espe- 
cially, when I walk away. 

D. Pedro. With me in your company ? 

* Importunate. 

^ A measure in old language, besides its ordinary meaning, 

signified also a dance. So, in Richard II. 

' My legs can keep no measure in delight. 
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.' 

The measures were grave solemn dances with slow and measured 

steps like the minuet ; and therefore described as ' full of state 

and ancientry.' 

* Lover. 


Hero. I may say so, when I please. 

D. Pedro. And when please you to say so ? 

Hero. When I like your favour ; for God defen< 
the lute should be like the case^! 

D. Pedro, My visor is Philemon's roof; with 
the house is Jove^. 

Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd 

D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. 

[ Takes her asid 

Bene, Well, I would you did like me. 

Marg. So would not I, for your own sake ; f< 
I have many ill qualities. 

Berve. Which is one ? 

Marg. I say my prayers aloud. 

Bene. I love you the better; the hearers ma 
cry. Amen. 
, Marg. God match me with a good dancer ! 

Balth. Amen. 

Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, wh< 
die dance is done ! — Answer, clerk. 

Balth. No more words ; the clerk is answered. 

Urs. I know you well enough; you are signl 
I Antonio. 

Ant. At a word, I am not. 
I Urs. I know you by the waggling of your heac 

Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. 

* That is, * GoAforhid that your face should be as homely a 
coarse as yoar mask.' 

^ Alluding to the fable of Baucis and Philemon in Ovid, w 
describes the old couple as living in a thatched cottage : 

' Stipulis et cannd tecta palustri,* 

which Gilding renders : 

* The roofe thereof was thatched all with straw and fennj 

Jacques, in As You Like It, again alludes to it : 

* O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatcht 


Ur8, You could never do him so ill- well, unless 
you were the very man: Here's his dry hand up 
and down; you are he, you are he. 

Ant, At a word, I am not. 

Urs, Come, come ; do you think I do not know 
you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? 
Go to, mum, you are he : graces will appear, and 
there's an end. 

Beat, Will you not tell me who told you so? 

Be7i£. No, you shall pardon me. 

Beat, Nor will you not teJl me who you are ? 

Berie, Not now. 

Beat, That I was disdainful, — and that I had 
my good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales^; — 
Well, thii was signior Benedick that said so. 

Bern, What's he? 

Beat. I am sure, you know him well enough. 

Bene. Not I, believe me. 

Beat. Did he never make you laugh ? 

Bene, I pray you, what is he ? 

Beat, Why, he is the prince's jester; a very dull 
fool; only his gift is in devising impossible ^ slan- 
ders: none but libertines delight in him; and the 

® This was the term for & jest-book in Shakspeare's time, from 
a popular collection of that name, about which the commentators 
were much puzzled, until a large fragment was discovered in 
ldl5, by my late lamented friend the Rev. J. Conjbeare, Pro- 
fessor of Poetry in Oxford. I had the gratification of printing 
a few copies at the Chiswick press, under the title of * Shak- 
speare's Jest Book.' It was printed by Rastell, and therefore 
must have been published previous to 1533. Another collection 
of the same kind, called * Tales and Quicke Answeres,' printed 
by Berthelette, and of nearly equal antiquity, was also reprinted 
at the same time ; and it is remarkable that this collection is 
cited by Sir John Harrington under the title of * the hundred 
merry tales.' It continued for a long period to be the popular 
name for collections of this sort, for in the London Chaunticlere, 
1659, it is mentioned as being cried for sale by a ballad man. 

"^ Incredible, or inconceivable. 




comiDeadation is not in his wit, but in his villauy ; 
for he both pleaseth men, and angers them, and then 
they laugh at him, and beat him : I am sure, he is 
in the fleet: I would he had boarded^ me. 

Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him 
what you say. 

Beat, Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or 
two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or 
not laughed at, stiikes him into melancholy; and 
then there's a partridge' wing saved, for the fool 
will eat no supper that night. [Musick vdthin,] 

We must follow the leaders. 

Bene, In every good thing. 

Beat, Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave 
them at the next turning. 

[Dance. Then exeunt all but Don John, 
BoRACHio, and Claudio. 

D. John, Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, 
and hath withdrawn her father to break with him 
about it : The ladies follow her, and but one visor 
remains. , 

Bora, And that is Claudio : I know him by his 
bearing 9. 

D. John, Are not you signior Benedick? 

Clavd. You know me well; I am he. 

D, John. Signior, you are very near my brother 
in his love : he is enamoured on Hero ; I pray you, 
dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth : 
you may do the part of an honest man in it. 

Claud. How know you he loves her? 

D. John. I heard him swear his affection. 

Bora, So did I too; and he swore he would 
marry her to-night. 

^ Boardedt besides its asual meaning, signified ^ccosUd, 
' Carriage, demeanour. 


D. John. Come, let us to the banquet. 

[Exeunt Don John and Borachio. 

Claud, Thus answer I in name of Benedick, 
But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. — 
^is certain so ; — the prince woos for himself. 
Friendship is constant in all other things. 
Save in the office and affairs of love : 
Therefore ^^, all hearts in love use their own tongues ; 
Let every eye negotiate for itself, 
And trust no agent : for beauty is a witch. 
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood ^^. 
This is an accident of hourly proof. 
Which I mistrusted not : Farewell therefore, Hero ! 

Re-enter Benedick. 

Bene. Count Claudio? 

Claud. Yea, the same. 

Bene. Come, will you go with me ? 

Claud. Whither? 

Bene, Even to the next willow, about your own 
business, count. What fashion will you wear the 
garland of? About your neck, like a^ usurer's 
chain ^^? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's 
scarf? You must wear it one way, for the prince 
hath got your Hero. 

^^ Letf which is found in the next line, is understood here. 
^^ Blood signifies amorous heat or passion. Sq, in All's Well 
that Ends Well, Act iii. Sc. 7 : 

* Now his important blood will nought deny, 

That she'll demand.' 

** Chains of gold of considerable value were, in Shakspeare's 
time, worn by wealthy citizens, and others, in the same manper 
as they are now on public occasions by the aldermen of London. 
Usury was then a common topic of invective. So, in ' The 
Choice of Change,' 1698, * Three sortes of people, in respect of 
necessity, may be accounted good : — MerchantSf for they may 
play the usurers, instead of the Jews, &c.* Again, * There is a 
scarcity of Jews, because Christians make tn occupation of 

1-10 MUCH ADO 

Claud. I wish hira joy of tier. 

Bern. Why, that's spoken like au honest drover; 
so they sell bullocks. But did you thiok the prince 
would have served you thus? 

Clavd. I pray you, leave me. 

Bene. Ho ! now you strike like the blind n 
'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat j 
the post. 

Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. [Exit. 

Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowl! Now will he creep. 

into sedges. But, that my lady Beatrice should 

know me, and not know me ! The Prince's fool ! — 
Ha ! it may be, I go under that title, because I am 
merry. — Yea; but so; I am apt to do myself wrong: 
I am not so reputed ; it is the base, the bitter dispo- 
sition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her per- 
son, and so gives me out'^ Well, I'll be revenged 
as I may. 

Re-enter Don Pedro. 

D. Pedro. Now, signior, where's the count; 
Did you see him? 

Be)K. Troth, my lord, I have play'd the part of 
lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a 
lodge in a warren'*; I told him, and, I think, I told 
him true, that your grace had got the good will of 
this young lady; and I ofiered him my company 
to a willow tree, either to make him a mrland, as 

'ttis the disposition 

of Beat 

rice, w 

ho lakes n. 

pon herself to 

sEDts the world as aay- 

iha.1 she ddIj saja her 




c. i. whert 

) the prophet, 

iMribing the desolstie 

)II of Jl 

idah, . 

1BJ8: 'Th( 

, danghlerof 

ia left BS a cottage in 

a .iBaj«^, » 

. a U.dg, i. 

, a garden of 

imbers,' &f. It appn 

ars Ihi 

t lhe«* 

: lonely U 

indinga wero 

«s»j', u the cu,.umb« 

«; &c. 

obliged Id 

be eonstantlj 

:hed and nalered, and 


■000 a 




being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being 
worthy to be whipped. 

D. Pedro. To be whipped! Whafs his fault? 

Bene, The flat transgression of a schoolboy; who, 
being overjoyed with finding a bird's nest, shows it 
his companion, and he steals it. 

D. Pedro, Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? 
The transgression is in the stealer. 

BcTie, Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had 
been made, and the garland too ; for the garland he 
might have worn himself; and the rod he might have 
bestowed on you, who, as I take it, have stol'n his 
bird's nest. 

D. Pedro, I will but teach them to sing, and re- 
store them to the owner. 

Bene, If their singing answer your saying, by my 
faith, you say honestly. 

D, Pedro, The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to 
you; the gentleman, that danced with her, told her, 
she is much wronged by you. 

Bene. O, she misused me past the endurance of 
a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, 
would have answered her; my very visor began to 
assume life, and scold with her'^^: She told me, not 
thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's 
jester: that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling 
jest upon jest, with such impossible ^^ conveyance, 
upon me, that I stood like a man at a mark, with a 

*^ It is sin^lar that a similar thought shoald be found in the 
tenth Thebaid of Statins, v. 658. 

* ' ipsa insanire videtnr 
Sphjnx galeae custos.' 
'^ i. e. 'with a rapidity eqnal to that of jugglers/ whose con- 
veyances or tricks appear impossibilities. Impossible may, ^owr 
ever, be used in the sense of incredible or inconceivablef both 
here and in the beginning of the scene, where Beatricie speak^ 
of * impossUfle slanders.' 


whole army shooting at me : She apcaka poniards, 
and every word stabs : it' ber breath were as terrible 
as her terminations, there were no liviog near her, 
she would ipfect to the north star. I would not 
marry her, though she were endowed with all that 
Adam had left him before he transgressed ; she 
would have made Hercules have turned spit; yea, 
and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, 
talk not of her ; you shall tind her the infernal At« '^ 
in good apparel. I would to God, some scholar 
would conjure her ; for, certainly, while she is here, 
a man may live as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary; 
and people sin upon purpose, because they wouhl 
go thither: so, indeed, all disquiet, horror, and per- 
turbation follow her. 

Re-enter ChAvaio, Beatrice, Hero, and 

D. Pedro. Look, here she comes. 

Bene. Will your grace command 
to the world's eud? I will go on the slightest errant 
now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to send 
me on; I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the 
farthest inch of Asia ; bring you the length of Preater 
John's foot ; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's 
beard : do you any embassage to the Pigmies, 
than hold three words' conference with this harpy 
You have no employi 

D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good com-' 

Bene. O God, sir, here's a dish I love not; 
cajinot endure my lady Tongue. [Exit. 

D. Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the 
heart of signior Benedick. 

Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while; 


Bm'a ^ 


Biil. ■ 



and I give him use^° for it^ a double heart for his 
single one: marry, once before, he won it of me 
with false dice, therefore your grace may well say, 
I have lost it. 

D. Pedro, You have put him down, lady, you 
have put him down. 

Beat, So I would not he should do me, my lord, 
lest I should prove the mother of fools. I have 
brought count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek. 

D, Pedro, Why, how now, count? wherefore are 
you sad? 

Claud, Not sad, my lord. 

D. Pedro, How then? Sick? 

Claud, Neither, my lord. 

Beat, The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor 
merry, nor well : but civil, count ; civil as an orange, 
and something of that jealous complexion. 

D. Pedro, I'faith, lady, I think your blazon to be 
true ; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit 
is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, 
and fair Hero is won ; I have broke with her father, 
and his good will obtained : name the day of mar- 
riage, and God give thee joy! 

Leon, Count, take of me my daughter, and with 
her my fortunes : his grace hath made the match, 
and all grace say Amen to it ! 

Beat, Speak, count, 'tis your cue ^^, 

Claud, Silence is the perfectest herald of joy : I 
were but little happy, if I could say how much. — 
Lady, as you are mine, I am yours : I give away 
myself for you, and dote upon the exchange. 

Beat, Speak, cousin ; or, if you cannot, stop his 
mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak neither. 

** Interest. 

^ i. e. yonr part or turn; a phrase among the players. F. Note 
on Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2. 


D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a'merry heart. 

Beat. Yea, my lord: I thank it, poor fool, it 
keeps on the windy side of care : — My cousin tells 
him in his ear, that he is in her heart. 

Ckmd. And so she doth, cousin. 

Beat. Good lord, for alliance ! — ^Thus goes every 
one to the world but I^, and I am sun-burned; I 
may sit in a comer, and cry, heigh ho ! for a husband. 

1>. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, 1 will get you one. 

Beat. I would rather have one of your father's 
getting: Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? 
Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could 
come by them. 

D. Pedro. Will you have me, lady? 

Beat. No, my lord, unless I might have another 
for working-days ; your grace is too costly to wear 
every day : — But, I beseech your grace, pardon me : 
I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter. 

D. Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to 
be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, 
you were bom in a merry hour. 

Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cry'd ; but 
then there was a star danced, and under that was I 
bora. — Cousins, God give you joy ! 

Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told 
you of? 

Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle. — By your grace's 
pardon. [Exit Beatrice. 

D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady. 

Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in 
her, my lord : she is never sad, but when she sleeps ; 
and not ever sad then ; for I have heard my daugh- 

* i. e. good lord, how many alliances are forming ! Every one 
is likely to he married but I. I am sun-burned means ' I have 
lost my beaaty; and am consequently no longer an object to 
tempt a man to marry.' 


ter say, she hath often dreamed of unhappiness ^S 
and waked herself with laughing. 

D. Pedro, She cannot endure to hear tell of a 

Leon, O, by no means ; she mocks all her wooers 
out of suit. 

D, Pedro, She were an excellent wife for Benedick. 

Leon, O lord, my lord, if they were but a week 
married, they would talk themselves mad. 

D. Pedro, Count Claudio, when mean you to go 
to church? 

Ckrnd, To-morrow> my lord: Time goes on 
crutches, till love have all his rites. 

Leon, Not till Monday, my dear son, which is 
hence a just seven-night : and a time too brief too, 
to have all things answer my mind. 

D, Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long 
a breathing ; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time 
shall not go dully by us ; I will, in the interim, un- 
dertake one of Hercules' labours ; which is, to bring 
signior Benedick and the lady Beatrice into a moun- 
tain of affection ^^, the one with the other. I would 
fain have it a match ; and I doubt not but to fashion 

^* i. e. mischief. Unhappy was often used for mischievouSf as 
we now say an unlucky boy for a mischievous hoy. So, in All's 
Well that Ends Well, Act iv. Sc. 5 : 

* A shrewd knave and an unhappy.* 

^ ' A mountain of affection with one another' is, as. Johnson 
observes, a strange expression ; yet all that is meant appears to 
be * a greeU deal of affection.' In the Renegado, by Massinger, 
we have : 

* 'tis but parting with 

A mountain of vexation.' 
Thus also in Hamlet, * a sea of troubles ;' and in Henry VIIT. 
' a sea of glory.' In tl^ Comedy of Errors : ' the mountain of 
mad flesh that claims qUkrriage of me.' And in other places, ' a 
storm of fortune,' * tjie vale of years,' ' a tempest of provocation.* 



it, if you three will but minister such assistance as 
I shall give you direction. 

Leon. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me 
ten nights' watchings. 

Claud, And I, my lord. 

D. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero? 

Hero, I will do any modest office, my lord, to 
help my cousin to a good husband. 

D, Pedro, And Benedick is not the unhopefuUest 
husband that I know: thus far can I praise him; 
he is of a noble strain ^^, of approved valour, and 
confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to hu- 
mour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with 
Benedick: — and I, with your two helps, will so 
practice on Benedick, that, in despite of his quick 
wit and his queasy ^^ stomach, he shall fall in love 
with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no 
longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are 
the only love-gods. Go in with me, and I will tell 
you my drift. [Exewnt. 

SCENE II. Another Room in Leonato's House, 

Enter Don John and Borachio. 

D, John, It is so : the count Claudio shall marry 
the daughter of Leonato. 

Bora, Yea, my lord; but I can cross it. 

D, John, Any bar, any cross, any impediment 
will be medicinable to me : I am sick in displeasure 
to him ; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, 
ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross 
this marriage? 

Bora, Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly 
that no dishonesty shall appear in me. 

D. John, Show me briefly how. 

^ The same as strene, descent, lineage, ** Squeamish. 


Bcra. I think, I told your lordship, a year since, 
how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the 
waiting-gentlewoman to Hero. 

D. John. I remember. 

Bora, I can, at any unseasonable instant of the 
night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber- 

D. John, What life is in that to be the death of 
this marriage? 

Bora, The poison of that lies in you to temper. 
Go you to the prince your brother ; spare not to tell 
him, that he hath wronged his honour in marrying 
the renowned Claudio (whose estimation do you 
mightily hold up) to a contaminated stale ^, such a 
one as Hero. 

D. John, What proof shall I make of that? 

Bora, Proof enough to misuse the prince, to ve^ 
Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato : Look 
you for any other issue ? 

D, John, Only to despite them, I will endeavour 
any thing. 

Bora, Go then, find me a meet hour to draw Don 
Pedro and the count Claudio alone : tell them, that 
you know that Hero loves me ; intend^ a kind of 
zeal both to the prince and Claudio, as — ^in love of 
your brother's honour, who hath made this match ; 
and his friend's reputation, who is thus like to be 
cozened with the semblance of a maid, — that you 
have discovered thus. They will scarcely believe 
this without trial : offer them instances ; which shall 
bear no less likelihood, than to see me at her cham- 
ber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear 

^ Shakspeare uses stale here, and in a sabseqaent scene, for 
an abandoned woman, A stale also meant a decoy or lure, bat 
the two words had different origins. U is obyioas why the 
term was applied to.prostitates. 

' Pretend. 

148 MUCH ADO ACT 11. 

Mai^ret term mi: Claudio'; and bring them to 
see this, Ihe very night before the inlended wedding-; 
for, in the mean time I will so fashion the matter, 
that Hero shall be absent; and there shall appear 
such seeming truth of Hero's disloyalty, that jea- 
lousy shall be call'd assurance, and all the prepara- 
tion overthrown. 

D. John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, 
I will put it in practice ; Be cunning in the working 
this, and thy fee is a tbou.sand ducats. 

Bora. Be you constant in the accusation, and my 
cunning shall not shame me. 

D. John. I will presently go learn their day of 
marriage. {Exeunt. 

SCENE HI. Leonato'B Gartbm. 
Enter Benedick and a Boy. 
Bate. Boy, — 
Bog. Signior. 

Bene. In my chamber- window lies a book ; bring 
it hither to me in the orchard '. 
Boif. I am here, already, sir. 
Bene. I know that ; — but I would have thee hence, 
and here again. [Exit Boy.] — I do much wonder, 

' Tlie old copien read Claudia here. Theobald sllered it lo 
Borneiio; jet if CUudio he wrong, it is mosl prnbably UiB.poet'g 
oversight- CUndio might concfiiE (bat the soppwied Hiro, 
□ailed Borachio by the name of Claudia in consequence of a ee- 
oret agreement between them, as a cover in case she were orer- 
faeard; and Ae would know uithont a possibility of error that it 
was not Ciaudio with whom in fact she con.ersed. For the 
other ai^iupenls pro and con we musl refer lo Oie variorDiD 

' Orchard in Shakspeare's lime signified a garden. So, in 
Romeo and Juliet: 

■ The orchard walls are high and hard lo climh.' 
This word was first written hort-yard, then by cotniption ftorl- 
chard, and hence ercliard. 


that one man, seeing how much another man is a 
fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, 
after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, 
become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in 
love : And such a man is Claudio. I have known, 
when there was no musick with him but the drum 
and fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and 
the pipe : I have known, when he would have walked 
ten mile afoot, to see a good armour; and now will 
he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new 
doublet^. He was wont to speak plain, and to the 
purpose, like an honest man, and a soldier ; and now 
is he tum*d orthographer ; his words are a very fan- 
tastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May 
I be so converted, and see with these eyes ? I can- 
not tell ; I think not : I will not be sworn, but love 
may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my 
oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he 
shall never make me such a fool. One woman is 
fair ; yet I am well : another is wise ; yet I am well : 
another virtuous; yet I am well: but till all graces 
be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my 
grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain ; wise, or 
I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, 
or I'll never look on her ; mild, or come not near me ; 

' This folly is the theme of all comic satire. In Andrew 
Borde's ' Introduction to Knowledge,' the English gentleman is 
represented naked, with a pair of shears in one hand and a piece 
of cloth on his arm, with the following verses : 

' I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here. 
Musing in my mynde what rayment I shal were. 
For now I will ware this, and now I will were that. 
And now I will were I cannot tell what.' 
In Bamahe Riche's ' Faults and nothing but Faults,' 1606, 
' The fashionmonger that spends his time in the contemplation of 
suites,' is said to have ' a sad and heavy countenance,' because 
his tailor ' hath cut his new sute after the olde stampe of some 
stale fashion that is at the least of a whole fortnight's standing.' 



150 MUCH Abo ACT II 

noble, or not I for an angel ; of good discourse, 
excellent musician, and her hair shall be of wl 
colour it please God^. Ha! the prince and uh 
sieur Love ! I will hide me in the arbour. 


Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudk 

D. Pedro, Come, shall we hear this musick? 
Claud, Yea, my good lord : — How still the even: 
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony ! 

D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid hi 

Claud. O, very well, my lord : the musick end< 
We'll fit the kid-fox* with a penny-worth. 

Enter Balthazar, with musick. 

D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that s< 

Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voi< 
To slander musick any more than once. 

D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency. 
To put a strange face on his own perfection : — 
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more. 

Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sin 
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit 
To her he thinks not worthy ; yet he woos ; 
Yet will he swear, he loves. 

^ Benedick may allude to the fashion of dyeing the hair,i 
common in Shakspeare's time. Or to that of wearing false li 
which also then prevailed. So, in a subsequent scene : " I ! 
the new tire within excellently, if the kcdr were a thoc 

* Kid-fox has been supposed to mean discovered or dete 
fox ; Kid certainly meant known or discovered in Chauc 
time. It may have been a technical term in the game of h 
fox; old terms are sometimes longer preserved in jocular sp 
than in common usage. Some editors have printed it hid-j 
and others explained it young or cub-fox. 


D. Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come : 

Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument. 
Do it in notes. 

Balih, Note this before my notes. 

There's not a note of mine that's worth the notins:. 

D. Pedro, Why these are very crotchets that he 
speaks ; 
Note, notes, forsooth, and noting ! [Mtisick, 

Bene, l^ow, Divine air! now is his soul ravished! 
— Is it not strange, that sheep's guts should hale 
souls out of men's bodies? — Well, a horn for my 
money, when all's done. 

Balthazar sings. 


Balth. Sigh no morey ladies, sigh no more. 
Men were deceivers ever ; 
One foot in sea, and one on shore; 
To one tking constant never: 
Then sigh not so. 
But let them go. 
And be you blithe and bonny ; 
Converting all your sounds of woe 
Into, Hey nanny, nonny. 


Sing no more ditties, sing no mo 
Of dumps so dull and heavy ; 

The fraud of men was ever so. 
Since summer first was leavy : 
Then sigh not so, Sfc, 

D. Pedro. By my troth, a good song. 
Balth. And an ill singer, my lord. 
D. Pedro. Ha? no; no, faith; thou singest well 
enough for a shift. 


Bene. [AsideJ] An he had been a dog, that should 
have howled thus, they would have hanged him: 
and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! 
I had £MS lief have heard the night-raven^, come 
what plague could have come after it. 

D.Pedro. Yea, marry; [To Claudio.] — Dost 
thou hear, Balthazar ? I pray thee, get us some ex- 
cellent musick ; for to-morrow night we would have 
it at the lady Hero's chamber window. 

Balth. The best I can, my lord. 

D. Pedro. Do so : farewell. [Exeunt Baltha- 
zar and musick.'] Come hither, Leonato: What 
was it you told me of to-day ? that your niece Bea- 
trice was in love with signior Benedick ? 

Claud. O, ay: — Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl 
sits^. [Aside to Pedro.] I did never think that 
lady would have loved any man. 

Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, 
that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom 
she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to 

Bene. Is't possible ? Sits the wind in that comer ? 


Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to 
think of it ; but that she loves him with an enraged 
affection, — it is past the infinite of thought ''^. 

D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit. 

Claud. Faith, like enough. 

Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was 

* i. e. the owl ; wcrucopa^. So, in Henry VI. P. ill. : * The 
n%ght-<irow cried, aboding luckless time.* Thus also Milton, in 
L' Allegro : — * And the night-raven sings.* 

^ This is an allusion to the stalking-horse ; a horse either real 
or factitious, by which the fowler anciently skreened himself 
from the sight of the game. 

"^ i. e. ' bnt with what an enraged affection she loves him, it 
is beyond the infinite power of thought to conceive.' 


counterfeit of passion came so near the life of pas- 
sion, as she discovers it. 

D, Pec^o. Why, what effects of passion shows she ? 

Claud. Baitiiie hook well ; this fish will hite. 

, [Aside, 

Leon. What effects, my lord ! She will sit you, — 
You heard my daughter tell you how. 

Claud, She did, indeed. 

D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze 
me : I would have thought her spirit had heen in- 
yincihle against all assaults of affection. 

Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord ; es- 
pecially against Benedick. 

Bene, [Aside,] I should think. this a gull, but 
that the white-bearded fellow speaks it : knavery 
cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence. 

Claud. He hath ta'en the infection ; hold it up. 


D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to 

Lean. No ; and swears she never will : that's her 

Claud. Tis true, indeed ; so your daughter says : 
ShaU /, says she, that have so oft encountered him 
with scorn, write to him that I lave him! 

Leon. This says she now when she is beginning 
to write to him : for she'll be up twenty times a 
night : and there will she sit in her smock, till she 
have writ a &heet of paper : — my daughter tells us 

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I re- 
member a pretty jest your daughter told us of. 

Leon. O ! — When she had writ it, and was read- 
ing it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice be- 
tween the sheet I — 

Claud. That. 

Leon. O ! she tore the letter into a thousand half- 


pence °; railed at herself, that she should be so im- 
modest to write to one that she knew would flout 
her : I measure him, says she, by my awn spirit ;for 
I should Jlout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I 
love him, I should. 

Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, 
weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, 
curses : — sweet Benedich ! God give me patience ! 

Iaou, She doth indeed; my daughter says so: 
and the ecstasy ^ hath so much overborne her, that 
my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a des- 
perate outrage to herself: It is very true. 

D. Pedro, It were good, that Benedick knew of 
it by some other, if she will not discover it. 

Claud. To what end ? He would but make a sport 
of it, and torment the poor lady worse. 

D, Pedro, An he should, it were an alms to hang 
him: She's an excellent sweet lady; and, out of all 
suspicion, she is virtuous. 

Claud, And she is exceeding wise. 

D, Pedro, In every thing but in loving Benedick. 

Leon, O my lord, wisdom and blood ^^ combating 
in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, 
that blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as 
I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian. 

D, Pedro, I would, she had bestow'd this dotage 
on me; I would have daff'd^^ all other respects, 
and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Bene- 
dick of it, and hear what he will say. 

Leon, Were it good, think you ? 

Claud, Hero thinks surely, she will die : for she 
says, she will die if he love her not; and she will 

^ i. e. into a thousand smaU pieces; it should he remembered 
that the silver halfpence, which were then current, were very 
minute pieces. 

* See the Tempest, Act iii. Sc. 1, p. 67, note 12. 

*^ i. e. passion. 

" To dajf is the same as to do </, to dh/, topoi tfl^* 


die ere she makes her love known ; and she will die 
if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breath 
of her accustomed crossness. 

D, Pedro, She doth well: if she should make 
tender of her love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it ; 
for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible^^ 

CUmd, He is a very proper ^^ man. 

D, Pedro, He hath, indeed, a good outward hap- 

Claud. 'Fore God, and in my mind, very wise. 

D, Pedro, He doth, indeed, show some sparks 
that are like wit. 

Leon, And I take hini to be valiant. 

D. Pedro, As Hector, I assure you : and in the 
managing of quarrels you may say he is wise ; for 
either he avoids them with great discretion, or un- 
dertakes them with a most christian-like fear. 

Leon, If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep 
peace ; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into 
a quarrel with fear and trembling. 

D. Pedro, And so will he do ; for the man doth 
fear God, howsoever it seems not in him by some 
large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for your 
niece : Shall we go see Benedick, and tell him of 
her love? 

CUmd. Never tell him, my lord ; let her wear it 
out with good counsel. 

Leon, Nay, that's impossible ; she may wear her 
heart out first. 

D, Pedro, Well, we'll hear further of it by your 
daughter; let it cool the while. I love Benedick 
well ; and I could wish he would modestly examine 

^^ That is, a spirit inclined to scorn and contempt. It should 
be contemptuous, Onr ancestors were not very exact in the ap- 
plication of verbal adjectives. See Tooke's very acute observa- 
tions on these abbreviations, in The Diversions of Parley, vol. 2, 
c. viii. *^ Handsome. ' 



himself, to see how much he is unworthy to have so 
good a lady. 

Lam. My lord, will yoii walk? dinner is ready. 
. Claud. If he do not dote on hec upon this, I will 
never trust my esp<<ctatioa. [Aside. 

D. Pedro. Let there be the net spread for 
her; and that must your daughter and her gentle- 
woman carry. The sport will be, when they hold 
one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such 
matter; that's the scene tliat I would see, which 
will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her to 
call him in to dinner. [A^de. 

{Exeunt Don Pgdro, Claxjdio, and Leonato. 

Benedick advances from ike arbour. 
Bene. This can be no trick : The conference was 
sadly borne '*. — They have the truth of this from 
Hero. They seem to pity the lady ; it seems, her 
affections have their full bent'^. Love me ! why, 
it must be requited. T hear how I am censured : 
they say, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive 
the love come from her; they say too, that she will 
rather die than give any sign of affection. — I did 
never think to marry: — I must not seem proud: — 
Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can 
put them to mending. They say, the lady is Fair; 

" SlBeven 

IB nnd Matone 

BBserl that this i 

s a metaphor from 

urcherj, sari 

ng; thai tktfidl bent ia the Dtmoi 


ertion. Sar. 

sir there ii no 

i eronnd for tie i 

issertion ! It wu 

one of tile mnsl coranmn fDrnis ot eiprassiop 


incUfotian, t 

HidtHcy; BDd 1 

»M used «here il 

could baye been any %Ua> 

ion to the bendin 

C or . bow. .:< in 

these phr«e 

I fram a wrili 

ir of Elizabeth's 

.J.: 'Th.d,,!^ 

MttiBg or binding U> tie eii 

ming,'— ' Bending 


just! J ohaerveii 



were then lo 

to 6e.<f the how U 

lo/orten the 

strins 10 the 1 

lorns that il ruaj 

img, and the i 

Its bent the (ess w 



'tis a truth, I can bear them witness : and virtuous ; 
— 'tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for 
loving me : — By my troth, it is no addition to her 
wit ; — nor no great argument of her folly, for I will 
be horribly in love with her. I may chance have 
some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, 
because I have railed so long against marriage : — 
But doth not the appetite alter ? A man loves the 
meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age : 
Shall quips, and sentences, and these paper bullets 
of the brain, awe a man from the career of his hu- 
mour; No : The world must be peopled. When I 
said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I 
should live till I were married. — Here comes Bea- 
trice : By this day, she's a fair lady : I do spy some 
marks of love in her. 

Enter Beatrice. 

Beat. Against my yrill I am sent to bid you come 
in to dinner. 

Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. 

Beat, I took no more pains for those thanks than 
you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, 
I would not have come. 

Bene. You take pleasure then in the message ? 

Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon 
a knife's point, and choke a daw withal : — ^You 
have no stomach, signior; fare you well. [Exit. 

Bene. Ha ! Against my will I am sent to bid you 
come to dinner — there's a double meaning in that. 
/ took no more pains for those thanks than you took 
pains to thank me — that's as much as to say. Any 
pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks : — If 
I do not take pity of her, I am a villain ; if I do not 
love her, I am a Jew : I wilLgo get her picture. 




SCENE I. Leonato'« Garden. 

Enter Hero, Margaret, arid Ursula. 

Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour; 
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice 
Proposing^ with the Prince and Claudio : 
Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula 
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse 
Is all of her ; say, that thou overheard'st us ; 
And bid her steal into the pleached bower. 
Where honey-suckles, ripen'd by the sun. 
Forbid the sun to enter ; — like favourites. 
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride 
Against that power that bred it: — there will she 

hide her. 
To listen our propose ^ : This is thy ofBce, 
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone. 

Marg, I'll make her come, I warrant you, pre- 
sently^ [Exit. 

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth coine. 
As we do trace this alley up and down. 
Our talk must only be of Benedick : 
When I do name him, let it be thy part 
To praise him more than ever man did merit : 
My talk to thee must be, how Benedick 
Is sick in love with Beatrice : Of this matter 
Is httle Cupid's crafty arrow made. 
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin ; 

^ Proposing is conversing, from the French Propos, discourse, 

* The folio re&ds purpose. The qnarto propose, iwbich appears 
to he right. See the preceding note. Thoutjh Mr. Reed has 
shown that purpose was sometimes used in the same sense. 


Enter Beatrice, behind. 

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs 
Close by the ground, to hear our conference. 

Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish 
Cut with their golden oars the silver stream. 
And greedily devour the treacherous bait: 
So angle we for Beatrice ; who even now 
Is couched in the woodbine coverture : 
Fear you not my part of the dialogue. 

Hero. Then go we near her, tiiat her ear lose 
Of the false sweet bait, that we lay for it. — 

[They advance to the bower. 
"Noy truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful ; 
I know her spirits are as coy and wild 
As haggards of the rock^. 

Urs. But are you sure, 

That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely ? 

Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord. 

Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam ? 

Hero. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it; 
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick, 
To wish him^ wrestle with affection, 
And never to let Beatrice know of it. 

Urs. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman 

' A hawk not manned^ or trained to obedience ; a wild hawk. 
Magard, Fr. Latham, in his Book of Falconry, sajrs : ' Such is 
the greatness of her spirit, she will not acbnit of any society until 
snch a time as nature worketh,' &c. So, in The Tragical His- 
tory of Didaco and Violenta, 1576 : 

' Perchance she's not of haggard's kind. 
Nor heart so hard to bend,' &c. 
* Wish him, that is, recommend or desire him. So, in The 
Honest Whore, 1604 : 

' Go wish the sargeon to hare great respect,' &c. 


Deserve as fulP, as fortunate a bed. 
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon? 

Hero, O God of Iov« ! I know, Le doth deserve 
As much as may be yielded to a roan : 
But nature never fr&m'd a woman's heart 
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice : 
Sisdaia and scorn ride spaikling in her eyes, 
Miapriamg^ what they look on; and her wit 
Values itself so highly, that to her 
All matter else seems weak : she cannot love. 
Not take no shape nor project of affection, 
She is so self-endeared. 

Vn. Sure, I think so ; 

And therefore, certainly, it were not good 
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it. 

Hero. Why, you speak truth: I never yet saw 

How wise, how noble, young, how rarelv featur'd. 
But she would spell him backward' ; if fair-faced. 
She'd swear the gentleman should be her sister; 
If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick. 
Made a foul blot": if tall, a lance ill-headed; 
If low, an agate very vilely cut^ : 

' Sa, in Othello: 

' Whal afM rortane does tlie think lipi owe.' 
What Ursula means Id aa; is, ' thai be is at deaerving of com- 
plete tappioi 

• UndenllDi 

' Alluding to Ibe 

: at Hitches 

of Ihongbt, are cited bj Mr. Steevena rmm Lilj^. Enphnes : 

■ A black mill here meaos a man with a dark or thick beard, 
which ia the Oat in natare's drawing. 


If speaking, why a vaae blown with all winds : 
If silent, why a block moved with none. 
So turns she every man the wrong side out; 
And never gives to truth and virtue that 
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth. 

Urs, Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable. 

Hero. No : not to be so odd, and from all fashions. 
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable : 
But who dare tell her so? If I should speak. 
She'd mock me into air; O, she would laugh me 
Out of myself, press me to death with vni^^. 
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire. 
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly : 
It were a better death than die with mocks ; 
Which is as bad as die with tickling ^^. 

Urs. Yet tell her of it ; hear what she Will say. 

Hero, No ; rather I will go to Benedick, 
And counsel him to fight against his passion : 
And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders 
To stain my cousin with : One doth not know. 
How much an ill word may empoison liking. 

Urs. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong. 
She cannot be so much without true judgment, 
(Having so swift ^^ and excellent a wit. 
As she is priz'd to have), as to refuse 
So rare a gentleman as signior Benedick. 

Hero, He is the only man of Italy, 
Always excepted my dear Claudio. 

Urs, I pray you, be not angry with me, madam. 
Speaking my fancy ; signior Benedick, 

^® The allnsion is to an ancient punishment inflicted on those 
who refased to plead to an indictment. If they continned siletit, 
they were pressed to death hy heavy weights laid on their sto- 
mach. This species of torture is now abolished. 

^* This word is intended to be pronounced as a trisyllable, it 
was sometimes written ticketing, 

** Quick, ready. 




For shape, for bearing, argument'^, and valour. 
Goes foremost in report through Italy. 

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excelleot good name 

Urg. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. — 
When are you married, madam? 

Hero.Vfhf, every day ; — to-morrow : Come, go in j 
111 show thee soioe attires ; and have thy counsel. 
Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. 

Un. She's lim'd^* I warrant you ; we have caught 
her, madam. 

Hem. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps : 
Some Cupid kdls with arrows, some with traps. 

[Exeimt Hero and llBstrLA. 

Beatrice advances. 
Beat. What fire is in mine ears'^? Can this be 

Stand I eondemn'd for pride and scorn bo mucbT 
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu! 

No glory lives behind the back of such. 
And, Benedick, love on, I vrill requite thee ; 

Taming ray wild heart to thy loving band'*; 
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee 

To bind our loves up in a holy band : 
For others say, thou dost deserve; and I 
Believe it better than reportingly. [Exit. 

< i. e. enspBrEd and eiitan);1ed, as a sparrow with bird 1i 
' Alluding la the proverbial sajing, nbich i& as aid as Plii 
ei 'That when our trarj do glow and thgle, sDiqe then 
t in am abgence do talke of as.' Hullaiid's Tnuslatian. 


SCENE II. A Room in Leonato's House, 

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and 


D, Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be 
consummate, and then I go toward Arragon. 

Claud. Ill bring you thither, my lord, if you'll 
vouchsafe me. 

D, Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in 
the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child 
his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only 
be bold with Benedick .for his company : for, from 
the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is 
all mirth ; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow- 
string, and the little hangman^ dare not shoot at 
him: he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his 
tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his 
tongue speaks^. 

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been. 

Leon. So say I; methinks you are sadder. 

Claud. I hope, he be in love. 

D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop 
of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love : if he 
be sad, he wants money. 

Bene. I have the tooth-ach^. 

^ Dr. Fanner has illustrated this term by citing a passage 
from Sidney's Arcadia, B. II. C. xiy.; bnt it seems probable 
that no more is meant by hangnum than executioner, slayer of 

^ A covert allusion to the old proverb : 

* As the fool thinketh 
The bell clinketh.' 

^ So, in The False One, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 
* O this sounds mangily. 
Poorly and scurvily in a soldier^s mouth ; 
You had best be troubled with the toothach too. 
For lovers ever are.* 


D, Pedro, Draw it. 

Bene. Hang it ! 

Claud, You must hang it first, and draw it after- 

2>. Pedro. What, sigh for the tooth-ach? 

Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm? 

Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he 
that has it. 

Claud. Yet say I, he is in love. 

D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy ^ in 
him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange dis- 
guises; as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a French- 
man to-morrow ; or in the shape of two countries at 
once^; as, a German from the waist downward, all 
slops ^; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no 
doublet : Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as 
it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you 
would have it appear he is. 

Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, 
there is no believing old signs : he brushes his hat 
o' mornings ; What should that bode ? 

D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the bar- 
ber's ? 

Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen 

* A play upon the word fancy, which Shakspeare uses for 
hve, as well as for humour , caprice, or affectation. 

* So, in The Seven deadly Sinnes of London, hy Decker, 1606, 
' For an Englishman's snte is like a traitor's hody that hath 
beene hanged, drawne, and quartered, and is set np in several 
places : his codpiece, in Denmarke ; the collar of his dahlet and 
the belly, in France ; the wing and narrow sleeve, in Italy ; the 
short waste hangs over a botcher's stall in Utrich; his huge 
sloppes speaks Spanish ; Polonia gives him the bootes, &c. — and 
thus we mocke everie nation for keeping one fashion, yet steale 
patches from everie of them to piece out onr pride ; and are 
now laughing-stocks to them, because their cut so scurvily be- 
comes us.' 

^ Large loose breeches or trowsers. Hence a slop-seller for 
one who furnishes seamen, &c. with clothes. 


with him; and the old bruament of his cheek hath 
already stuffed tennis-balls. 

Lecfn, Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by 
the loss of a beard. 

D, Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet : Can 
you smell him out by that? 

Claud, That's as much as to say. The sweet youth's 
in love. 

2>. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melan- 

Claud, And when was he wont to wash his face ? 

D, Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, 
I hear what they say of him. 

Ckmd, Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now 
crept into a lutestring ''^ and now governed by stops. 

D, Pedro, Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him : 
Conclude, conclude, he is in love. 

Claud, Nay, but I know who loves him. 

D, J^edro, That would I know too ; I warrant, 
one that knows him not. 

Claud, Yes, and his ill conditions ; and, in despite 
of all, dies for him. 

D. Pedro, She shall be buried'with her face up-^ 

Bene, Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach. — 
Old signior, walk aside with me : I have studied 
eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which 
these hobby-horses must not hear. ' 

[Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. 

"^ Love-songs, in Shakspeare's time, were song to the late. 
So, in Henry VI. Part I. 

' As melancliolj as an old lion or a lover*s lute,* 

^ 1. e. * in her lover's arms.' So in The Winter's Tale : 

' Flo. What? like a corse? 
Per. No, like a bank for lore to lie and play on ; 
Not like a corse : — or if, — not to be buried, 
Bat qoick and in my arms.* 



D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about 

Claud. Tia even so : Huro and Margaret have 
by this played their parts with Beatrice; and then, 
the two bears will not bite one another when they 

Enter DoN John. 

J). Jakn. My lord and brother, God save you. 

D. Pptiro. Good den, brother. 

D. Julia. If your leisure served, I would spealEJ 

D. Pedro. In private ? 

JD. John. If it please you : — yet Count Claudii>^ 
may hear; for what I would speak of conci 

D. Pedro. What's the matter? 

D. John. Means youv lordship to be married to- 
morrow? [ToClaudio. 

D. Pedro. You know, he does. , 

D. John. I know not that, whea he knows whlfl 

Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, 
discover it. 

J). John. You may think, I love you not ; let that 
appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I 
now will manifest : For my brother, I think, he holds 
you well; and in deamess of heart hath holp to 
effect your ensuing marriage : surely, suit ill spent, 
and labour ill bestowed ! 

Ji. Pedro. Why, what's the matter? 

D. John. I came hither to tell you; and, circuin* 
stances shortened, (for she bath been too long a 
talking of,) the lady is disloyal. 

Claud. Who? Hero? 

D. John. Even she ; Leonato's Hero, your Heroi 
every man's Hero. 



Claud. Disloyal? 

D. John. The word is too good to paint out her 
vtdckedness ; I could say, she were worse; think 
you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Won- 
der not till further warrant : go but with me to-night, 
you shall see her chamber-window entered ; even 
the night before her wedding-day : if you love her 
then, to-morrow wed her: but it would better fit 
your honour to change your mind. 

Claud. May this be so? 

D. Pedro. I will not think it. 

D. John. If you dare not trust that you see, con- 
fess not that you know : if you will follow me, I will 
show you enough ; and when you have seen more, 
and heard more, proceed accordingly. 

Claud. If I see any thing to-night why I should 
not marry her to-morrow ; in the congregation, where 
I should wed, there will I shame her. 

D. Pedro. And as I wooed for thee to obtain her, 
I will join with thee to disgrace her. 

D. John. I will disparage her no farther, till you 
are my vtdtnesses : bear it coldly but till midnight, 
and let the issue show itself* 

D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned ! 

Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting ! 

D. John. O plague right well prevented ! 
So will you say, when you have seen the sequel. 


SCENE III. A Street. 

Enter Dogberry and Verges ^, with the Watch. 

Dogb. Are you good men and true ? 
Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should 
suffer salvation, body and soul. 

' The first of these worthies is named from the Dog'berrp or 
female cornel, a shrub that grows in every connty in England. 
Vm'g€9 is only the provincial pronunciation of verjuice. 


1G8 MUCH ADO ACT llt^ 

Dogh. Nay, that were a punishment too good for 
them, if they should have any allegiance in them, 
being chosen for the prince's watch. 

Ferp. Well, give them their charge^, neighbour 

Dogb. First, who think you the most desartlesa 
man to be constable? 

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal; 
for they can write and read. 

Dagb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. God hath 
blessed you with a good name : to be a well favour- 
ed man is the gift of fortune ; but to write tmd read 
comes by nature. 

2 Watch. Both which, master constable, ■ 

Dogb. You have ; I knew it would be your an- 
swer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God 
thanks, and make no boast of it ; and for your writ- 
ing and reading, let that appear when there is no 
need of such vanity. You are thought here to be 
the most senseless and fit man for the constable of 
the watch; therefore bear you the lantern: This is 
your charge : You shall comprehend all vagrom 
men : you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's 

2 Watch. How if he will not stand 1 

Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let him 
go ; and presently call the rest of the watch toge- 
ther, and thank God you are rid of a knave. 

Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he 
is none of the prince's subjects. 

Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none 
but the prince's subjects ; — You shall also make no 
the streets ; for, for the watch to babble and 
talk, is most tolerable and not to be endured. 

To chariit his fellows tecme to hsre been a reKnlar part of 
Uie dutj af lUe codstiible. So ia A Neo Trick (o cheat Ibe 
Devil, I6J9, ' My woWt i» set— ftarg* jir™— and all al peace.' 


2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk ; we know 
what belongs to a watch. 

Dogb. Why, you apeak like an ancient and moat 
quiet watchman; for I cannot aee how sleeping 
should offend ; only, have a care that your bills^ be 
not stolen : — Well, you are to call at all the ale- 
houses, and bid those that are drunk get tliem to 

2 Wa(cA. How if they will not? 

Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are so- 
ber; if they make you not then the better answer, 
you may say, they are not the men you took them 

2 WaltA. Well, sir. 

Dogb. If you meet a thief, you oiay suspect him, 
by virtue of your office, to be no true man : and, for 
such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with 
them, why, the more is for your honesty. 

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we 
not lay hands on him ? 

Dogb. Truly, by your office, you may; but I 
think, they that touch fitch will be defiled: the 
most peaceable way for you, if you do lake a thief, 
is, to let him show himself what he is, imd steal out 
of your company. 

3 This rppreaentitionofawBtchmin 
Tith hia itU (a son of halberd) on big 
ihouldflr, ia copied fn>m the title-page 
oDeelier'aO perse 0.1612. 


Verg, You have been always called a merciful 
man, partner. 

Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will ; 
much more a man, who hath any honesty in him.' 

Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, you 
must call to the nurse, and bid her still it^. 

2 Watch, How if the nurse be asleep, and will 
not hear us. 

Dogh, Why then, depart in peace, and let the 
child wake her with crying : for the ewe that will 
not hear her lamb when it baas, will never answer a 
calf when he bleats. 

Verg, Tis very true. 

Dogh. This is the end of the charge. You, con- 
stable, are to present the prince's own person ; if you 
meet the prince in the night, you may stay him. 

Verg, Nay, by'r lady, that, I think, he cannot. 

Dogh, Five shillings to one on't, with any man 
that knows the statues, he may stay him: marry, 
not without the prince be willing; for, indeed, the 
watch ought to offend no man ; and it is an offence 
to stay a man against his will. 

Verg, By'r lady, I think, it be so. 

Dogh, Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: 
an there be any matter of weight chances, call up 
me: keep your fellows' counsels and your own^, 
and good night. — Come, neighbour. 

2 Watch, Well, masters, we hear our charge : let 
us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and 
then all to-bed. 

^ It is not impossible bat that a part of this scene was intended 
as a burlesqae upon ' The Statutes of the Streets, imprinted bv 
Wolfe in 1695.* 

^ This is part of the oath of a grand juryman, and is one of 
many proofs of Shakspeare's having been very conversant with 
legal proceedings and courts of justice at some period of his life. 


Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours : I pray 
you, watch about signior Leonato's door; for the 
wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil 
to-night : Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you. 

[Exeunt Dogberry and Verges. 

Enter Borachio and Conrade. 

Bora, What! Conrade, — 

Watch. Peace, stir not. [Aside. 

Bora. Conrade, I say ! 

Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow. 

Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought, 
there would a scab follow. 

Con. I will owe thee an answer for that ; and now 
forward with thy tale. 

Bora. Stand thee close then under this pent-house, 
for it diizzles rain ; and I will, like a true drunkard, 
utter all to thee. 

Watch. [Aside.'] Some treason, masters ; yet stand 

Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John 
a thousand ducats. 

Con. Is it possible that any yillany should be so 

Bora. Thou shouldst rather ask, if it were pos- 
sible any villany should be so rich ; for when rich 
villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make 
what price they will. 

Con. I wonder at it. 

Bora. That shows thou art unconfirmed ^ : Thou 
knowest, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or 
a cloak, is nothing to a man. 

Con. Yes, it is apparel. 

Bora. I mean, the fashion. 

Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion. 

' Unpractised in the ways of the world. 



Bora. Tush I I may as well say, the fool' 
fool. But seest Ihou not what a defonned thief this 
faahion is? 

Walch. I know tbat Deformed ; he has been a 
vile thief this seven year ; he ^es up and down like 
a genUeman : I remember his name. 

Bora. Didst ihou not hear somebody ? 

Cim. No; 'twas the vane on the house. 

Bora. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed 
thief tills fashion is? how giddily he turns about all 
the hot bloods, between fourteen and five and thirty? 
sometime, fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers 
in the reechy' painting; sometime, like god Bel's 
priests in the old church window; sometime, like 
the shaven Hercules in the smirched ° wonn-eaten 
tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his 

Con. All this I see; and see, that the fashioa 
wears out more apparel than the man : But art not 
thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou 
hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the 

Bwa. Not BO neither : but know, that 1 have to- 
night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlewo- 
man, by the name of Hero; she leans me out at her 
mistress' chamber-window, bids me a thousand times 
good night, — I tell this tale vilely : — I should first 
tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my master, 
planted, and placed, and possessed by my master 
Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable 

CoH. And thought they, Margaret was Hero ? _ ' 

Bora. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio ;. 

but the devil my master knew she was Margaret; 

^ i. ■.dUoalonnd b; smakf, 

■ Hoilsd, sullied. ProbDbl; 

Tlla word ia penaliu' Id Shaksp 




and partly by his oalhs» which first possessed tiiem, 
partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, 
bat chiefly by my viUany, which did confirm any 
slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio 
enraged ; swore he would meet her as he was ap- 
pointed, next morning at the temple, and there, bo- 
fore the whole congregation, shame her with what 
he saw over-night, and send her home again without 
a husband. 

1 Watch, We charge you in the princess name, 

2 Watch, Call up the right master constable : We 
have here recovered the most dangerous piece of 
lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth. 

1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them ; I 
know him, he wears a lock. 

Con. Masters, masters. 

2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, 
I warrant you. 

Con. Masters, — 

1 Watch. Never speak; we charge you, let us 
obey you to go vnth us. 

Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, 
being taken up of these men's bills ^. 

Con. A commodity in question ^^, I warrant you. 
Come, we'll obey you. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato*s House. 

Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula. 

Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice^ 
and desire her to rise. 
Urs. I will, lady. 

^ We have the same conceit in K. Henry VI. Part II. ' Mj 
lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take iqt comntodiHet 
apon oar bills /' 

'^ L e. in examination or trial. 



Huro. And bid her come hither. 

Vn. Well. {Exit Ursdla. J 

Marg, Troth, I think, your other rabato^ were | 

Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. 

Marg. By my troth, it's not so good ; and I war- 
rant, your cousin will say so. 

Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another; 
I'll wear uone but this. 

Marg. I like the new tire- within excellently, if 
the hair were a thought browner : and your gown's 
a most rare fashion, i'faith. I saw the duchess of 
Milan's gown, that they praise so. 

Hero. O, that exceeds, they say, 

Marg. By my troth it's but a, nig;ht-gown in re- I 
spect of yours: Cloth of gold, and cuts, and laced 
with silver; set with pearls, down-sleeves, side- 
sleeves ^, and skirts round, underborne with a blueish 
tinsel : but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent 
fashion, yours is worth ten on't, 

Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart 1 
is exceeding heavy ! 

Marg. Twill be heavier soon by the weight of I 
a man. 

Hero. Fye upon thee ! art not ashamed t 

Marg. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? 
Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not vour 
lord honourable without mariiage? I think, you 
would have me say, saving your reverence, — a hits- 
band: an bad thinking do not wrest true speaking,. 
I'll offend nobody : Is there any harm m- — tlie heavier ■ 

,1 back, beipK al 

tleef«i. Side ur lyds in Nartb Briuin ii gtied Tor 
lied Id the gaimeDl. It fau Uie sunt lignilicaUDn 
ID and DbouIi. 







for a husband? None, I think, an it be the ri^ht hus- 
band, and the right vrife ; otherwise 'tis light, and 
not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she 

Enter Beatrice. 

Hero. Good morrow, coz. 

Beat, Good morrow, sweet Hero. 

Hero. Why, how now ! do you speak in the sick 

Beat, I am out of all other tune, methinks. 

Marg, Clap us into — Light o' love; that goea 
without burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it. 

Beat, Yea, Light o' fore*, with your heels? — 
then if your husband have stables enough, you'll 
see he shall lack no bams^. 

Marg, O illegitimate construction! I scorn that 
with my heels. 

Beat, Tis almost five o'clock, cousin ; 'tis time 
you were ready. By my troth I am exceeding ill : 
— hey ho ! 

Marg, For a hawk, a horse, or a husband ? 

Beat, For the letter that begins them all, H ^. 

^ The name of a popular old dance tune mentioned again in 
the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and in several of our old dramas. 
The notes are given in the Variorum Shakspeare. 

^ A quibble between hams repositories for com, and bairns 
children, formerly pronounced barns. So, in The Winter's Tale : 
* Mercy on us, a bam! a very pretty barn I* 

* That is for an ach or pain, pronounced aitch. See note on 
Tempest, Act i. Sc. 2, p. 28. Heywood has an epigram which 
best elucidates this: 

< H is worst among letters in the cross-row. 

For if thou find him either in thine elbow. 

In thine arm or leg, in any degree ; 

In thine head, or teeth, or toe, or knee ; 

Into what place soever H may pike him» 

Wherever thou find him ache thou shalt not like kj 


Marg, Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's 
no more sailing by the star. 

Beat. What means the fool, trow'^? 

Marg, Nothing I ; but God send every one their 
heart's desire ! 

• Hero, These gloves the count sent me, they are 
an excellent perfume. 

Beat, I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell. 

Marg, A maid, and stuffed ! there's goodly catch- 
ing of cold. 

Beat, O, God help me! God help me! how long 
have you profess'd apprehension ? 

Marg, Ever since you left it: doth not my wit 
become me rarely ? 

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it 
in your cap. — By my troth, I am sick. 

Marg, Get you some of this distilled Carduus 
Benedictus^, and lay it to your heart; it is the only 
thing for a qualm. 

Hero, There thou prick'st h,er with a thistle. 

Beat, Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have 
some moral ^ in this Benedictus. 

Marg, Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral 


7 So in The Merry Wives of Windsor :— ' Who's there, trow V 
This obsolete exclamation of inquiry is a contraction oitrom ye! 
think yon? believe yon? Steevens was mistaken in saying, that 
To trow is to imagine, to conceive. See Tooke's EIIEA ILTE- 
POENTA, vol. ii. p. 403. 

^ ' Carduus BenedictuSf or blessed thistle (says Cogan in his 
Haven of Health, 1595), so worthily named for the singular vir- 
tues that it hath.' — * This herbe may worthily be called Bene- 
dictus, or Omnitnorbiaf that it is a salve for every sore, not known 
to physitians of old time, but lately revealed by the speciall pro- 
vidence of Almighty God/ 

^ ' Yon have some moral in this Benedictus,' i. e. some hidden 
meaning, like the moral of a fable. Thus in the Rape of Lncrece : 

* Nor could she moralize his wanton sight.' 
And in the Taming of the Shrew, ' to expound the iMaiisfi^ or 
rnond of his signs and tokens.' 


meaning; I meant, plain holy-thistle. You may 
think, perchance, that I think you are in love : nay, 
by'r lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list ; 
Qor I list not to think what I can ; nor, indeed, I 
cannot think, if I would think my heart out of think- 
ing, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, 
or that you can be in love : yet Benedick was such 
another, and now is he become a man : he swore he 
would never marry ; and yet now, in despite of his 
heart, he eats his meat without grudging ^^ : and how 
you may be converted, I know not; but methinks, 
you look with your eyes as other women do. 

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ? 

Marg. Not a false gallop. 

Re-enter Ursula. 

Urs, Madam, withdraw; the prince, the count, 
signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of 
the town, are come to fetch you to church. 

Hero, Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg; 
good Ursula. [Exeunt, 

SCENE V. Another Room in Leonato's House, 

Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges. 

Leon, What would you with me, honest neighbour ? 

Dogb, Marry, sir, I would have some confidence 
with you, that decerns you nearly. 

Leon, Brief, I pray you ; for you see, 'tis a busy 
time with me. 

Dogh, Marry, this it is, sir. 

Verg, Yes, in truth it is, sir. 

Leon, What is it, my good friends ? 

Dogh, Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off 
the matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so 

^^ i. e. * feeds on love, and likes his food.' 


blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were ; but, 
in faith, honest as the skin between his brows. 

Verg, Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any 
man living, that is an old man, and no honester than I. 

Dogb, Comparisons are odorous : palabras^, neigh- 
bour Verges. 

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious. 

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we 
are the poor^ duke's officers; but, truly, for mine 
own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could 
find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship. 

Leon. AH thy tediousness on me! ha! 

Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more 
than 'tis ; for I hear as good exclamation on your 
worship, as of any man in the city ; and though I 
be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it. 

Verg. And so am I. 

Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. 

Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting 
your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as 
arrant knaves as any in Messina. 

Dogb. A good old man, sir ; he will be talking ; 
as they say. When the age is in, the wit is out; 
God help us! it is a world to see^! — ^Well said, 

' i. e. wordSf in Spanish. It seems to have been current here 
for a time, even among the Tolgar; it was probably introduced 
by our sailors, as well as the corrupted form pala'ver. We have 
it again in the mouth of Sly the Tinker, ' Therefore paucaa pal- 
labris : let the world slide, Sessa.* 

^ This stroke of pleasantry, arising from the transposition of 
the epithet jpoor, has already occurred in Measure for Measure. 
Elbow says : * If it please your honour, I am the |>oor dukes con- 

^ This was a common apostrophe of admiration equivalent to 
' it is wonderful,* or ' it is admirable.' Baret in his Alvearie, 
1580, explains, ' It is a world to heare, by ' It is a thing worthie 
the hearing, audire est opera pretium.* In Cavendish's Life o'f 
Wolsey we have, * Is it not a world to consider ?' 


i'faith, neighbour Verges: — well, God's a good 
man; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride 
behind : — An honest soul, i'faith, sir : by my troth 
he is, as ever broke bread : but, God is to be wor- 
shipped : Ail men aib not alike ; alas ! good neigh- 

Xeon. Indeed,, neighbour, he comes too short of 

Dogh, Gifts, ^that God gives. 

Leon, I must'^leave you. 

Dogh, One word, sir : our watch, sir, have, in- 
deed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we 
would have them this morning examined before your 

Leon, Take their examination yourself, and bring 
it me ; I am now in great haste, as it may appear 
iinto you. 

Dogh, It shall be suffigance. 

Leon, Drink some wine ere you go ; fare you well. 

Enter a Messenger, ' 

Mess, My lord, they stay for you to give your 
daughter to her husband. 

Leon, I will wait upon them; I am ready. 

[Exeunt Leon A to and Messenger. 

Dogh, Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis 
Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhom to the 
gaol ; we are now to examination these men. 

Verg, And we must do it wisely. 

Dogh. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you ; 
here's that [ Touching his forehead,] shall drive some 
of them to a non com : only get the learned writer 
to set down our excommunication, and meet me at 
the gaol. [Exeunt, 



SCENE I. Tfte Iiiside o/a Church. 

Enter Don Pedro, Don John, Leonato, Friar, 
Clauuio, Benedick, Hero, ouI Beatrice, 

Leon. Cume, friar Erancisi, be brief; only to the 
plain fonn of marriage, and you shall recount tbeir 
particular duties afterwards. 

Friar. You come hitfacr, my lord, to marry Uub 

Claud. No. 

Leon. To be marvieil to her, friar; you com 
marry her. 

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to 
this count? 

Hero. I do. 

Friar. If either of you know any inward impedi- 
ment why you should not be conjoined, I charge 
you, on your souls, to utter it'. 

Claud. Know you any. Hero? 

Hero. None, my lord. 

Friar. Know you any, count ? 

Leon. I dare make his answer, none. 

Claud. 0, whatmen daredo ! whatmcnmay do! 
what men daily do ! not knowing what they do ! 

Sejte. How now I Interjections ? ^Vhy, then some 
be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he! 

Claud. Stand thee by, friar : — Father, by your 


Will you with free and unconstrained soul 
Give me this maid, your daughter? 

Leoa. As freely, son, as God did give her me. 

Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose 

May counterpoise this rich and precious gift? 

I), Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. 
, Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thank- 
fulness. — 
There, Leonato, take her back agaJn ; 
Give not this rotten orange to your friend; 
She's but the sign and semblance of her hoDour: — 
Behold, how like a maid she blushes here : 
O, what authority, and show of truth 
Can cunning sin cover itself withal I 
Conies not that blood, as modest evidence, 
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear. 
All you that see her, that she were a maid. 
By UiesB exterior shows ?- — But she is none : 
She knows the heat of a luxurious ^ bed : 
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. 

Leon. What do you mean, my lord? 

Claud. Not to be married, 

Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton. 

Lean. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof 
Have vanquish 'd the resistance of her youlh, 
And made defeat of her virginity,- — — 

Claud. I know what you would say; If I have 
known her. 
You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband. 
And so extenuate the 'forehanil sin: 
No, Leonato, 

I never tempted her with word too large*; 
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd 
Bashful sincerity, and comely love. 

^ Lascivious. ^ i. e. ' if in joat own triml.' * yccntiODs. 
VOL, II, it 



Hero. And Beem'd I ever otherwise to you? 
Claud. Outontiiyaeetnbg! Iwillwriteagainstit: 

Dian in her orb 
chaste aa is the bud ere it be blown ; 
But you are more intemperate in your blood 
Than Venus or those pamper'd animals 
That rage in savage sensuahty. 

Hero. Ismylordwell.thathedothspeaksowide^? 

Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you? 

D. Pedro. What should I speakT 

I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about 
To link ray dear friend to a common stale, 

Leon. Are these things spoken? or do T but dream? 

D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things 

Bene. Iliia looks not hke a nuptial. 

Hero. True, O God I 

Claud. Leonato, stand I here ? 
Ts this the prince? Is this the prince's brother? 
Is this face Hero's? Are our eyes our own? 

Leon. All this is so; Sut what of this, my lord? 

Claud. Let me but move one question to your 
daughter ; 
And, by that fatherly and kindly power" 
That you have in her, bid her answer truly. 

Le<m. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child. 

Hero. O God, defend me! how am I beset! — 
What kind of catechizing call you this ? 

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name. 

Hero. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name 
With any just reproach ? 

e. • natural power.' Kind ie usEd 
ition (0 The Taming nf Ihe Shrew- 
■ This do, and do il Undlg, s^ea: 
I bere also signiGea naliirallg. 


Claud. Marry, that can Hero ; 

Hero itself can, blot out Hero's virtue. 
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight 
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one? 
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. 

JHero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. 

1>. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.— Leo- 
I am sorry you must hear ; Upon mine honour, 
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count, 
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night. 
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window; 
Who hath» indeed, most like a liberal^ villain. 
Confessed the vile encounters they have had 
A thousand times in secret. 

D. John. Fye, fye ! they are 

Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of; 
There is not chastity enough in language. 
Without offence, to utter them : Thus, pretty lady, 
I am sorry for thy much misgovemment. 

Claud. O Hero ! what a Hero hadst thou been. 
If half thy outward graces had been placed 
About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart ! 
But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair ! farewell, 
Xhou pure impiety, and impious purity ! 
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love. 
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang. 
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm. 
And never shall it more be gracious^. 

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? 

[Hero swoons. 

7 Li^td bere, as in many places of these plays, meapf I 
thus beyond honesty or decency. This sense of the word i 
pecoliar to Shakspeare. 

^ i. e. graced, favoured, countenanced. See toI. i« p^ 
note 22, and As Yon Like It, Act i. Sc. 2. 


Beat. Why, bow now, couBin? wherefore sink 
yuu down? 

D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come 
thuB to li^ht. 
Smother her spirits up. 

[Exeunt DoN Pehro, Don John, and 

Bme. How doth tlie lady ? 

Beat, Dead, I think;— help, uncle; — 

Hero ! why, Hero !— Uncle! — Signior Benedick ! — 

Leon. O fate, take not away Uiy heavy hand ! 
Death ia the fairest cover for her shame. 
That may be wish'd for. 

Beat. How now, cousin Hero? 

Friar. Have comfort, lady. 

Lam. Dost thou look up? 

Friar. Yea; Wherefore should she not? 

Leim. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly 
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny 
The story that is printed in her blood^? — 
Do not live. Hero; do not ope thine eyes: 
For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die. 
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames. 
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches. 
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one? 
Chid I for tiiat at frugal nature's frame '"? 
O, one too much by t\ee ! Why had I one ? 
Why ever waat thou lovely in my eyes ? 
Why had I not, with charitable hand. 
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates ; 
Who smirched '^ thus, and mired with infamy, 

* ThBt U, ' which her bhihii di 


I might have said. No part of it is mine. 
This shame derives itself from unknoum loins? 
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd. 
And mine that I was proud on ; mine so much. 
That I myself was to myself not mine. 
Valuing of her : why, she — O, she is fallen 
Into a pit of ink 1 that the wide sea 
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again ^^ ; 
And salt too little, which may season give 
To her foul tainted flesh ! 

Bene, Sir, sir, be patient: 

For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder, 
I know not what to say. 

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied ! 

Bene. Lady, were you her bedfeHow last night? 

Beat. No, truly, not : although, until last night, 
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. 

Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger 
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron ! 
Would the two princes lie ? and Claudio lie ? 
Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness, 
Wash'd it with tears Z Hence from her ; let her die. 

Friar, Hear me a little ; 
For I have only been silent so long, 
And given way unto this course of fortune. 
By noting of the lady : I have mark'd 
A thousand blushing apparitions start 
Into her face ; a thousand innocent shames 
In angel whiteness bear away those blushes ; 
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire, 
To bum the errors, that these princes hold 
Against her maiden truth : — Call me a fool; 

*^ The' same thought is repeated in Macbeth: 

' Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood 
Clean from my hand.' 



Trust not my reading, nor my observations, 
Which with expi^rimental seal doth warrant 
The tenour of my book ; trust not my age. 
My reverence, calling, nor divinity. 
If thia sweet lady he uot guiltless here 
Under some biting error. 

Leon. Friar, it cannot be : 

Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left, 
Is, that she will not add to her damnation 
A sin of perjury ; she not denies it ; 
Why aeek'st thou then to cover with excuse 
That which appears in proper nakedness ? 

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of T 

flpTo. They know, that do accuse me ; I knownone : 
If I know more of any man alive. 
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant. 
Let all my sins lack mercy I — O my father. 
Prove you that any man with me convers'd 
At hours unmeet, or that 1 yesternight 
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, 
Itefuse me, hate me, torture me to death. 

Friar. There is some strange misprision " in the 

Bene. Twoof them have tlie very bent'* of honour; 
And if their wisdoms be misled in this. 
The practice of it lives in John the bastard. 
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies. 

Leon. I know not; If they speak but truth of her. 
These hands shall tear her; ifthey wrong her honour. 
The proudest of them shall well hear of it. 
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, 
Nor age so eat up my invention. 
Nor fortune made such havock of ray means, 
Kor my bad life ret^ me 30 much of friends, 

" Btut IS here used for Ihc utmost deBTce of, or tEndencj (o 

SC. I. " ABOUT NbTHING. 187 

But they shall find> awak'd in such a kind/ 
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind. 
Ability in means, and choice of friends. 
To quit me of them throughly. 

Friar. Pause a while. 

And let my counsel sway you in this case. 
Your daughter here the princes left for* dead; 
Let her awhile be secretly kept in. 
And publish it, that she is dead indeed : - 
Maintain a mourning ostentation^^ ; 
And on your family's old monument 
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do aU rites 
That appertain unto a burial. 

Leon. What shall become of -this? What wiU 
this do? 

Friar. Marry, this well carried, shall on her behalf 
Change slander to remorse; that is some good : 
'dwt not for that, dream I on this strange course. 
But on this travail look for greater birth. 
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd. 
Upon the' instant that she was accus'd. 
Shall be lamented, pitied and excused. 
Of every hearer : For it so falls out. 
That what we have we prize not to the worth. 
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost. 
Why, then we rack ^^ the value; then we find 
The virtue, that possession would not show us 
Whiles it was ours : — So will it fare with Claudio : 
When he shall hear she died upon ^"^ his words. 
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep 
Into his study of imagination ; 

And every lovely organ of her life J 

Shall come apparelFd in more precious habit, I 

More moving-delicate, and full of life, ' 

'^ Show, appearance. *^ i.e. raise to the highest pitch. 
^^ Upon the occasion of his words she died : his words were 
the cause of her death. 


Into the eye and prospect of his soul. 

Than when she liv'd indeed: — then shall he mourn, 

(If ever love had interest in his liver ^^), 

And wish he had not so accused her; 

No« though he thought his accusation true. 

Let this be so, and doubt not but success 

Will fiashion the event in better shape 

Than I can lay it down in likelihood. 

But if all aim but this be* levell'd fabe. 

The supposition of the lady's death 

Will quench the wonder of her infamy : 

And, if it sort not well, you may conceal her 

(As best befits her wounded reputation). 

In some reclusive and religious life. 

Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. 

Bene, Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you : 
And though, you know, my inwardness ^^ and love 
Is .very much unto the prince and Claudio, 
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this 
As secretly, and justly, as your soul 
Should with your body. 

Leon. Being that I flow in grief. 

The smallest twine may lead me^. 

Friar. Tis well consented; presently away; 
For to strange sores they strangely strain the 
cure. — 
Come, lady, die to live : this wedding day. 

Perhaps, is but prolong'd ; have patience, and 

[Exeunt Friar, Hero, and Leonato. 

Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while ? 

*^ The liver was anciently supposed to be the seat of love. 

'* Intimacy. 

^ This is one of Shakspeare's subtle obserratlons npon life. 
Men, overpowered with distress, eagerly listen to the first offers 
of relief, close with every scheme, and believe every promise. 
He that has no longer any confidence ip himself is glad to repose 
his trust in any other that will undertake to guide bim. 


Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. 

Bene. I will not desire that. 

Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely. 

Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is 

Beat. Ah^ how much might the man deserve of 
me; that would right her ! 

Ben£. Is there any way to show such friendship? 

Beat. A very even way, but no such friend. 

Bene. May a man do it? 

Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours. 

Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as 
yoU; Is not that strange ? 

Beat. As strange as the thing I know not: It 
were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so 
well as you : but believe me not ; and yet I lie not; 
I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing : — I am sorry 
for my cousin. 

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. 

Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it. 

Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and 
I will make him eat it, that says, I love not you. r 

Beat. Will you not eat your word ? 

Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it : 
I protest, I love thee. 

Beat. Why then, God forgive me ! 

Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice ? 

Beat. You have, staid me in a happy hour; I 
was about to protest, I loved you. 

Bene. And do it with all thy heart. 

Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that 
none is left to protest. 

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee. 

Beat. Kill Claudio. 

Bene. Ha ! not for the wide world. 

Beat. You kill me to deny it : Farewell. 


Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice. 

Beat. I am gone, though I am here-' :- 
no love ID you : — Nay, I pray you, let lue ] 

Beim. Beatrice, — 

Beat. In faith, I will go. 

Bate, We'll be friends first. 

Beat. You dare easier be friends with n 
tight with mine enemy. 

Bene. Is Claudio thiue enemy 1 

Beat. Is he not approved in die height a villain^, ' 
that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kins- , 
woman? — O, that I were a man! — What! bear 
her in hand"^ until they come to take hands; and 
then with public accusation, uncovered slander, un- 
mitigated rancour,— O God, that 1 were a man ! i 
would eat his heart in the market place. 

Bene. Hear me, Beatrice; — 

Beat. Talk with a man out at a window ?- 
proper saying ! 

Bene. Nay but, Beatrice; — 

Beat. Sweet Hero ! — she is wronged, she 
slandered, she is undone. 

Bene. Beat — 

Beat. Princes, and counties^M Surely, a princely 
testimony, a goodly count^confect''*; a sweet gal- 
lant, surely ! O that I were a man for his sake ! or 
that I had any friend would be a man for my sake I 
But manhood is melted into courtesies ^*', valour into 
comjiliment, and men are only turned into tongue. 

, e. ' 1 an it 
ain in persoi 
lo, io K. He 
Ifbde her > 

ndity abseDl./or my heart u gone from yt 

before yOD.' 

ry VIII. : ' He's a trailor (0 tbe htigkl.' 


and trim ones t6o^: he is now as valiant as Her- 
cules, that only tells a lie, and swears it : — I can- 
not be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a 
woman with grieving. 

Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice : By this hand, I 
love thee. 

Beat. Use it for my love some other way than 
swearing by it. 

Bene. Iliink you in your soul the count Claudio 
hath wronged Hero ? 

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul. 

Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge 
him ; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you : By 
this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account : 
As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort 
your cousin ; I must say, she is dead ; and so, fare- 
well. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. A Prism. 

Enter Dogberry, Verges*, and Sexton, in 
gowns; and the Watch, with Conrade and 


Dogh. Is our whole dissembly appeared ? 
Very. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton ! 
Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? 
Dogh. Marry, that am I and my partner. 
Verg. Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibi- 
tion to examine^. 


^ Trim seems here to signifj apty fair spoken. Tongue used 
in the singular, and trim ones in the ploraJ, is a mode of con- 
strnction not uncommon in Shakspeare. 

* Throoghont this scene the names of Kempe and Cowley, two 
celebrated actors of the time, are pat for Dogberry and Verges 
in the old editions. 

^ This is a blonder of the constables, for ' examination to ex- 
hibit/ In the last scene of the third act Leonato sajs : ' Take 
their examination yourself and bring it me.* 


Sextan. But which are the otFeodera that are to b«l 
examiDecl? let them come before master constable, ■ 

Dogb. Yea, marry, let diem come before me.— -I 
What is your name, friend? I 

Bora. Borachio. I 

Dngb. Pray write down — Borachio. YourB,.l 

Can, I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is ■ 
Conrade. I 

Dogb. Write down — master gentleman Conrade. I 
— Masters, do you serve God ? I 

Cott. Bora. Yea, air, we hope. { 

Dogb. Write down — that they hope they serve 
God:— and write God first; for God defend but 
God should go before such villains !~— Masters, it 
is proved already that you are little better than false 
knaves ; and it will go near to be thought so shortly^ 
How answer you for yourselves. 

C<m. Marry, sir, we say we are none, 

Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure yon; 
but I will go about with him.— Come you hither, 
sirrah; a word in your ear, sir; I say to you, it 
is thought you are false knaves. 

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none. 

Dogb. Well, stand aside. — 'Fore God, they are 
both in a tale: Have you writ down^that they 

Sextan. Master constable, you go not the way to 
examine; you must call forth the watch that are 

Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest* way: — Let 
the watch come forth: — Masters, I charge you, in 
the prince's name, accuse these men. 

1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the 
prince's brother, was a villain. 

^ i. e. tbe yiiiciul iinj. 


Dogh, Write down — prince John a villain.: — 
Why this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother 
— villain. 

Bora. Master constable, — 

Dogh. Pray thee, fellow, peace ; I do not like 
thy look, I promise thee. 

Sexton. What heard you him say else? 

2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand 
ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero 

Dogh. Flat burglary, as ever was committed. 

Verg. Yea, by the mass, that it is. 

Sexton. What else, fellow ? 

1 Wcdch. And that count Claudio did mean, upon 
his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assem- 
bly, and not marry her. 

Dogh. O villain ! thou wilt, be condemned into 
everlasting redemption for this. 
Sexton. What else ? 

2 Watch. This is all. 

Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can 
deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen 
away; Hero was in this manner accused, in this 
very manner refused, and upon the grief of this 
suddenly died. — Master constable, let these men 
be bound, and brought to Leonato's ; I will go be- 
fore, and show him their examination. [Exit. 

Dogh. Come, let them be opinioqed. 

Verg. Let them be in the bands'* — 

Con. Off, coxcomb ! 

Dogh. God's my life! where's the sexton? let 

* In tbe old copy this passage stands tlias : ' Sexton. Let them 
be in the hands of Coxcomb.' Mr. Steevens proposed to read, 
< Let them be in band/ That the speech should be thus divided 
and given to Verges and Conrad is evident. I believe it was so 
arranged at the suggestion of Mr. Tyrwhitt. 

.VOL. II. * S 


him write down — ^tlie prince's officer, coxcomb. — 
Come, bind them : Thou nangfaty rarlet ! 

Ctm. Away ! you are an ass, you are an ass. 

Dogb, Dost thoa not snspect my place? Dost 
thon not suspect my years ? — O that he were here 
to write me down — an ass ! — but, masters, remem- 
ber, thai I am an ass; though it be not written 
down, yet forget not that I am an ass : — ^No, thou 
yilkm, thou art full oi piety, as shall be prored 
upim tiiee by good witness. I am a wise fdlow ; 
and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, 
a householder: and, which is more, as pretty a piece 
of flesh as any is in Messina ; and one that luiows 
the law, go to ; and a rich fellow enough, go to ; 
and a fellow that hath had losses; and one that 
hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about 
him : — Bring him away. O, that I had been writ 
down — an ass. [ExeuMt. 

SCENE I. Before Leonato's House. 

Enter Leonato and Antonio. 

Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; 
And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief 
Against yourself. 

Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel. 

Which falls into mine ears as profitless 
As water in a sieve : give not me counsel ; 
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear. 
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine. 
Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child. 
Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine. 
And bid him speak of patience; 
Measure his woe the length and breadth of 


And let it answer every strain for strain ; 
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such. 
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form : 
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard : 
Cry — sorrow, wag! and hem, when he should 

groan ^; 
Patch grief with proverbs ; make misfortune drunk 
With candle-wasters^; bring him yet to me. 
And I of him will gather patience. 
But there is no such man : For, brother, men 
Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief 
Which they themseUes not feel ; but, tasting it. 
Their counsel turns to passion, which before 
Would give preceptial medicine to rage. 
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread. 
Charm ach with air, and agony with words : 
No, no ; 'tis all men's office to speak patience 
To those that wring under the load of sorrow : 
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency. 
To be so moral, when he shall endure 
The like himself: therefore give me no counsel: 
My griefs cry louder than advertisement^. 

Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ. 

Leon* I pray thee, peace: I will be flesh and 
blood ; 
For there was never yet philosopher. 
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently ; 

' The folio reads, * And sorrow, wagge, cry hem,' &c. The 
emendation and arrangement of this line is by Dr. Johnson, who 
thus explains the passage. ' If he will smile, and cry sorrow be 
gone ! and hem instead of groaning.' Steevens proposed to read, 
' And, sorry wag, cry hem,' &c. which is very plausible, bat he 
abandoned his own reading in farour of Johnson's. 

' Candle wasters, A contemptuous term for hooh-worms or hard 
students, used by Ben Jonson in Cynthia's Revels, and others. 
The meaning here appears to be — * If such a one will patch 
(i. e. mend or remedy) grief with proverbs, — make misfortoue 
drunk (i. e. insensible) with the productions of the lamp,' &c. 

^ That is, ' than admonitionf than moral instruction.* 


However they have writ the style of gods, 
AdcI made a puah^ at chance and sufferance. 

Ant. Yet bend not alt the harm upon yourself; 
Make those, that do uftend you, suffer too. 

Leon. There thou apeok'sl reaaou: nay, I will 
do so: 
My soul doth tell me. Hero is belied, 
And tliat shall Claudio know, so shall the prince, ■ 
And all of them, that thus dishonour her. 

Enter Don Pedro anrf Claudio. 

Anl. Herecomesthe prince, and Claudio, hastily, 

D. Pedro. Good den, good den. 

Claud. Good day to both of you, 

Leon. Hear you, my lords, — 

J), Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato. 

Lcoti. Some haste, my lord I — well, fare you well, 
ray lord: — 
Are you so hasty now ?~well, all is one, 

D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good 
old man. 

Ant. If he could right himself with quarreling. 
Some of us would lie low. 

Claud. Who wrongs him? 

Lam. Marry, tliou dost wrong me; thou dissem- 
bler, thou; — 
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword, 
I fear thee not. 

Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand. 

If it should give your age such cause of fear : 
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword. 

Leon. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me: 
I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool; 
As, under privilege of age, to brag 


What I have done being youngs or what would do, 

Were I not old: Know, Claudio, to thy head, 

Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me, 

That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ; 

And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days. 

Do challenge thee to trial of a man. 

I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child ; 

Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart. 

And she lies buried with her ancestors : 

Q ! in a tomb where never scandal slept, 

SavQ this of her's framed by thy villany. 

Claud. My villany ! 

.Leon. Thine, Claudio ; thine I say. 

J). Pedro, You say not right, old man. 

Leon. My lord, my lord, 

J'll prove it on his body, if he dare ; 
Despite his nice fence, and his active practice^. 
His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood. 

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you. 

Leon. Canst thou so daff ^ me ? Thou hast kilFd 
my child; 
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man. 

Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed : 
But that's no matter; let him kill one first; — 
Win me and wear me, — ^let him answer me,— 
Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me^ : 
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining^ fence ; 
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will. 

Leon. Brother, — 

Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov'd my 

^ Skill in fencbg. 

6 This is only a corrnpt form of dof^ to do off or put off. 

' The folio reads :— 

— -Come, »ir boy, cojm follow me. 

* Thrusting. 




And she is dead, sUnder'd to death by villains ; 
That dare as well answer a man, indeed. 
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue; 
Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milksops ! — 

Leon. Brother Antony ,- 

Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know 
them, yea. 
And what they vreigli, even to the utmost scruple: 
Scambling^, out-facing, fashion-mong'ring boys. 
That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander. 
Go antJckly, and show outward hideousness '", 
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words. 
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst. 
And this is all. 

LeoK. But, brother Antony, — 

Ant. Come, 'tis no matter; 

Do not you meddle, let me deal in this. 

D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake'* 
your patience. 
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ; 
But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing 
But what was true, and very full of proof. 

Leon. My lord, my lord, — 

JD, Pedro. I will not hear you. 

Leon. No ? 

Come, brother, away ; — I wiO be heard ; — 

Ant. And shall. 

Or some of us will smart for it. 

[Exemtt Leonato nnd Antonio. 

■ Scambling appears U> liaiebecninach the same Hs scratttbliagi 
sliiriin; or Bhamine^. ' GrilTe (EralTf,' says Colgrave. ' b; hook 

raaj.' We have ■ skimbU slaM stuff' in K. Henrj IV. Pirt I. 

"■ i. e. what in Kinj; Henrr V. Aol iii. So. 6, is called— 

' a horrid tail of the camp.' 

■ luainiDg loP| 

;o anger, bj ti 


Enter Benedick. 

2>. Pedro. See, see ; here comes the man we 
went to seek. 

Claud. Now, signior ! what news ? 

Bene, Good day, my lord. 

D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: You are almost 
come to part, almost a fray, 

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses 
snapped off with two old men without teeth. 

D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother : What think'st 
thou ? Had we fought, I doubt, we should have 
been too young for them. 

Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. 
I came to seek you both. 

Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; 
for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain 
have it beaten away : Wilt thou use thy wit? 

Bene. It is in my scabbard; Shall I draw it? 

D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side ? 

Claud. Never any did so, though very many have 
been beside their wit. — I will bid thee draw, as we 
do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us^^. 

D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale : 
— Art thou sick, or angry ? 

Claud. What! courage, man! What though care 
killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care. 

Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, 
an you charge it against me : — I pray you, choose 
another subject. 

Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this 
last was broke cross ^^. 

D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and 
more ; I think, he be angry indeed. 

*^ ' I will bid thee draw thy sword, as we bid the minstrels draw 
the bows of their fiddles, merely to please us.' 

*^ The allusion is to tilling. See note. As Yoa Like It, Act 
^L So. 4. . 


CUnuL If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle ^*, 

Berne. Shall I speak a word in your ear ? 

CltnuL God bless me from a challenge ! 

Berne. You are a Tillain ; — I jest not : — I will make 
it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when 
you dare : — Do me right, or I will protest your cow- 
ardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death 
shall fall heavy on you : Let me hear from you. 

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have 
good cheer. 

D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast? 

Claud. Ffaith, I thank him; he hath bid^^ me 
to a calf's head and a capon ; tiie which if I do not 
carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. — 
Shall I not find a woodcock ^^ too. 

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles weU; it goes easily. 

D. Pedro. 111 teU tiiee how Beatrice praised thy 
wit the other day : I said thou hadst a fine wit : 
True, says she, a fine little one: No, said I, a great 
wit; Right, says she, a great grogs one: Nag, said 
I, a good wit; Just; said she, it hurts nobody: Nag, 
said I, the gentleman is wise; Certain, said she, a 
wise gentlenum^"^ : Nag, said I, he hath the tongues; 

^* There is a proverbial phrase, ' If he be angry let him turn 
the buckle of his girdle.' Mr. Holt White says, ' li^rge belts 
were worn with the backle before, bat for wrestling the bnckle 
was tamed behind, to give the adversary a fairer grasp at the 
girdle. To tarn the backle behind was therefore a challenge.' 

** Invited. 

" A woodcockf being sapposed to have no brains, was a com- 
mon phrase for a foolish fellow. It means here one caaght in a 
springe or trap, allading to the plot against Benedick. So, in 
Hamlet, Sc. alt. 

' Why, as a vooodcock to my own springe, Osriek.* 
Sir Wm. Cecil in a letter to Secretary Maitland (penes me) says : 
' I went to laj some lime twiggs for certen woodcoks which I 
have taken.' He allades to an attempted escape of the French 

*^ Wise gentleman was probably osed ironically for a silly 
fellow; as we still say a wise acre. , 


That I believe, said she, fiir he sicore a thing to me 
on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday 
morning; there's a double tongve; there's two toagves. 
Thus, did she, an hour together, transshapc thy par- 
ticular virtues ; yet, at last, she concluded with a 
sigh, thou wast the properest man ia ItaJy. 

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and 
said, she cared not. 

D. Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet, for all 
that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would 
love him dearly : the old man's daughter told us ail. 

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him 
when he was hid in the garden. 

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage 
buU'a horns on the sensible Benedick's head? 

Claud. Yea, and text underneath. Here dwells 
Saiedick the married man? 

Bene. Fare you well, boy; you know my mind; 
I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour : 
you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, 
God be thanked, hurt not. — My lord, for your many 
courtesies I thank you : I must discontinue your 
company : your brother, the bastard, is fled from 
Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and 
innocent lady : For my lord Lack-beard, there, he 
and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him. 
[Exit Benedick. 

-D. Pedro, He is in earnest. 

Claud. In most profound earnest; And, I'll war- 
rant you, for the love of Beatrice. 

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee ? 

Claud. Most sincerely. 

D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he 
goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves otf his 


202 3f UCH ADO ACT V. 

Ckmd, He is tlieii a giant to an ape : bat tiiea is 
an ape a doctor to soch a man. 

D, Pedro, But, s6fi yon, let be^; plack up my 
heaity and be sad^! 'Did he not saT, my brotber 

Emier Dogberry, Verges, amd tie Watdi, wriih 
CoNRADE amd Borachio. 

Dogh. Come, yon, sir ; if justice cannot tame 
yon, she shaU ne'er weigh more reasons in her ba- 
lance : nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once^, 
yoo must be looked to. 

D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother^s men 
bound ! Borachio, one ! 

CknuL Hearken afier tfadr offence, my lord ! 

2>. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men 

Dogh. Marry, sir, they have committed fidse re- 
port; moreover, tiiey have spoken untruths; second- 
arily, they are slanders : sixth and lastly, they have 
beUed a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust 
things : and, to conclude, they are lying knaves. 

D, Pedro. First, I ask thee what Uiey have done; 
thirdly, I ask thee what^s their offence ; sixth and 
lastly, yihy they are committed ; and, to conclude, 
Y/haX you lay to their charge ? 

Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own divi- 
sion; and, by my troth, there^s <Hie meaning weU 

2>. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, 

*' The old copies read ' let me be/ the emendmtioii is MaI<Nie*8. 
Let be appears here to signifj koldt rest there. It has the same 
signification in Saint Matthew, ch. xxvii. r. 49. 

"^ i. e. ' ronse thyself my heart and be prepared for serious 

^ See before in this play, p. 129, note 35. 

^ That is, one meanimg pmt mto wumjf Hgmrmd dnttee; the 
Prince haring asked the same qMitiii* ■• ^•■••■^•••Cipeach. 



that you are thus bound to your answer ? this learned 
constable is too cunning to be understood : What's 
your oflfence ? 

Bora, Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine 
answer ; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. 
I have deceived even your very eyes : what your 
wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools 
have brought to light; who, in the night, overheard 
me confessing to this man, how Don John, your 
brother, incensed ^^ me to slander the lady Hero; 
how you were brought into the orchard, and saw 
me court Margaret in Hero's garment; how you 
disgraced her, when you should marry her : my vil- 
lany they have upon record ; which I had rather 
seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame : 
the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false 
accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the 
reward of a villain. 

2>. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through 
your blood ? 

Claud, I have drunk poison, whiles he utter'd it. 

D. Pedro, But did my brother set thee on to this ? 

Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice 
of it. 

D. Pedro, He is compos'd and fram'd of trea- 
chery : — 
And fled he is upon this villany. 

Clavd. Sweet Hero ! now thy image doth appear 
In the rare semblance that I loved it first. 

Dogh, Come, bring away the plaintifils; by this 
time our Sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of 
the matter : And masters, do not forget to specify, 
when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass. 

Verg, Here, here comes master signior Leonato/ 
and the Sexton too. 

^ Incited, instigated. 



Re-enter LT.o1iK^0m^dAy^oslo,tcilktheSextlm^ 
Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see ins ejrea; 
That when I note another man Uke him, 
I may avoid him : Which of lhc»e b he 7 

Bora, If you would know your wronger, look 

Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath 
hast kiU'd 
Mine ionocent child ? 

Bora. Yea, even I alone. 

Ijeon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself; 
Here stand a pair of honourable men, 
A third is fled, that had a hand in it : — 
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death; 
Record it with your high and worthy deeds; 
Twas bravely done, if you betfaiok you of iL 

Claud. I know Dot how to pray your patience. 
Yet I must speak : Choose your revenge yourself; 
Impose** me to what penance your invention 
Can lay upon my sin : yet siim'd I not. 
But in mistaking. 

D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I ; 

And yet, to satisfy this good old man, 
1 would bend under any heavy weight 
That he'll enjoin me to. 

Leon. I cannot bid you hid my daughter live. 
That were impossible; but, I pray you both, 
I'ossess** the people iu Messina here 
Iluw innocent she died: and, if your love 
Can labour auglit in sad invention. 

p. IBO, not* 1. 

» Tofaaai ■ncisntlj sigBiBed lo in/orm, I. 
•nilh. Sii in The MerLliaol or Venice: 

' I hale pottta'd ;onr grmce nf wkal I 


Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb ^, 

And sing it to her bones ; sing it to-night-: — 

To-morrow morning come you to my house ; 

And since you could not be my son-in-law, 

Be yet my nephew : my brother hath a daughter, 

Almost the copy of my child that's dead, 

And she alone is heir to both of us ^ ; 

Give her the right you should have given her cousin. 

And so dies my revenge. 

Claud. O, noble sir, 

Your oyer-kindness doth wring tears from me ! 
I do embrace your offer; and dispose 
For henceforth of poor Claudio. 

Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming; 
To-night I take my leave. — This naughty man 
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, 
Who, I believe, was pack'd^ in all this wrong, 
Hir'd to it by your brother. 
. Bora. No, by my soul, she was not; 

Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke tc5 me ; 
But always hath been just and virtuous. 
In any thing that I do know by her. 

Dogb, Moreover, sir (which, indeed, .is not under 
white and black), this plaintiff here, the offender, 
did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remem- 
bered in his punishment : And also, the watch heard 
them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a 
key in his ear, and a. lock hanging by it^; and 

^ It was the custom among Catholics to attach, upon or near 
the tomb of celebrated persoos, a written inscription either in 
prose or verse generally iq praise of the deceased. . See Bayle, 
in Aretin (Pierre), note H. ed. 1720. 

^ Yet Shakspeare makes Leonato say to Antonio, Act i. Sc. 6, 
' How now, brother ; where is my cousin your son,^ &c. 

^ i. e. combined ; an accomplice. 

^ It was one of the fantastic fashions of Shakspeare's time to 
wear a long hanging lock of hair dangling by the ear ; it is often 
mentioned by cotemporary writers, and may be obsenred in some 
ancient portraits. The humour of this in Dogbeiry's 



borrows moneT in God's name; the wUch he halfa 
used so long, and never paid, that now men grow 
hard-hearted, and will lend notfiing Ux God's sake: 
Pray yon, examine him upon that point. 

Lem, I thank thee for tiiy care and honest pains. 

Dogb, Your worship sp^Jcs like a most thankful 
and reverend youth; and I praise God for yon. 

Lunu There's Ux thy pains. 

Dogb. God save the foundati<Hi ^. 

XeoR. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and 
I thank thee. 

Dogb, I leave an errant knave with your wor- 
ship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct 
yourself, for the example of others. Gt)d keep your 
worship; I wish your worship well; God restore 
you to health : I humbly give you leave to depart; 
and if a merry meeting may be wished, God ^o- 
hibit it. — Come, neighbour. 

[ExemU Dogberry, Verges, mud Watch. 

Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, fareweU. 

Ant. Farewell, my lords; we look for you to- 

D. Pedro. We will not fail. 

Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. 

[Exeunt Don Pedro and Claudio. 

Leon. Bring you these fellows on ; well talk with 
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd ^ feUow. 


siqiposing the lock to have a hey to it. See Hairs Satires, Edi- 
tion, 1824. Book iii. Satire 7. 

^ A phrase used bj those who received alms at the gates of 
religions houses. Dogberrj probably designed to say, ' God 
save the founder.' 

^' Here lewd has not the common meaning ; nor do I think it 
can be used in the more uncommon sense of ignorant ; bat rather 
means knavish, ungraeioue, naughty, which are the sj^nymes 
used with it in explaining the haiinpravus in diotioBariesof the 
sixteenth century. 


SCENE II. Leonato's Garden. 

Enter Benedick and Margaret, meeting. 

Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, de- 
serve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech 
of Beatrice. 

Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet'in praise 
of my beauty ? 

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man 
living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, 
thou deservest it. 

Marg. To have no man come over me? why, 
shall I always keep below stairs^? 

Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's 
mouth, it catches. 

Marg^ And your's as blunt as the fencer*s foils, 
which hit, but hurt not. 

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not 
hurt a woman ; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice : 
I give thee the bucklers ^. 

Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of 
our own. 

Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put 
in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous 
weapons for maids. "^ 

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I 
think, hath legs. [Exit Margaret. 

} Theobald proposed to read, ahove stairs ; and the sense of 
the passage seems to reqaire some such alteration : perhaps a 
word has been lost, and we may read ' why, shall I always keep 
ih^m below stairs?' Of this passage Dr. Johnson says, '1 sap- 
pose every reader will find the meaning.' It was certainly not 
worth while to illustrate it as the pseudo-CoWmB has done. 

2 i. e. 'I yield.' So in Holland's Translation of Pliny's Na- 
tural History, b. x..c. xxi. * It goeth against the stomach to yeeld 
the gauntlet and gioe the bucklers.* He is speaking of the cock. 

208 MUCH ADO ' ACT V. 

Bene, And therefore will come. 

The god of hve, [Singing. 

That sits above. 
And knows me, and knows me. 
How pitiful I deserve. — 

I mean, in singing; but in loving, — Leander the 
good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pan- 
ders, and a whole book full of these quondam car- 
pet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the 
even road of a blank verse, why, they were never 
so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in 
love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I Save 
tried ; I can find out no rhyme to lady but btdnf, an 
innocent rhyme; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme; for 
school, fool, a babbling rhyme ; very ominous end- 
ings : No, I was not bom under a riiyming planet, 
nor I cannot woo in festival terms ^. — 

Enter Beatrice. 

Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called 
thee ? 

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. 

Bene. O, stay but till then ! 

Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now: — 
and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, 
which is, with knowing what hath passed between 
you and Claudio. 

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will 
kiss thee. 

Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind 

^ i. e. * in choice phraseology .^ So mine Host in Merry Wives 
of Windsor says of Fenton, * He speaks holiday.* And Hotspur* 
in K. Henry IV. Part i. 

' With many holiday and lady terms.' 


is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome ; there- 
fore I will depart unkissed. 

Bene, Thou hast frighted the word out of his 
right sense, so forcible is thy wit : But, I must tell 
thee plainly, Claudio undergoes^ my challenge; 
and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will 
subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, 
tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first 
fall in love with me ? 

Beat. For them all together; which maintained 
80 politick a state of evil, that they will not admit 
any good part to intermingle with them. But for 
which of my good parts did you first suffer love for 

Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer 
love, indeed, for I love thee against my will. 

Beat. In spite of your heart, I think ; alas ! poor 
heart ! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it 
for yours; for I will never love that which my 
friend hates. 

Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. 

Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's 
not one wise man among twenty that will praise 

Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that 
lived .in the time of good neighbours ^ : if a man do 
not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he 
shall live no longer in monument, than the bell rings, 
and the widow weeps. 

Beat. And how long is that, think you ? 

Bene. Question^! — Why, an hour in clamour, 

* Is noder challenge, or now stands challenged, by me. 
. ' i. e. ' when men were not enyious, but every one gave another 
his due/ 

^ This phrase appears to be eqaiyalent to — ' You ask a qnea- 
tlon indeed'/ — or f that is the question!' 



mid a ([uarter in rheum : Therefore it is most expe- 
tliont for the wise (if Dod Worm, liis coDscience, 
find DO impediment to the contrary), to be the trum- 
pet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So mudi 
for praising myself (who, I myself will bear witness, 
is praise- worthy), and now tell me, How doth your .^ 

B^at. Very ill. 
Bf»e. And how do 
Beat. Very ill too. 
Bene. Serve God, love 
leave you too, for here < 

t, and mend: there will 

lea one in hasle. 

Enter Ursula, 

Vn. Madam, you must come to your uncle ; 
yonder's old coiF at home: it is proved, my lady 
Hero hath been falsely accused, the Prince and 
Claudio mightily abused ; and Don John is the 
author of all, who is fled and gone: will you come 
presently ? 

Beat. Will you go hear this news, si^or? 

Bmr.. I will live in thy heaxt, die in thy lap, and 
be buried in thy eyes ; and moreover, I will go with 
thee to thy uncle's. [Bxetmt. 

SCENE III. The Imide of a Church. 

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, and Attendants, 
with Munck and Tapers. 

Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ? 
Atten. It is, my lord. 

' Old toil ii s""' "' "^^ 
nuB:ii>enliitivc in sncisnt fsinili 



CUxttdi [JReadsJroni a scroll,] 

D<me to death ^ by slanderous tongues 

Was the Hero that here lies : 
Death, in guerdon^ of her wrongs 

Gives her fame which never dies: 
So the life, that died with shame. 
Lives in death with glorious fame. 

Hang thou there upon the tomb, [affixing it 
Praising her when I am dumb, — 

Now, musick, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. 


Pardon, Goddess of the night. 
Those that slew thy virgin knight^; 
For the which, with songs of woe. 
Round about her tomb they go. 

Midnight, assist our moan ; 

Help us to sigh and groan. 
Heavily, heavily : 

Chaves, yawn, and yield your dead. 

Till death be uttered^. 
Heavily, heavily, 

Claud, Now, unto thy bones good night ! 
Yearly will I do this rite. 

^ This phrase occurs frequently in writers of Shakspeare's 
time, it appears to be deriyed from the French phrase, /aire 
mourir. See note on K. Henry VI. Part III.. Act ii. Sc. 1. 
' Reward. 

^ Diana*s knight, or virgin knight, was the common poetical 
appellation of virgins in Shakspeare's time. So in The Two 
Noble Kinsmen, 1634. 

' O sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen, 
who to thy female knights,* &c. 

* i. e. * tUl death be spoken of,* 


D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters ; put your 

torches out : 
The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle day. 
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about 

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray : 
Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well. 
Clayd. Good morrow, masters ; each his several 
. D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other 

weeds ; 
And then to Leonato*s we will go. 

Claud, And, Hymen, now with luckier issue 
Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe ! 


SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato's House, 

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Benedick, Bea- 
trice, Ursula, Friar, afid Hero. 

Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent ? 

Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd 
Upon the error that you heard debated : 
But Margaret was in some fault for this ; 
Although against her will, as it appears 
In the true course of all the question. 

Ant. Well, I dm glad that all things sort so well. 

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd 
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. 

Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all. 
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves ; 
And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd : 
The prince and Claudio promised by this hour 
To visit me : — You know your office, brother ; 


You must be father to your brother's daughter, 
And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies^ 

Ant, Which I will do with confirm'd countenancev 

Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. 

Friar, To do what, signior? 

Bene, To bind me, or undo me, one of them.-:- 
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, 
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. 

Leon, That eye my daughter lent her ; Tis most 

Bene, And I do with an eye of love requite her. 

Leon, The sight whereof, I think, you had from me. 
From Claudio, and the prince : But what's your 

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical : 
But, for my will, my will is, your good will 
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd 
In the estate of honourable marriage; — 
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help. 

Leon, My heart is with your liking. 

Friar, And my help. 

Hctcs comes the prince, and Claudio. 

Enter Do^ Pedro and Claudio, tri^^ Attendants. 

D, Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. 
Leon, Good morrow, prince ; good morrow, 
We here attend you ; are you yet determin'd 
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter ? 
Claud, I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. 
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar 
ready. [Exit Antonio. 

D. Pedro. Good morrow. Benedick: Why, what's, 
the matter. 
That you such a February face. 
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness ? 

ai4 MUCH ADO iCT V. 

■Claud, Ithink, he tbinks upon the savage bull': — 
Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy homs with gold, 
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee; 
As once Europa did at lusty Jove, 
When he would play the noble beast m love. 
Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low ; 
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow. 
And got a calf in that same noble feat, 
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat. 

Re-enter ApJTONio, with ike Ladies mashed. 

Claud. For this I owe you: here comes other 
Which is the lady I must seize upon? 

Aat. This same is she, and I do give you her. 

Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me se 
your face. 

Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take hec 
Before this friar, and swear to marry her. 

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar; 
I am your husband, if you like of me. 

Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wife : 


And when you loved, you were my other husband. 

Claud. Another Hero ! 

Hero. Nothing certainer: 

One Hero died defil'd; but I do live. 
And, surely as I live, I am a maid. 

D. Pedro. The former Hero ! Hero that is 

Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander 


Friar. All this amazement can I qualify; 
When, after that the holy rites are ended, 
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death: 
Mean tune, let wonder seem familiar. 
And to the chapel let us presently. 

Bene, Soft and fair, friar. — Which is Beatrice? 

Beat. I answer to that name ; [ Unmasking. '\ What 
is your will ? 

Bene. Do not you love me? 

Beat. Why, no, no more than reason. 

Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and 
Havfe been deceived ; for they swore you did. 

Beat. Do not you love me ? 

Bene. Troth, no, no more than reason. 

Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula, 
Are much deceiv'd ; for they did swear you did. 

Bene. They swore that you Were almost sick for 

Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead 
for me. 

Bene. 'Tis no such matter: — ^Then, you do not 
love me ? 

Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. 

Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gen*^ 

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves 
For here's a paper, written in his hand, 
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, 
Fashion'd to Beatrice. 

Hero. And here's another. 

Writ in my consul's hand, stolen from her pocket. 
Containing her affection unto Benedick. 

Bene. A miracle ! here's our own hands against 



—Come, I will have thee; but, by tbU ' 

our hearts '.- 

light, I take thee for pity. 

Beat. I would nut deuy you ; but, by this good ] 
day, 1 yield upon great persuasion; aud, partiy, to i 
save your life, for I was told you v 

Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth. 

[Kisxtng her. 

D. Pedro. How dost Ihou, Benedick the married ] 

BejK. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of 
wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour: 
Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? 
No : if a man wilt be beaten with brains, he shall 
wear nothing handsome about him : In brief, since 
I do propose to marry, I will thiuk nothing to any 
purpose that the world can say ao^inst it; and there- 
fore never flout at Tne for what I have said against 
it; for man is a giddy tiling, and this is my con- 
eluBLon. — For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have I 
beaten thee ; but in that - thou art like tu be my ' 
kiusman, live un bruised, and love my cousin. 

Clavd. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have de- 
nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out 
of tliy single life, to make thee a double dealer; 
which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin 
do not look exceeding narrowly to thee. 

Berte. Come, come, we are friends ; — let's have 
a dance ere. we are married, that we may lighten 
our own hearts, and our wives' heels. 

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards. 

Bi-ne. First, o'my word; thnreforeplay.musick. — 
Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a 


wife : there is no staff more reverend than one tipped 
with horn 3. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Mess, My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, 
And brought with armed men back to Messina. 

Bene, Think not on him till to-morrow, I'll de- 
vise thee brave punishments for him. — Strike up, 
pipers. [Dance. Exeunt, 

' Steeyens, Malone, and Reed, conceive that there is an alla- 
sion here to the staff used in the ancient trial hy wager of hattle ; 
bat Mr. Douce thinks it is more probable the walking stick or 
staff of elderly persons was intended, such sticks were often 
tipped or headed with kornf sometimes crosswUe, in imitation of 
the cmtched sticks or potences of the friars, which were bor- 
rowed from the celebrated tau of St. Anthony. Chaucer's Somp- 
nonr describes one of his friars as having a ' scrippe and tapped 
staff* and he adds that 

' His felaw had a staf tipped toith horn,' 

To these the epithet reverend would be much more appropriate 
than to the staff used by a felon in wager of battle. 


This play maj be justly said to contain two of the most sprightly 
characters that Shakspeare ever drew. The wit, the hnmoarist, 
the gentleman, and the soldier are combined in Benedick. It 
is to be lamented, indeed, that the first and most splendid of 
these distinctions is disgraced by unnecessary profaneness ; for 
the goodness of his heart is hardly safiicient to atone for the li- 
cence of his tongae. ,The too sarcastic levity, which flashes oat 
in the conversation of Beatrice, may be excased on account of the 
steadiness and friendship so apparent in her behaviour, when she 
urges her lover to risk his life by a challenge to Clandio. In 
the conduct of the fable, however, there is an imperfection simi- 
lar to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in The Merry 
Wives of Windsor: — the second contrivance is less ingenious 
than the first : — or, to speak more plainly, the same incident is 
become stale by repetition. I wish some other method had been 
found to entrap Beatrice, than that very one which before had 
been successfully practised on Benedick *. 

Much Ado tUfout Nothing, (as I understand from one of 
Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title of Benedick 
and Beatrix. Heming the player received, on the 20th of May, 
1613, the sum of forty pounds, and twenty pounds more as his 
Majesty's gratuity, for exhibiting six plays at Hampton Court, 
among which was this comedy. Steevens. 

* Mr. Pye thus answers the objection of Steevens. * The 
intention of the poet was to show that persons of either sex 
might be made in love with each other by supposing themselves 
beloved, though they were before enemies ; and how he could 
have done this by any other means I do not know. He wanted 
to show the sexes were alike in this case, and to have employed 
different motives would have counteracted his own design.' 




MUi^nmmtv^^igfyV^ Wttanu 


We may presume the plot of this play to haye been the inyeii- 
tioD of Shakspeare, as the diligence of his commentators has 
failed to trace the sources from whence it is deriyed. Steeyens 
says that the hint for it was probably receiyed from Chaucer's 
Knight's Tale. 

' In the Midsummer Night's Dream/ says Schlegel, ' there 
flows a loxoriant yein of the boldest and most fantastical inyen- 
tion ; the most extraordinary combination of the most dissimilar 
ingredients seems to haye arisen without effort by some ingenious 
and lucky accident, and the colours are of such clear transpa- 
rency that we think that the whole of the yariegated fabric may 
be blown away with a breath. The fairy world here described 
resembles those elegant pieces of Arabesque, where little Genii, 
with butterfly wings, rise half embodied aboye the flower cups. 
Twilight, moonshine, dew, and spring-perfumes are the element 
of these tender spirits ; they assist nature in embroidering her 
carpet with green leaves, many coloured flowers, and dassling 
insects ; in the human world they merely sport in a childish and 
wayward manner with their beneficent or noxious influences. 
Their most yiolent rage dissolves in good-natured raillery ; their 
passions, stripped of all earthly matter, are merely an ideal dream. 
To correspond with this, the loyes of mortals are painted as a 
poetical enchantment, which, by a contrary enchantment, may 
be immediately suspended, and then renewed again. The dif- 
ferent parts of the plot ; the wedding of Theseus, the disagree- 
ment of Oberon and Titania, the flight of the two pair of loyers, 
and the theatrical operations of the mechanics, are so lightly and 
happily interwoven, that they seem necessary to each oikcr for 
the formation of a whole. Oberon is desirous of relieying the 
lovers from their perplexities, and greatly adds to them through 
the misapprehension of his servant, till he at last comes to the 
aid of their fruitless amorous pain, their inconstancy and jealousy, 
and restores fidelity to its old rights. The extremes of fanciful 
and yulgar are united when the enchanted Titania awakes and 
falls in love veith a coarse mechanic with an ass's head, who re- 
presents, or rather disfigures the part of a tragical lover. The 
droll wonder of the transmutation of Bottom is merely the trans- 
lation of a metaphor in its literal sense ; but, in his behaviour 
during the tender homage of the Fairy Queen, we have a most 
amusing proof how much the consciousness of such a head-dress 
heightens the effect of his usual folly. Theseus and Hippolita 
are, as it were, a splendid frame for the picture ; they take no 
part in the action, but appear with a stately pomp. The dis- 
course of the hero and his Amason, as they course tkrau,^ ^^ 


forest with their noisy hunting train, works npon the imagination 
like the fresh breath of morning, before which the shapes of 
night disappear*.' 

This is a production of the youthful and vigorous imagination 
of the poet. Malone places the date of its composition in 1594. 
There are two quarto editions, both printed in 1600 : one by 
Thomas Fisher, the other by James Roberts. 


' > in hve tvith Hermia. 


Theseus, Duke qf Athens. 

Egeus, Father to Hermia. 



PhUiOSTRATE, Master qf the Revels to Theseus. 

Quince, the Carpenter, 

Snug, the Joiner, 

Bottom, the Weaver, 

Flute, the BeUows-mender, 

Snout, the Tinker, 

Staryeung, the Tailor, 

HiPPOLYTA, Queen qf the Amazons, betrothed to 

Hermia, Daughter of Egeus, in love u^i^y^ Lysander. 
Helena, in love with Demetrius. 

Oberon, King of the Fairies, 
TiTANiA, Qu£en of the Fairies, 
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a Fairy, 





Cobweb, \p„i^^ 

Mustard-seed, J 


«r^, ' f Characters in the Interlude per- 

Lion, J 

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen, 
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. 

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it. 

* Lectures on Dramat*^ ' IL p. 176. 



SCENE I. Athens. 
A Room in the Palace of Theseus, 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, 

and Attendants. 


Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour 
Draws on apace ; four happy days bring in 
Another moon : but, oh, melliinks how slow 
This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires. 
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager, 
Long withering out a young man's revenue. 

Hip, Four days will quickly steep themsdves in .,^. 
nights; Vfv" 

Four nights will quickly dream away the time; >' 

And then the moon, like to a silver bow 
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night 
Of our solemnities. 

The, Go, Philostrate, 

Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; 
Awake the pert and nimble sphit of mirth ; 
Turn melancholy forth to funerals. 
The pale companion is not for our pomp. — 

[Exit Philostrate. 
u 2 


Hippolylaf I woo'd thee with my sword. 
And won Ihy love, duin^ thee injuries; 
But I will wed thee in another key. 
With pomp, with triimiph', aud with revelling. 

.filter Egeus, Hebmia, Lysander, and 

Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke - ! 

ITk. Thanks, good Egeus : What's the news 
with thee. 

Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint 
A^nst my child, my daughter Hermia — 
Stand forth, Demetrius ; — My noble lord. 
This tnan hath ray consent to many her : — 
Stand forth, Lysander; — and, my gracions duke. 
This hath bewitch'd ' the bosom of my child : 
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou host given her rhymes. 
And interchaog'd love tokens with my child: 
Thou hast by moon-light at her window sun^, 
AVitb feignini; voice, verses of feigning love; 
And stol'n the impression of her fantasy 
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds*, conceits. 
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats ; messengers 
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth : 
With cunning hast thou lilch'd my daughter's heart; 

■ A Irinmpl, »u a public «bow, b 



■ Tbe Dake of Ani 




all the re»l, that tl 


high. gt«.l. ™d 

itaUlii doowffi,' 

= Bute, m on 

old lugoaKe, »u 


> leader or obi 

ai (he Lalin Du. 

' The old cop 

Bsread. 'Thi» im» 


wilched.' The 

teralior. ».< made ia Ihe aecond folE 


sake of the met 

.^liable at Ibe com 

petuallj occur. 

n oar old dramu. 

* Banbles, loj 

., trlllei. 


SC. I. BREAM. 223 

Tuni'd her obedience, which is due to me, 

To stubborn harshness : — And, my gracious duke. 

Be it so she will not here before your grace 

Consent to marry with Demejjirius. 

I beg the ancient priyile^e of Athens ; 

As she-is mine, I may dispose of her: 

Which shall be either to this gentleman. 

Or to her death ; according to our law. 

Immediately provided in that case^. 

The. What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair 
To you your father should be as a god ; 
One that composed your beauties ; yea, and one 
To whom you are but as a form in wax. 
By him imprinted, and within his power 
To leave the figure, or disfigure it. 
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. 

Her, So is Lysander. 

The, In himself he is : 

But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice. 
The other must be held the worthier. 

Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes* 

The. Rather your eyes must with hb judgment 

Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me. 
I know not by what power I am made bold ; 
Nor how it may concern my modesty. 
In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts : 
But I beseech your grace that I may know 
The worst that may befall me in this case. 
If I refuse to wed Demetrius. 

The. Either to die the death, or to abjure 
For ever the society of men. 

^ This line has a smack of leg^ common place. Shakspeare 
is supposed to haye been placed while a boy in an attorney's 
office ; at least he often displays that he was well acquainted 
with the phraseology of lawyers. 



'riiereforo, fair Hermia, question your desires. 
Know of your youth, examiae well your blood, 
Wbetfaer, if you yield Dot U> your father's choice. 
You can eoiliire the livery of a nun ; 
For aye^ to be in ihady clobter mew'd. 
To live a barren sister all your life. 
Chanting faint bynuii to the cold fruitless mooti. 
Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood. 
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage : 
But earthlier happy' is the rose disdll'd, 
Thau that, which, withering on the virgin thorn. 
Grows, Uves, aud dies, in single 

Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, 
Kre I will yield my virgin patent up 
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke 
My soul consents not to give sovereignty. 

The. Take time to pause: and, by the nest new 

(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me. 
For everlasting bond of fellowship). 
Upon that day either prepare to die. 
For disobedience to your father's will; 
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would: 
Or on Diana's altar to protest. 
For aye, austerity and single life. 

Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia; — And, Lysander, 
Thy crazed title to my certain right. 

Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius ; 
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him. 

Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he haih my love. 
And what is mine my love shall reader him; 
And she is mine; and all my right of her 
I do estate unto Demetrius. 

» Ever. 

' EarMitr happy for earMj hiipjwr, *lucli Csjicl proposed lo 

SC. I. DREAM. 22£r 

Lys, I am, my lord, as well derived as he. 
As well possess'd; my love is more than his; 
My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd, 
If not with vantage, as Demetrius' ; 
And, which is more than all these boasts can be, 
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia : 
Why should not I then prosecute my right? 
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head. 
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, 
And won her soul ; and she, sweet lady, dotes. 
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry. 
Upon this spotted^ and inconstant man. 

The, I must confess, that I have heard so mucb^ 
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; 
But, being over-full of self-affairs. 
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come ; 
And come, Egeus ; you shall go with me, 
I have some private schooling for you both. — 
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself 
To fit your fancies to your father's will; 
Or else the law of Athens yields you up 
(Which by no means we may extenuate) 
To death, or to a vow of single life. — 
Gome, my Hippolyta; What cheer, my love? — 
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along : 
I must employ you in some business 
Against our nuptial ; and confer with you 
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. 

Ege, With duty and desire we foUow you. 

[Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, 
Demetrius, and Train. 

^ As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked. So in Carea* 
dish's Metrical Visions : 

' The spotted queen causer of all this strife.' 

and again: 

' Spotted with pride, viciousnes, and omelty.' 

226 midsummer-night's act 1. 

Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek 
so pale? 
How chance the roses there do fade so fast ? 

Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could well 
Beteem^ them from the tempest of mine eyes. 

Lys. Ah me! for au^ht that ever I could read. 
Could ever hear by tale or history. 
The course of true love never did rim smooth : 
But, cither it was difterent in blood ; 

Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall'd to low \ 

Lyi. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years; 

J¥cr. spite I too old to be engaged to young ! 

Ltfs. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends : 

Her. O hell ! to choose love by another's eye ! 

Lyi. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice. 
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it; 
Making it momentany '" as a sound. 
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream ; 
Brief as the lightning in the collied'^ night. 
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth. 
And ere a man hath power to say, — Behold ! 
The jaws of darkness do devour it up ; 
So quick bright things come to confusion. 

Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd. 
It stands as an edict in destiny : 
Then let us teach our trial patience. 
Because it is a customary cross; 

' Bestow, gi»e, nford, or deign to aUaa. The word is used 
hj Speaaer : 

' So would I, said the Enchanter, e'si) Hnd Tain 

Beliem to jot hi> sword, yaa to defend.' 
Thns alio in Hanlet, Ael i. So. 2 : 

' That he rrirght not beleeme the witlda of heaven 

Visit her face loo rongiil}.' 

SC. I. DREAM. 227 

As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs. 
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy^s ^^ followers. 

Lys. A good persuasion ; therefore, hear • me, 
I have a widow aunt, a dowager 
Of great revenue, and she hath no child : 
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; 
And she respects me as her only son. 
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee ; * 
And to that place the sharp Athenian law 
Cannot pursue us : If thou lov'st me then. 
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night; 
And in the wood, a league without the town. 
Where I did meet thee once with Helena, 
To do observance to a mom of May, 
There will I stay for thee. 

Her, My good Lysander ! 

I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow ; 
By his best arrow with the golden head ; 
By the simplicity of Venus' doves ; 
By that wliich knitteth souls, and prospers loves ; 
And by that fire which bum'd the Carthage queen ^^, 
When the false Trojan under sail was seen ; 
By all the vows that ever men have broke. 
In number more than ever women spoke ; — 
In that same place thou hast appointed me, \ 

To-morrow tndy wiD I meet wifii thee. \ 

Lyi, Keep promise, love: Look, here comes, 

Enter Helena. 

Her, God speed fair Helena ! Whither away ? 

Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. 

" Fancy is love. So afterwards in this play : 
' Fair Helena in fancy following me.' 
And again in the celebrated passage applied to Q. Elizabeth : 
* In maiden meditation fancy-free,* 
^^ Shakspeare forgot thatTheseas performed his exploits before 
the Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido. 


Demetrius loves your fair '* : happy fair ! 

Your eyea are lode-starB '* ; and your tongue's 

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear. 

When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. 

Sickness is catching ; O, were favour "■ so ! 

Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go ; 

My ear should cateh your voice, my eye your eye. 

My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet me- 

Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, 
The rest I'll give to be to you translated '^^. 
O, teach me how you look; and with what art 
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. 

Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still. 

Bel. O, that your frowns would teach my smiles 
such skiU ! 

Ber. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. 

Bel. O, that my prayers could such affection 
move ! 

Ber. The more I hate, the more he follows me. 

Bel. The more I love, the more he hateth me. 

Her. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. 

Bd. None, hut your beauty ; 'Would that fault 

Her. Take comfort ; he uu more shall see my 

Lysander and myself will fly this place. — 
Before the time I did Lysander see, 
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me : 


" The ferff-rfor U th 

leading or ifoi 

inn »Ur. 


polar Har. The magnet 

. for tb« lame 

easgn pall 


moBB. The reader will r 

emember Miltop 

O then, what graces ui my love do dwell. 
That he hath tum'd a heaven unto hell ! 

Ly». Helen, to you our minds we will unfold : 
To-monow night when Phcebe doth behold 
Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass, 
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass 
(A time tliat lovers' flights doth still conceal). 
Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal. 

Her. And in the wood, whore often you. and I 
Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie. 
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet. 
There my Lysander and myself shall meet : 
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes. 
To seek new friends and stranger companies. 
Farewell, sweet playfellow ; pray thou for ua. 
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius ! 
Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight 
From lovers' food, till morrow deep midnight. 

{Exit Herm. 

£ys. I will, my Hermia. — Helena, adieu: 
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you ! 

[Exit Lysandek. 

Hei. How happy some, o'er other some can be ! 
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she. 
But what of that ? Demetrius thinks not so ; 
He will not know what all but he do know. 
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes, 
So I, admiring of his qualities. 
Things base and vile, holding no quantity. 
Love can transpose to form and dignity. 
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind ; 
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind; 
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste ; 
Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy baste : 
j^nd therefore is love said to be a child, 
Because in choice he is so oft begnil'd. 


As waggish boys in game'^ themselTes forwear. 

So the boy love is perjur'd every where : 

For ere Demetrius look'd on Hernua's eyne'^. 

He hail'd down oaths, that he was only mine : 

And when this hail some heat from Hennia felt, 

So he diHolv'd, and showers of oathit did melL 

I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight; 

Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night. 

Pursue her; and for this intelligence 

If I have thanks, it is a dear expense : 

But herein mean I to enrich my pain, 

To have bis ai^t thither and back again. [Exit. 

SCEXE II. The tame. A Room in a Collage. 

EtUer Snug, Bottom, Fllte, Snout, Quince, 
aiu/ Starveling'. 

Qutn, Is all our company here ? 

Bot. Vou were best to call them generally, man 
by man, according to the scrip. 

Qutn. Here is the scroll of every man's name, 
which is thought tit, through all Athens, to play in 
our interlude before the duke and duchess, on his 
wedding-day at night. 

Bol. First, good Peter Quince, say what the 
play treats on ; then read the names of the actors ; 
and so grow to a point. 

Quin. Marry, our play is — The most lamentable 

SC. II. DREAM. 231 

comedy, and most cruel d^ath of Pyramus and 

Bot, A very good piece of work, I assure you, 
and a merry. — Now, good Peter Quince, call forth 
your actors by the scroll: Masters, spread your- 

Quin. Answer, as I call you.-— Nick Bottom, 
the weaver. 

Bot, Ready: Name what part I am for, and 

Quin, You, Nick Bottom, are set down for 
Bot, What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant ? 
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly 
for love. 

Bot, That will ask some tears in the true per- 
forming of it : If I do it, let the audience look to 
their eyes ; I will move storms, I will condole in 
some measure. To the rest: — Yet my chief hu- 
mour is for a tyrant : I could play Ercles rarely, or 
a part to tear a cat in, to make all split. 
" The raging rocks. 
With shivering shocks. 
Shall break the locks 

Of prison gates : 
And Phibbus' car 
Shall shine from far. 
And make and mar 
The fooUsh fates." 
This was lofty ! — ^Now name the rest of the players. 
— ^This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover is 
more condoling. 

^ Probably a burlesque npon the titles of some of our old 
Dramas : thus — ' A lamentable Tragedie, mixed fall of pleasant 
mirth, containing the Life of Cambises, king of Percia/ &c. by 
Thomas Preston, bl. 1. no date. So, Sk«lton's Magnificence is 
called ' a goodly interlude and a mery.* 


Quin. Francis Flute, the bellowa -mender. 

Fta. Here, Peter Quince. 

Quin. Vou imisttake Tbisby on you. 

flu. What is Thisby 1 a wandering knight? 

Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus muat love. 

Flu. Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I 
have B beard coming. 

QfHB. That's all one ; you shall play it in a mask, 
and you may speak as small as you wilP. 

Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Tbisby 
too: I'll speak in a monstrous Uttle voice; — Thisne, 
TTiime — Ah, Pyramiu, tny Imer dear; thy Thisby 
dear! and lady dear! 

Quin. No, no; you must play Pyramus; and. 
Flute, you Thiaby. 

Bol. Well, proceed. 

Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor. 

Star. Here, Peter Quince. 

Quin. Kobin Starveling, you must play Thiaby'a 
mother. — Tom Snout, the tinker. 

SiwiU. Here, Peter Quince. 

Quin. You, Pyramua's father; myself, Thisby 's 
father; — Snug, tbe joiner, you, the lion's part: — 
and, I hope, here is a play fitted. 

Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray 
you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study. 

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing 
but roaring. 

the part witli a face tint might paea fgt feminine, the character 

and »o mach in uss Ihat it did not give inj imuSQst appeantnce 
to (he scene ; and he Ihal could modulate his voice to a female 
tone might plaj the woman very sncoeiafnllj. Downes, in hia 
Riuoini Anglicaniu, celebrates Kjnaston's eicellenee in female 
sharaolert. Soine of the calastropbei' of the old Comedies, 
nbich make loven marrj the wrong wontei, nre, bj reeolleetian 
of the common nse of maski, broaghl nearer to prohabilitj. 


Boi. Let me play the lioa too : I will roar, that 
I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will 
roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him roar 
again. Let him roar again. 

Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would 
fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would 
shriek; and that were enough to hang us all. 

Atl. That would hang ua every mother's son. 

Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should 
fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have 
no more discretion but to hang us : but I will aggra- 
vate my voice so, that I will roar you as gently as 
any sucking dove; I will roar you an* 'twere any 

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramiis : tor 
Fyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as 
one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, 
gentleman-like man ; therefore you must needs play 

Bof. Well, I will undertake it. What beard 
were I best to play it in? 

Qiiin. Why, what you will. 

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-co- 
loured beard, your orange-tawny beard, your pur- 
ple-in-grain beard, or your French- crown-colour 
beard, your perfect yellq,w^, 

Qtiitt. Some of your French crowns have no hair 

So in (he old corned)' of Ram Alley, lUII : 

' WliHt colaured beard comes next bj (be «i 

A biack man's, I think ; 

1 Ibinb, a red: for (hat ia moat in fnabion.' 

Again, in The Silent Woman: ' I have fitted m 

canonist, dved tbeir bonds and all.' And, in Tb 

■ be hna dy'd hia bearil and all.' 


at all, and then you will play bare-faced''. — But, 
inast^rs, here are your paits : and I am to entreat 
you, request you, and desire you, to con them by 
to-morrow night; and meet me in the palace wood, 
a mile without the town, by moon-ligfat; there will 
we rehearse : for if we meet in the city, we shall be 
dogg'd with company, and our devices known. In 
the mean time I will draw a bill of properties^, sucb 
as our play wants. I pray you, fail me noL 

Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse 
more obscenely, and courteously. Take pains ; 
be perfect, adieu. 

Qttin. At the duke's oak we meet. 

Bot. Enough; Hold, or cut bow-strings^ 



SCENE I. A Woorf ncflr Athena. 
Enter a Fairy at one door, and PccK of another, 
pack. How now, spirit! whither wander you ^ 
fat. Overf'Cu; over dale. 

Thorough bush, thorough briar ', 
Over park, over pale. 

Thorough flood, thorough fire. 
I do wander every where, 
Swifter than the moones sphere ; 

. Thi. alln>>i>>D to Ibe Corona Viaerh, or bnldoeBS alltBduit 
upon ■ psrticnlBr na^e of, wlial nna then termed, the Fre«d, 
iJiMiM. '" too frequenl in Shalupeate, and i» here eiplaintd 
OBoe for »U. 

T Ariicloi reqnited in perfonoing a pUj, 
" To meet mluthir baieitringM hold or arc cut it lo meet in all 
etents. Bui the origin oC the pbruie hu not been Batiaraotoril; 

1 8u Drovton. in his Njmphidia, or Conrt of Fairv ; 
' Thorough brake, thornngh briar, 
Thorough niDck, thorough mire, 
Thorougli water, Iborough fire. 

SC. I. BREAM. 235 

And I serve the fairy queen, 

To dew her orbs^ upon the green: 

The cowslips tall her pensioners^ be ; 

In their gold coats spots you see; 1^ 

Those be rubies, fairy favours. 

In those freckles live their savours : 
I must go seek some dewdrops here. 
And hang a pearl in every cowslip*s ear^. 
Farewell, thou lob^ of spirits, I'll be gone; 
Our queen and all her elves come here anon. 

Puck, The king doth keep his revels here to- 
Take heed the queen come not withm his sight 
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath. 
Because that she, as her attendant, hath 
A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king ; 
She never had so sweet a changeling ^ : 
And jealous Oberon would have the child 
Knight of his train, to trace the forest^wild : 

^ The whs here mentioned ire those circles in the herbage 
commonly called fairj-rings, the cause of which is not jet cer- 
tainly known. Thus, also, Drayton: 

' They in courses make that rounds 
In meadows and in marshes found, 
Of them so called fairy ground.' 
Olaus Magnus says that these dancers parched up the grass ; and 
therefore it is properly made the o£Sce of the fairy to refresh it. 

' The allusion is to Elizabeth's band of gentlemen pennonen, 
who were chosen from among the handsomest and tallest young 
men of family and fortune ; they were dressed in habits richly 
garnished with gold lace. See vol. i. p. 218, note 9. 
* In the old comedy of Doctor Dodypoll, 1600, an enchanter says, 
* Twas I that led you through the painted meads 
Where the light fairies danc'd upon the flowers. 
Hanging on every leaf an orient pearl,* 
^ Lubber or clown. Lob, lobcock, looby, and lubber, all de- 
note inactiyity of body and dolness of mind* The reader will 
remember Milton in L' Allegro : 

' Then lays him down the lubber fiend.' 
^ A changeUng was a child changed by a fairy ', il Vieie iik««Xk% 
one stolen or got in exchanget 

230 MIOSt'HMER'XtGHT's ACT 11, 

But sbe, ptrforce, nilliiiolda the loved boy. 
Crowns hini with flowers, and makes him all her joy : 
Apd now they never meet in grove, or green, 
Bjr fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen'. 
But they do square^; that all their elves, for fear. 
Creep into acom cups, and hide them there. 

Fai, Either 1 mistake your shape and makins; quite. 
Or else yoti are that shrewd and knavish sprite, 
CalI'd Robin Good-fellow : are you not be, 
That fris;ht the maidens of the villagery : 
Skim milk; and sometimes labour in tiie quem^. 
And bootless make the breathless housewife chum; 
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm'"; 
Mislead utght-wanderers, laughing at their harm? 
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, 
You do their work ^' ; and they shall have good luck : 
Are not you he? 

Ptick. Thou speak'st aright; 

I am that merry wanderer of the night. 
1 jest to Oberon, and make him smile, 
AVhen I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, 

' Shining. 

" Qusrrcl. For the probable canse of lh« use of ignore for 
t/uanil, >ee Mr. Donee's IIIUBltationK, vol. i. p. 1S2. 

' A qiitra was a hnadinill. 

" ' And if lh»t the bowle of onrds and ereaniB were not doTy 
Kt OBl for Robin Goodfellow, the frier, and Sisse Ihedairj-maid, 
■wbj Iben eilber tbe pollage waa barnt neil da; in the pot, or 
tbe cfaeeiei wonld not Dordle, or the batter would not oame. or 
the ale in the fal neyer would have good head. Bnl if a Peetei^ 
peruij, or an honale-egg were bebiod, or a pnlcb oftylhe nnpaidi 
— Uien ware ofbnll-beggara, spirilt,' &c. Harsnet's Deelaralion, 
&c. uh. XI. p. 1S4. So alia, Reginald Scot, in bia Diacoverj of 
Wilchcraft, 1684, 4to. p. fl8. ' Your grandameB' maida were 

malt and mnalard, and sweeping the house at midnight; — lliia 
white bread end nulk wm bit standing fee.' 
. " Millon refeiK to these Iraditjons in L' Allegro, And Draj- 
i> Nympbidia, giiea a like account of Puck. Drajtoii 


1 followad Shakspenre;' the Njmphidia was oi 
r poemi, and waa published for Ifae Grst lime in 1 


Neighing in likeness of a lilty foal ; 
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl. 
In very likeness of a roasted crab"; 
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob, 
And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. 
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale. 
Sometime for three-foojstool mistaketh me ; 
Then slip I from her fljll!^ down topples she. 
And lailm- cries", and falls into a cough; 
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe ; 
And yesen'* in their mirth, and neeze, and swear 
A merrier hour was never wasted there. — 
But room, Faery, here comes Oberon. 

Fm. And here my mistress: — 'Would that he 


Enta- Oberon, at one door, with hh Train, and 
TiTANiA, at another, with hers. 

Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. 

7Y(a. What, jealous Oberon? F^ry, skip hence; 
I have forsworn his bed and company. 

Obe. Tarry, rash wanton : Am not I thy lord 1 

Tita. Then I must be thy lady ; But I know 

" Wild apple. 

" Dr. JohuBon 

thonghl h 

red to faa 

ve hear^ 


lodieroua BKcl-m 

lion upon s 

person's SMt slippi 

g from n 


bim. He Ibat el 

pB from his 

chair Tall 


r squats 


bix board. Hbd 

to read ' raih or 

" The old oo 

aer thoi^lit 

the paaaa 

e oorrnpl 

and prop 


ring of sens 

And «ai 


m in Ifaeir mirth, 
extracted from this 


TbODgh a glimiD 


sage BB il a lands 

in the old 

op., it se 


ne Bhoild read, 

aa Dr. Fan 

ner propo 

ed, s««i 


hicoup, aid is a 


in all th 

old diel 




Bsage will then be, tfa 

at the obj 

Ola of P 

wagifery langhad 

(ill tbeir 

ans-hter e 

ded in a 

ysi or bi 


Puck ia speaking 


When thou hast Btorn away from fairy land, 
Aa<i in the shape of Corin sat all day. 
Playing on pipes of com ' ; and veiling lore 
To amorous Phillida. Whj- art thou here. 
Come from the farthest steep of I ndia ? 
But that, foriiooth, the bounctng Aniasion, 
Your buskin'd mbtress, and your warrior love. 
To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come 
To give their bed joy and prosperity. 

Obe, How, canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, 
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, 
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus? 
Didst tliou not lead him through the glimmering night 
From Perigenia, whom he ravished? 
And make him with fair ^gle break bis faith, 
With Ariadne, and Antiopa^ 7 

Tita, These are the forgeries of jealousy: 
And never, -iiDce the middle summer's spring^. 
Met we on hdlji in dale, forest, or mead. 
By paved fountain, or by niahy brook. 
Or on the beached margent of the sea, 
To dance our ringlets to die whistling wind. 
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. 
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, 
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea 
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land. 
Have every pelting* river made so proud, 

■ Tlie ahcpherd boys of Chaucer's lime bad 

' Many B floile snil litling honta 
And pipti made of gren^ come,' 

■ See die Life of ThenenB in Narlh's TroDAlaliDn of Plutarch. 
XgU, Ariadne, ind Antiopa were all U dilTerenl times raifr 
tressei to Theieu. The name of Perigune U translaled bj 
Narth PerigoHna. 

' Spring Hems to be here used for btgiatiitig. . Tbe Mpriiig 
ot dny is used for (he dawn of day in K. Henry IV. Part u. 

' A very common epithet with onr old writers, to sigBify 
jiaitry, palling Bp[i«ai9 lo hare been its original orthography. 

SC. II. DREAM. 239 

That they have overborne their continents ^ii 
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in'tain. 
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green com 
Hath rotted^ ere his youth attain'd a beard : 
The fold stands empty in the drowned field. 
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock ; 
The nine men's morris^ is fill'd up with mud; 
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green, 
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable : 
The human mortals ''^ want their winter here^; 
No night is now with hymn or carol blest : 
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods. 
Pale in her anger, washes all the air. 
That rheumatic diseases do abound : 
And thorough this distemperature, we see 
The seasons alter : hoary-headed frosts 
Fall in the firesh lap of the crimson rose ; 
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown ^, 
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds 
Is, as in mockery, set : The spring, the summer, 

' i. e. borne down the banks which contain them. 

^ A n^ral game, played by making holes in the groxmd in the 
angles and sides of a square, and placing stones or other things 
upon them, according to certain rules. These figures are called 
nine men's morris, or merrUSf because each party playing has 
nine men ; they were generally cut upon turf, and were conse- 
quently choked up wiUi mud in rainy seasons. 

"^ Human mortals is a mere pleonasm ; and is neither put in 
opposition to fairy mortals nor to human immortals, according to 
Steevens and Ritson. It is simply the language of a fairy speak- 
ing of men. See Mr. Donee's Illustrations, vol. i. p. 185. 

^ Theobald proposed to read ' their winter cheer,' 

^ This singular image was probably suggested to the poet by 
Golding's translation of Ovid, B. ii. : 

' And lastly quaking for the colde, stoode Winter all forlorne, 
With rugged head as white as dove, and garments all to-torne, 
Forladen with the isycles, that dangled up and downe, 
Upon his gray and hoarie beard, and snowie/ro2«ii crotone.* 

Or, by Virgil's fourth iEneid, through Surrey's Translation : 

240 midsummer-night's act II. 

The childing autumn ^^^ angry winter, change ^^ 
Their wonted liveries ; and ^e 'mazed world, 
By their increase ^^, now knows not which is which 
And this same progeny of evils comes 
From our debate, from our dissension ; 
We are their parents and original. 

Obe, Do you amend it then ; it lies in you : 
Why should Titania cross her Oberon ? 
I do but beg a little changeling boy. 
To be my henchman ^'. 

Tita. Set your heart at rest. 

The fairy land buys not the child of me. 
His mother was a vot'ress of my order : 
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night. 
Full often hatti she gossip'd by my side ; 
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, 

* turn flnmina tnento 

Precipitant senis, et glacie riget horrida barba.' 
Unless we suppose the passage corrapt, and that we should read 
thinf i. e. thin-haired. So Cordelia, speaking of Lear : 

* — to watch poor perda ! 

With this thin helm.' 

And again, in Richard II. : 

' White beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps.' 

'® Antomn producing flowers unseasonably upon those of Sum- 

^^ The confusion of seasons here described is no more than a 
poetical account of the weather which happened in England 
about the time when the Midsummer-Night's Dream was written. 
The date of the piece may be determined by Churchyard's de- 
scription of the same kind of weather in his ' Charitie/ 1595. 
Shakspeare fancifully ascribes this distemperature of seasons to 
a quarrel between the playful rulers of the fairy world; Church- 
yard, broken down by age and misfortunes, is seriously disposed 
to represent it as a judgment from the Almig|^ty on the offences 
of mankind. 

'* Produce. So in Shakspeare's 97th Sonnet : 

' The teeming Autumn^ big with rich increase^ 
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime.* 

" Page of honour. 

Maxking the embarked traders on the flood; 
When we have laugh'd to see the sails 
And gi-ew-bigrbBllied,-witk.liie-w&aten wind; 
AVhich she, with pretty and with swimming gait 
Following (her wembj-^eiv-ricli-with— fny-yeBng 

Would imitate ; and sail upon the land. 
To fetch me trifles, and return again. 
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise. 
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die ; 
And, for her sake, I do reai' up her boy: 
And, for her sake, I will not part with him. 

Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay 7' 

Tita. Perchance, tdl after Theseus' wedding-day. 
If you will patiently dance in our round. 
And see our moon-light revels, go with us; 
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts. 

Obe. Give me that boy, and I wiU go with thee. 

Tita. Notfor thy fmry kingdom. — Fairies, away : 
We shall chide down-right, iif I longer stay. 

[Exeunt Titan lA, onrf Act- Train. 

Obe. Well, go thy way ; thou shalt not from this 

Till I torment thee for this injury. — 

My gentle Puck, come hither : Thou remember'st 

Since once I sat upon a promontory, 

And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back, 

Uttering such dulcet and hanuonious breath. 

That the rude sea grew civil at her song; 

And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, 

To hear the sea-maid's musick. 

Puck. I remember. 

Obr.. That very time I saw {but thou could'at not). 
Flying between the cold moon and the earth, 
Cupid all anu'd: a certain aim he took 

vouir. Y 


At a €ur TCfllal ^, tkrowd by tlK west ; 

Amd loosed Us lore-slnft sMitlj 6oa Us how. 

As iidutdd^ifuce a Umdredtkoasaad hearts: 

B«l I fl^slil see jowf C«pi^s ierj siiaa 

QMM^a k tlK dMsle beaiM of tlK wat*ry smmw ; 

Aad the OBperial T€(^resm passed oa, 

la anadea awMlkatioa, Cuicj-free ^. 

Yet anik'd I wbeie tlK bolt of Capid fefl: 

It ^ apoa a little westera flower, — 

Before, BuOk-wliifte ; aow porple wHli lore's wooad — 

Aad aiaideas call it, lore-ia-idkaess^. 

Tetch Bie that flower: the herb I show'd diee <MK;e : 

Thejaiceof it oBsleepiag eye-lids laid. 

Win nnke or man or wooum aiadly dote 

UpoB the aext lire creature that it sees. 

Tetch Bie this herb : aad be thoa here agaia. 

Ere the leriathaa caa swim a league. 

Pmek. Ill pot a girdle round about the earth 
In forty minutes. [Exit Puck. 

Obe. Haring once this juice, 

VU watch Titania when she is asleep. 
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes : 
The next thing then she waking looks upon 
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, 
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape), 

** It is well known Uiat a compliment to Qaeen Elizabeth 
was intended in thin very beaotifal passage. Warbnrton has 
attempted to show, that bj the mermaid in the preceding lines, 
Marjr Qaeen of Scots was intended. It is argned with his nsnal 
fanciful ingenoitj, bat will not bear the test of examination, and 
has been satisfactorily controverted. It appears to have been no 
uncommon practice to introduce a compliment to Elizabeth in 
the body of a play. 

^ Exempt from the power of love. 

** The tricolored violet, commonly called pansies, or hearts- 
ease, is here meant; one or two of its petals are of a purple 
colour. It has other fanciful and expressive names, such as — 
Cuddle me to you ; Three faces under a hood , Herb trinity, &c. 

SC. II. DREAM. 243 

She shall pursue it with the soul of love. 
And ere 1 take this charm off from her sight 
(As I can take it with another herb), 
I'll make her render up her page to me. 
But who comes here? Lam invisible; 
And I will overhear their conference. 

Enter Demetrius, "B-ELEV a following him. 

Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. 
Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia ? 
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. 
Thou told'st me they were stol'n into this wood. 
And here am I, and wood ^^ within this wood. 
Because I cannot meet with Hermia. 
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more. 

Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant ^^; 
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart 
Is true as steel ; Leave you your power to draw. 
And I shall have no power to follow you. 

Dem. Do I entice you? Do I sped^ you fair? 
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth 
Tell you — I do not, nor I cannot love you ? 

Hel. And even for that do I love you the more. 
I am your spaniel ; and, Demetrius, 
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you : 
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me. 
Neglect me, lose me ; only give me leave. 
Unworthy as I am, to follow you. 
What worser place can I beg in your love. 

^ Mad, raving. 

'^ ' There is now a dajes a kind of adamant which draweth 
unto it fleshe, and the same so strongly, that it hath power to 
knit and tie together two moathes of contrary persons, and 
drawe the heart of a man oat of his bodie withoat offending any 
part of him.' Certaine Secrete Wonders of Nature, by Eduard 
FentoH, 1569. 

244 midsummer-night's act 

(And yet a place of high respect with me). 
Than to be used as you do uae your dog? 

Dem. Tempt not too niitch the hatred of my 

For I am sick, when I do look on thee. 

Hel. And 1 ani sick, when I look not on you, 

Dem. You do impeach '^ your modesty too much 
To leave the city, and commit yourself 
Into the hands of one that loves you not; 
To trust the opportunity of night, 
And tiie ill counsel of a desert place. 
With the rich worth of your virginity, 

Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that. 
It is not night, when I do see your face. 
Therefore I think I am not in the night : 
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company ; 
For you, in my respect, are all the world : 
Then how can it be said, I am alone. 
When all the world is here to look on met 

Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, 
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts. 

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you. 
Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd; 
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase ; 
The dove pursues the griffin ; the mild hind 
Makes speed to catch the tiger: Bootless speed! 
When cowardice pursues, and valour flies. 

Dem. I will not stay thy questions; let me go: 
Or, if tliou follow me, do not beUeve 
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood. 

Del, Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field. 
You do me mischief. Fye, Demetrius ! 
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my ses : 
We cannot fight for love, as men may do ; 
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo 
'" i.e. bring i( into qaenlion. 

SC. II. DREAM. 24^ 

I'll follow thee^ and make a heayen of hell. 
To die upon^ tne hand I Ipye so well. 

[Exeimt Dem. and Hel. 
Obe, Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this 
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love. 

Re-enter Puck. 

Hast thou the flower there ? Welcome, wanderer. 
Puck. Ay, there it is. 

Obe. I pray thee, give it me. 

I know a bank whereou the wild thyme blows. 
Where ox-lipg^^ and the nodding violet grows; 
Quite over-canopiod with luscious woodbine. 
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine: 
There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, 
Lull'dvi these flowers with dances and delight; 
And there th^fi. snake throws her enameFd skin, 
i^eed wide enough to wrap a fairy in : • 
And witb the' juice of this I'll streak her eyes. 
And ^ake her full of hateful fantasies. 
Take thgu some of it, and seek through this grove : 
A sweelt Athenian lady is in love 
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes; 
But do it, w;hen the next thing he espies - 
May be the lady : Thou shalt know the man 
By the Athenian garments he hath on^. 

^ To die tqton, &c. appears to have been used for * \o die by 
the hand.' So in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : 

' I'll die on him that says so, bat yourself.' 

'* The greater cowslip. 

^ Steeyens thinks this rhyme of man and on a sufficient proof 
that the broad Scotch prononciation once prevailed in England. 
Bat oar ancient poets were not particular in making their rhymes 
correspond in sound, and I very much doubt a conclusion made 
upon such slender grounds. 


21C midsummer-night's 

Effect it with some care, that he n^y prove 
More fond oq her, than she upon her love : 
And look thou meet me ere the iirst cock cro 

PwcA, Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so. I 

SCENE III. Another part of the Wood. 
Enter TiTANiA, with her train. 
Tita, Come, now a roundel', and a fairy song; ' 
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence ; 
Some, to kill cankers in the rousk-rose buds ; 
Some, war with rear-mice ^ fur their leathern wings. 
To make my small elves coats; and some, keep back 
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders 
At our quaint spirits ^ : Sing me now asleep ; 
Then to your offices, and let me rest. 

1 Fai. You spotted inaket, with doabk tongue, 
Thorny hedge-hogx, be not seen ; 
Newts*, and blmdworms', do tm wrmg; 
Come not near mtr fairy queen: 
Chorus. Philomel, with melody. 

Sing in our sweet lullaby; 
Lulla, luUa, lullaby; lulla, lalla, lullaby: ., 
Never harm, nor spell nor charm. 
Come OUT lovely lady nigh; 
So, good night, with lullaby. 

SC. III. DREAM. 247 


2 Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here; 

Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence: 
Beetles black, approach not near; 
Worm, nor snail, do no offence. 

Chorus. Philomel, with melody, 4rc. 

1 Fai. Hence, away ; now all is well : 
One, aloof, stand sentinel. 

[Exeunt Fairies. Titania sleeps. 

Enter Oberon. 

Obe, What thou seest, when thou dost wake, 

[S^foeezes the flower on Titania's eyelids. 
Do it for thy true love take ; 
Love, and languish for his sake : 
Be it ounce ^, or cat, or bear, 
Pard, or boar with bristled hair. 
In thy eye that shall appear 
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear ; 
Wake, when some vile thing is near. [Exit. 

Enter Lysander and Hermia. 

Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the 
And to speak troth, I have forgot our wd.y ; 
We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good. 

And tarry for the comfort of the day. 

Her. Be it so, Lysander : find you out a bed. 
For I upon this bank will rest my head. 

Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both ; 
One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. 

Her. Nay, good Lysander ; for my sake, my dear. 
Lie further off yet, do not lie so near. 

^ The small tiger, or tiger-cat. 

248 midsummer-night's act II. 

Lys* O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence^ ; 
Love takes the meaning, in love's conference. 
I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit ; 
« So that but one heart we can make of it : 

^ Two bosoms interchained with an oath; 

So then, two bosoms, and a single troth. 
Then, by your side no bed-room me deny ; 
For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie. 

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily : — 
Now much beshrew^ my manners and my pride. 
If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied. 
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy 
lie further off; in human modesty 
Such separation, as, may well be said. 
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid. 
So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend : 
Thy love ne'er alter, till thy sweet life end ! 

Lys, Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I ; 
And then end life, when I end loyalty ! 
Here is my bed : Sleep give thee all his rest ! 

Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be 
press'd! . [They sleep. 

Enter Puck, 

Puck. Through the forest have I gone. 
But Athenian found I none, 

^ i. e. ' nnderstand the meaning of my innocencet or my innocent 
meaning. Let no suspicion of ill enter thy mind.' In. the con- 
versation of those who are assured of each other's kindness, not 
snspicion bat love takes the meaning. 

^ This word implies a sinister wish, and here means the same 
a»if she had said, * now iil befall my manners/ &c. Chancer uses 
To shrew for to car«e ; a shrew'd woman and a cursi woman 
were the same. Tooke thinks it is the Saxon imperative of 
Be-ryjiepian, Be thou ryjiepe, or vexed. Florio gives the fol- 
lowing old erroneous origin of this expression : ' Museragno. 
A kinde of mouse called a shrew, which is deadly to other beasts 
if he but bite them, and laming all if he but touch them, of 
whome came that ordinary curse, I beshrew you, as much as to 
say, I wish you death.' 

SC. III. DREAM. 249 

On whose eyes I might approve 

This flower's force in stirring love. 

Night and silence ! who is here ? 

Weeds of Athens he doth wear : 

This is he, my master said. 

Despised the Athenian maid ; 

And here the maiden, sleeping sound. 

On the dank and dirty ground. 

Pretty soul ! she durst not lie 

Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy. 

Churl, upon thy eyes I throw 

All the power this charm doth owe^ : 

When thou wak'st, let love forbid 

Sleep his seat on thy eye-lid ^^. 

So awake, when I am gone ; 

For I must now to Oberon. [Exit 

Enter Demetrius and Helena, running. 

Hel, Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius^ 

Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me 

Hel. O, wilt thou darkKng leave me? do not so. 

Dem. Stay, on thy peril ; I alone will go. 

[Exit Demetrius^ 

Hel. O, I am out of breath in this fond chase ! 
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace ^^. 
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies ; 
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes. 
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears : 
If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers. 
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear ; 
For beasts that meet me, run away for fear : 

® Possess. 

10 So in Macbeth : 

' Sleep shall neither night nor day 
Hang upon his pent-house lid.* 
1* i. e. the lesser mj acceptableness, the favoar I c«a %«A.t\. 


Therefore, no maiTcl, though Demetrius 
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus. 
What wicked and disaembling glass of mine 
Made me compare ivith Ilenuia's sphery eyne ? 
But who is here? — Lysander! on the ground! 
Dead? ot asleep? I see no blood, no wound: — 
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake. 

iys. And tun through fire I will, for thy sweet 
sake, [ Waiting. 

Transparent Helena; Nature shows het art^°. 
That through tby bosom makes me see thy heart. 
Wliere is Demetrius? (), how fit a word 
Is that vile name to perish on my sword ! 

Sel. Do not say so, Lysander; say not so : 
What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what 

Yet Hermia still loves you : then be content. 

L}fs. Content with Hermia? No: I do repent 
The t«dious minutes I with her have spent 
Not Hermia, but Helena I love: 
Who will not change a raven for a dove ? 
The will of man is by his reason sway'd ; 
And reason says you are the worthier maid. 
Things growing are not ripe until their season : 
So I, being young, till now ripe " not to reason ; 
And touching now the point of human skill, 
Reason becomes tbe marshal to my wiU, 
And leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook 
Love's stories written in love's richest book. 

» The 

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SC. III. DREAM. 251 

HeL Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born? 
When, at your hands, did I deserve this scorn ? 
Ts't not enough, is't not enough, young man. 
That I did never, no, nor never can. 
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye. 
But you must flout my insufficiency ? 
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do. 
In such disdainful manner me to woo. 
But fare you well : perforce I must confess, 
I thought you lord of more true gentleness. 
O, that a lady, of one man refus'd. 
Should, of another, therefore be abus'd ! [Exit. 

Lys. She sees not Hermia ! — Hermia, sleep thou 
there ; 
And never mayst thou come Lysander near ! 
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things 
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings ; 
Or, as the heresies, that men do leave, 
Aie hated most of those they did deceive ; 
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy. 
Of all be hated ; but the most of me ! 
And all my powers, address your love and might. 
To honour Helen, and to be her knight ! [Eacit. 

Her. [starting,] Help me, Lysander, help me! 
do thy best. 
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast ! 
Ah me, for pity ! — ^what a dream was here ? 
Lysander, look, how I do quake with fear : 
Methought a serpent eat my heart away. 
And you sat smUing at his cruel prey : — 
Lysander! what, remov'd? Lysander! lord! 
What, out of hearing ? gone ? no sound, no word ? 
Alack, where are you? speak, an if you hear; 
Speak, of all loves ^* ; I swoon almost with fear. 
No ? — then I well perceive you are not nigh : 
Either death, or you, I'll And immediately. [Exit. 

»* By all that is dear. See vol. i. p. 219, i\ote \^. 

252 midsummer-night's 


The same. The Queen of Fairies lying asleep. 

Enier Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, 

and Starveling. 

Bot. Are we all met? 

Quin, Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous conve- 
nient place for our rehearsal : This green plot shall 
be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring house ; 
and we will do it in action, as we will do it before 
the duke. 

Bot. Peter Quince, — 

Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom ? 

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus 
and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus 
must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies 
cannot abide. How answer you that ? 

Snout. By'rlakin^, a parlous ^ fear. 

Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out, 
when all is done. 

Bot. Not a whit ; I h^ve a device to make all well. 
Write me a prologue : and let the prologue seem to 
say, we will do no harm with our swords ; and that 
Pyramus is not killed indeed: and, for the more 
better assurance, tell them, that I Pyramus am not 
Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: This will put 
them out of fear. 

Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue ; and 
it shall be written in eight and six^. 

^ i. e. by oar ladjkin or little lady, as ifakins, is a corrnpiioii 
of by my faith, 

^ Corrupted from perilous ; but used for alarming, amazmj. 
' That is in alternate verses of eight and fix ijUables. . 

SC. I. DR£AM. 253 

Bot. No, make it two more; let it be written in 
eight and eight. 

Snout, Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion? 

Star. I fear it, I promise you. 

Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your- 
selves: to bring in, God shield us! a lion among 
ladies^ is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a 
more fearful^ wild-fowl than your lion, living; and 
we ought to look to it. 

Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, he 
is not a lion. 

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half 
his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and 
he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to 
the same defect, — Ladies, or fair ladies, I would 
wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would en- 
treat you, not to fear, not to tremble : my life for 
yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were 
pity of my Ufe: No, I am no such thing; I am a 
man as other men are : — and there, indeed, let him 
name his name; and tell them plainly he is Snug 
the joiner^. 

Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two 
hard things; that is, to bring the moon-light into 
a chamber: for you know, Pyramus and Thisby 
meet by moon-light. 

* Terrible. 

^ Shakspeare may here allade to an incident said to have oc- 
curred in his time, which is recorded in a collection of anec- 
dotes, stories, &c. entitled ' Merj Passages and Jeasts/ MS. 
Harl. 6395. : * There was a spectacle presented to Qneen Eliza- 
beth upon the water, and among others Harry Goldingham was 
to represent Arion upon the Dolphin's backe; but finding his 
voice to be verye hoarse and unpleasant when he came to perform 
it, he tears off his disguise, and swears he was none of Arion, 
not he, but even honest Harry Goldingham ; which blunt disco- 
verie pleased the queen better than if he had gone through in 
the right way : — yet he could order his voice to an instrument 
exceeding well.' 

VOL. II. ' Z 

2o4 midsuhmbR'Night's act III.V 

Snvg. Dotb the moon shine that night \re pla^ra 
OUT play ? 

Bot. A calendar, a calendar ! look in the ^jnaf 
nack ; find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine. 

Quin. Yes, It doth shine that night. 

Sot. Why, then you may leave a casement of 
the great chamber window, where we play, open; 
and the moon may shine in at the casement. 

Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a- 
bush of thorns and a lanthom, and say, he comeB 
to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-sfaine. 
Then, there is another thing: we must have a wall 
in the great chamber ; for Pyramua and Thbby, says 
the story, did talk through the chink of a wall. 

Snug. You never can bring in a wall. — What say 
you. Bottom? 

Bol. Some man or other must present wall : and 
let liim have some plaster, or some loam, or som« 
rough-cast about lum, to signify wall; or let him 
hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall., 
Pyramus and Thisby whisper. 

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, 
sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your 
parts. Pyramus, you begin : when you have spoken 
your speech, enter into tliat brake " and so every one 
according to his cue. 

Enter PucK behind. 
Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swaff- 
gering here, 
So near the cradle of the fairy queen ? 
What, a play toward? I'll be an auditor; 
An actor, too, perhaps, if I see cause. 

Qvin. Speak, Pyramus : — Thisby, stand forth. 
Pyr. Tkiiby, the flowers ofodim* lavours gweet, — 
Quin. Odoms, odours. 

« TUickel. 


SC. I. DREAM. 255 

Pyr. odours saoours sweet: 

So hath thy breath, my dearest Thishy dear, — 
But, hark, a voice! stay thou but here a while. 

And by and by I will to thee appear. [Exit, 

Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here ! 

[Aside. — Exit. 

This. Must I speak now? 

Q^in. Ay, marry, must you : for you must under- 
stand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and 
is to come again. 

This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue. 

Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier. 
Most brisky JuvenaV, and eke most lovely Jew, 

As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, 
ril meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny*s tomb. 

Q^in. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not 
speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus : you 
speak all your part at once, cues® and all. — Pyra- 
mus, enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire. 

Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head. 

This. O, — As true as truest horse, that yet would 

never tire. 
Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, T were only thine.—^ 
Quin. O monstrous ! O strange ! we are haunted. 
Pray, masters ! fly, masters! help! [Exeunt Clowns. 
Puck. I'll follow you. 111 lead you about a round. 
Through bog, through bush, through brake, through 
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, 

A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire ; 
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and bum, 
like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn. 


7 Young man. 

^ The cues were the last words of the preceding speech, which 
senre as a hint to him who was to speak next *, and ^«ii«n^3 
written oat with that which was to be learalbj role. 

Bof. Why lio they run away? this is a kaavery 
of them, to make me afeard. 

Re-enter Snout. 
Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed ! what do I 
see on thee ? 

Bot. What do you ttec? you see an ass's head of 
your own ; Do you ? 

Re-enter QuiNCE. 

Quin. Bless thee. Bottom ! bless thee ! thou art 

translated. [Exit. 

Bot. I sec their knavery ! this is to make an ass 

of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not 

stir from this place, do what they can ; I will walk 

up and down here, and I will aing, tliat they shall 

hear I am not afraid. [Siti^x. 

The ounel-mck, so black of hue, 

With artaige-tavntey bill. 
The Ikroitle with hit note «o true. 
The leren with little ipiill. 
Tila. WhaF angel wakes me frum my flowery - 

bed? IWakmg. 

Bot. Jlte finch, the sparrow, and the lark, 
The plain-song cuckoo^ gray. 
Whose note full many a man doth mark. 
And darei not artswer, nay;^— 
for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a 
bird ? who would give a bird the lie, though ho cry, 
cuckoo, never so? 

Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again ; 
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note. 
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape ; 

° The cuckoo, iiaying do virielj of nole. ajngii in pUtin lOHtj 
(ptano coMtu ), by wliicb expreseion tlie nnifomi niodiilatian or 

SC. I. DREAM. 257 

And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me. 
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love Hiee. 

Bot, Methinks, mistress, you should have little 
reason for that : And yet, to say the truth, reason 
and love keep little company together nowadays : 
The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will 
not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek^^ upon 

Tita, Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. 

Bot Not so, neither : but if I had wit enough to 
get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine 
own turn. 

Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go ; 
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. 
I am a spirit of no common rate ; 
The summer still doth tend upon my state. 
And I do love thee : therefore, go with me ; 
m give thee fairies to attend on thee ; 
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep : 
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep : 
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so 
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go. — 
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed ! 

Enter four Fairies. 

1 Fai. Ready, 

2 Fai. And I. 

3 Fai. And I. 

4 Fai. And I. 
All. Where shall we go? 

Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman ; 
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes ; 
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries ^^, 

'® i. e. jest or scoff, from jli^, Saxon. 
" The fruit of a bramble called Rubus aesius: sometimes 
called also the blue-berry. 



With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries ; 
The honey bags steal from the humble-bees. 
And, for night tapers, crop their waxen thighs. 
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes. 
To have my love to bed, and to arise ; 
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies. 
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes : 
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies. 

1 Fai, Hail, mortal ! 

iFai. Hail! 

SFai. Hail! 

4 Fai. Hail! 

Bot, I cry your worship's mercy, heartily. — I 
beseech, your worship's name ? 

Cob, Cobweb. 

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance ^^, 
good master Cobweb : If I cut my finger, I shall 
make bold with you. — Your name, honest gentle- 

Peas. Peas-blossom. 

Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress 
Squash ^^, your mother, and to master Peascod, 
your father. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall 
desire you of more acquaintance too. — Your name, 
I beseech you, sir ? 

Mtis. Mustard-seed. 

Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your 

^' ' I shall desire you of more acquaintance.' This kind of 
phraseology was not ancommon. In Lusty Juventus, a morality, 
we have : 

' I shall desire you of better acquaintance.' 
And in A Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599 : 

' I do desire you of more acquaintance.' 
So in Spenser's Faerie Queene, b. \i. c. 9 : 

* If it be I, of pardon I you pray J 

*' A squash is an immature peascod. So in Twelfth Night, 
Act i. Sc. 6 : 

* As a squash is before 'tis a peascod.' 


SC. I. DREAM. 259 

patience ^^ well : that same cowardly, giant-like ox- 
beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house : 
I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes 
water ere now. I desire you more acquaintance, 
good master Mustard-seed. 

Tita, Come, wait upon him; lead him to my 

The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye ; 
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, 

Lamenting some enforced chastity. 

Tie up my lover's tongue, bring him silently. 


SCENE II. Another part of the Wood. 

Enter Oberon. 

Obe. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd ; 
Then, what it was that next came in her eye. 
Which she must dote on in extremity. 

Enter Puck. 

Here comes my messenger. — How now, mad spirit? 
What night-rule ^ now about this haunted grove ? 
Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love. 
Near to her close and consecrated bower, 
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour, 
A crew of patches ^, rude mechanicals. 
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls, 

^* Mason proposes to read ' passing well/ which is plausible 
if change be necessary. The words are spoken ironically, a^ it 
was the prevailing opinion in Shakspeare's time, that mustard 
excited choler. 

* Revelry. 

^ A patch sometimes means a fool, or simpleton; but it was a 
common contemptuous term, and may be either a corruption of 
the Italian pazzo, or derived from the patched clothes sometimes 
worn by persons of low condition. Tooke gives a different 
origin from the Saxon verb paecan, to deceive by false appear- 

300 midsummer-night's act III. 

Were met together to rehearse a play, 

Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day. 

The shallowest tliick-skin of that baiTen sort'. 

Who Pyramus presented, in their sport 

Forsook his scene, and entered in a brake : 

When I did him at this advantage take. 

An ass's nowH I fixed on his head; 

Anon, his Thisbe must be answered. 

And forth my mimick^ comes: When they him 

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye, 
Or russet-pated choughs^, many in sort"^. 
Rising and cawing at the gun's report. 
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky ; 
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly : 
And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls ; 
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls. 
Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus 

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong : 
For briars and thorns at their apparel snatch ; 
Some, sleeves ; some, hats ; from yielders all things 

I led them on in this distracted fear. 
And left sweet Pyramus translated there : 
When in that moment (so it came to pass), 
Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass. 

^ Barren is dull, unpregnant. Sort is company. 

* A head. The metamorphosis of Bottom might have been 
suggested by a similar trick played by Dr. Fanstas. See his 
History, c. xliii. The receipt for the process occurs in Albertus 
Magnus de Secretis : ' Si vis quod caput hominis assimiletur 
capiti asinif sume de segimine aselli, et unge hominem in capite, 
et sic apparebit.' The book was translated in Shakspeare's 

^ Actor. ^ The chough is a bird of the daw kind. 

^ Sort is company, as above. 

SC. II. DBEAM. 261 

Obe. This fatb out better than I could devise. 
But hast thou yet latch'd" the Athenian's eyes 
With the love-juice, as I did hid thee do? 

Puck. I took him sleeping, — that is finish'd too, — - 
Aud the Athenian woman by his side ; 
' That, when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd. 

Enter Demetrius and Hekmia. 

Obe, Stand close ; this is the same Athenian. 

Pvck. This is the woman, but not this the man. 

Dem. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so ? 
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe. 

fer. Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse; 
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse. 
If thou hast slain Lysander in bis sleep, 
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep. 
And kill me too. 

The suu was not so true unto the day. 
As he to me: Would he have stolen away 
Prom sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon. 
This whole earth may be bor'd ; and that the moon 
May through the centre creep, and so displease 
Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes. 
It cannot be, but thou hast murder'd him; 
So should a murderer look; so dead, so grim. 

iJcm. So shouldthe murder'd look; and so should I, 
Fierc'd through the heart with your stem cruelty : 
Yet you, the njurderer, look as bright, as clear. 
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere. 

Her. What's this to my Lysander? Where is he? 
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me? 

Dem. I had rather give his carcass to my hounds. 

Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past the 

smesred oier. Ltchir, Fr. 

2y2 midsummer-night's act hi. 

Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then ? 
Henceforth be never number'd among men ! 
O ! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake ; 
Dui'st thou have look'd upon him, being awake. 
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? brave touch'! 
Could not a worm, an adder, do ao much ? 
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue 
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung. 

Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd '•' 

I am not guilty of Lysander's blood; 
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell. 

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well. 

Dem. An if I could, what should T get therefore ? 

Her. A privilege, never to see me more. — 
And from thy hated presence part I so : 
See me no more, whether he be dead or no. [Exit. 

Dem. There is no following her in tins fierce vein :- 
Here, therefore, for a while I will remain. 
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow 
Fur debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe; 
Which now, in some slight measure it will pay, 
If for his tender here I make some stay. 

[Lies dtncn. 

Obe.. What hast thou done ? thou hast mistaken 

And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight: 
Of tliy misprision must perforce ensue 
Some true-love tum'd, and not a false turn'd true. 
Puck. Then fate o'er-rules; that, one man hold- 
ing; troth, 
A millioa fail, confounding oath on oath. 

• A IoikIi anoienllj signified H Irict. Aschsm has ' the shrewd 
taiuka of raanj enral bDjs.' And in the aid slot}' of Honlegliu, 

SC. II. DREAM. 263 

Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind, 
And Helena of Athens look thou find : 
All fancy-sick ^^ she is, and pale of cheer ^^ 
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear**:. 
By some illusion see thou bring her here ; 
I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear. 

Puck. I go, I go ; look, how I go : 
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. [Exit. 
Obe. Flower of this purple die. 

Hit with Cupid's archery. 

Sink in apple of his eye ! 

When his love he dolii espy. 

Let her shine as Variously 

As the Venus of the sky. — 

When thou wak'st, if she be by. 

Beg of her for remedy. 

Re-enter Puck. 

Puck. Captain of our fairy band, 
Helena is here at hand ; 
And the youth, mistook by me. 
Pleading for a lover's fee ; 
Shall we their fond pageant see ? 
Lord, what fools these mortals be ! 

Obe. Stand aside : the noise they make. 
Will cause Demetrius to awake. 

Ptick. Then will two at once woo one ; 
That must needs be sport alone ; 
And those things do best please me. 
That befall preposterously. 

" Love-sick. 

^^ Cheer here signifies countenance^ from c^ra, Ital. signify- 
ing * the face, visage, sight, or countenance, look or cheere of a 
man or woman/ The old French chere had the same meaning. 

** So in K. Henry VI. we have * blood-consuming/ * blood- 
drinking/ and * blood-sucking sighs.' All alluding to the an- 
cient supposition, that every sigh was indulged at the expense 
of a drop of blood. 


Enter Lysander and Helena. 
Lyi. Why should you think, that I should woo 

ScoTD and derisioD never come in tears : 
Look, when T tow, I weep ; and vowa ao bom 

In iheir nativity all truth appears. 
How can these things in me seem scorn to you, 
Beariuj; the badge of faith, to prove them trtie ? 

Hel. You do advance your cunning more and 

When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray ! 
These vows are Hennia's; Will you give her o'er? 

Weigh oalJi with oath, and you will nothing weigh : 
Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, 
Will even weigh ; and both as light as tales. 

iys. I had no judgment when to her I swore. 

Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er, 

Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. 

jiem. [awaking.'l O Helen, goddess, nymph, per- 
fect divine ! 
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne? 
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show 
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow t 
That pure congealed white, high Taurus's snow, 
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow. 
When thou hold'st up thy hand : O let me kiss 
This princess of pure white, this seal" of bliss! 

Hel, O spite ! O hell ! I see you all are bent 
To set against me, for your merriment. 
If you were civil, and knew -courtesy, 
You would not do me thus much injury. 

Ij playfelluw, voar hand; liiia kini;l^ ital, 
i plinhlcr of hi|;li lieurts.' 

SC. II. DREAM. 265 

Oan you not hate me, as I know you do. 

But you must join, in souls ^^, to mock me too? 

If you were men, as men you are in show. 

You would not use a gentle lady so ; 

To Yow, and swear, and superpraise my parts. 

When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts. 

You both are rivals, and love Hermia; 

And now both rivals, to mock Helena : 

A trim exploit, a manly enterprise. 

To conjure tears up in a poor m&id*s eyes. 

With your derision ! none of noble sort^^ 

Would so offend a virgin ; and extort 

A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport. 

Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius ; be not so ; 
For you love Hermia : this, you know, I know : 
And here, with all good will, with all my heart. 
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part ; 
And yours of Helena to me bequeath. 
Whom I do love, and will do to my death. 

HeL Never did mockers waste more idle breath. 

Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none: 
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone. 
My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojoum'd ; 
And now to Helen is it home retum'd. 
There to remain. 

Ly$. Helen, it is not so. 

Dem, Disparage not the faith thou dost not know. 
Lest, to thy peril, thou abide it dear ^^. — 
Look, where thy love comes ; yonder is thy dear. 

Enter Hermia. 

Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function 
The ear more quick of apprehension makes ; 

^^ i. e. join heartily, anite in the same mind. 

'• Degree, or qaalitj. '^ Pay dearly for it, rue it, 



'Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense, 
It pays Ite heariug double reoompense :■ — 
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, fuuud ; 
Mine ear, I thank it, brous;lit me to thy sound. 
But why unkindly didst tliou leave me so? 

Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press 
to go? 

Her .WhatlovecouldpressLysanderfrommyBide? 

Lyt, Lysandcr's love, that would not let him bide. 
Fair Helena, who mure en gilds the night 
Hian all yon fiery oes '" and eyes of light. 
Why seek'st thou me ? could not this make thee 

The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so. 

Ber. You speak not as you think; it cannot be. 

Uel, Lo, she is one of this confederacy ! 
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three. 
To fashion this false sport in spit« of me. 
InjuriouB Hermia ! most ungrateful maid ! 
Have you conspirM, have you with these contriv'd 
To bait me with this foul derision? 
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd'^. 
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent, 
When we have chid the hasty-footed time 
For parting us, — O, and is all forgot? 
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence? 
We, Hermia, like two artificial*' gods, 
Have with our neelds^' created both one flower, 
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion, 

I" i. e. circles. 

"> • la all the conniel Iliat we tvo haie shared,' &c. 

■ Gregorj of NaiisBMn's poem on hia own life ronlaius 
soma boautifal liaea (resembling tfaese) wliicb barsl from the 
heart and apeak the panga of iojured and lost friendahip. Shik- 

of Ihe Greek language ; but his mother tonguij, the lunguage of 

BUlBre.iatheaameinCappadociBuiB.*' /Uim.'— OiMim'ii Hitl. 

Tol. V. p. IT, Bvn. ed. 1^ 

* i. e. iDgeaioDS, irtlol. A 


BoUl warbling of one song, both in one key ; 
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds. 
Had been incorporate. So we grew together. 
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted; 
But yet a union in partition. 
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem: 
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart; 
Two of the first ^-, like coats in heraldry. 
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest. 
And will you rent our ancient love asunder, 
To join with men in scorning your poor friend 7 
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly : ' 
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it; 
Though I alone do feel the injury. 

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words : 
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me. 

Hel. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn, 
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face? 
And made your other love, Deraetrius 
(Who even but now did spurn me with his foot). 
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare, 
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this 
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander 
Deny your love, so rich within his soul, 
And tender me, forsooth, affection; 
But by your setting on, by your consent? 
What though I be not so in grace as you. 
So hung upon with love, so fortunate; 
But miserable most, to love unlov'd? 
This you should pity, rather than despise. 

*■ Mr. DoucB (liui! esplains this psasage; Helen aaya, ' »e 

had two seeming bodies, but only one heart.' Sbe then e\em- 

plifies (he position bj a simile— 'wehaddMO/lAn Jirsf, i.e. *«Ikj, ' 

lilce tbe double coals in beraldrj that belong to msn udwire 

,' as ofv person, but whicb like oar single heart, have bat one cresl.^ 

y Malone explains the faeratdio allniion diOerentlj, bnt not so 



Her, X understand not what you mean by this. 

Hel. Ay, do, pers^vet, counterfeit sad looks. 
Make mows^ upon rae when 1 turn my back; 
Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up: 
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled. 
If you have any pity, grace, or manners, 
You would not make me such an argument-*. 
But, fare ye well : 'tis partly mine own fault; 
Wliich death, or absence, soon shall remedy. 

Lys. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse; 
My lo¥e, my life, my soul, fair Helena ! 

Hel. O excellent ! 

Her. Sweet, do not scorn her so. 

Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel. 

Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she en- 

Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak 

Helen, I love thee ; hy my life I do : 
I swear by that which I will lose for thee. 
To prove him false, that says I love thee not. 

Dem. I say, I love thee more than ho can 60. 

Lyi. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too. 

Dem. Quick, come,— 

Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this? 

Lys. Away, you Ethiop ! 

Dem. No, no, he'll— Sir'^, 

Seem to break loose ; take on, as you would follow ;: 
But yet come not : You are a tame man, go I 

^ Make months. See toI. i. p. 46, note 1. 
^ i. e. SDch B ihAjicI o{ ligbt ineiriment. 

SC. II. DREAM. 269' 

Lys. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr: yile thing, 
let loose ; 
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent. 

Her. Why are you grown so rude ? what change 
is this, 
Sweet love ? 

Lys. Thy love ! out, tawny Tartar, out ! 

Out, loathed medicine ! hated potion, hence ! 

Her. Do you not jest? 

Hel, Yes, 'sooth: and so do you. 

Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee. 

Dem. I would, I had your bond; for, I perceive, 
A weak bond holds you ; I'll not trust your word. 

Lys. Wh&t, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her 
dead ? 
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so. 

Her. What, can you do me greater harm than 
Hate me ! wherefore? O me ! what news, my love? 
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander? 
I am as fair now as I was erewhile. 
Since night you lov'd me; yet since night you left 

Why, then you left me, — O, the gods forbid ! — 
In earnest shall I say ? 

Lys. Ay, by my life ; 

And never did desire to see thee more. 
Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt. 
Be certain nothing truer ; 'tis no jest. 
That I do hate thee, and love Helena. 

Her. O me, you juggler! you canker-blossom^^! 
You thief of love ! what, have you come by night. 
And stol'n my love's heart from him ? 

^ A worm that preys on the leaves or bads of flowers, always 
beginning in the middle. So before in this play : 

* Some to kill cankers in the mask-rose bad«.' 

AA 2 


Bel. Fine, i'faith ! 

Have yoii no modesty, no maiden shame, 
No touch of bashfutness? What, will you tear 
Impatient ansners from my gentle tongue? 
ric, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet you! 

//er. Puppet! why so? Ay.tbatway goes the game, 
Kow I perceive that she hath made compare 
Setween our statures, she hath urg'd her height; 
And with her personage, her tall personage, 
lier height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him. — 
And are you grown ho high in his esteem. 
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low? 
How low am I, thou pamted maypole? speak; 
How low am I ? I am not yet so low. 
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes. 

H>:1. I pray you, though yon mock me, gentlemen. 
Let her not hurt me r I was never curst" ; 
I have no gift at all in shrewishness ; 
I am a right maid for my cowardice; 
Let her not strike me : You, perhaps, may think. 
Because she's something lower than myself. 
That I can match her. 

Her. Lower! hark, again. 

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. 
I evermore did love you, Uermia, 
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;i 
Save that, in love unto Demetrius, 
I told him of your stealth unto this wood : 
He follow'd you ; for love, I follow'd him. 
But he hath chid me hence : and threalen'd me 
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too : 
And now, so you will let me quiet go. 
To Alliens will I bear my folly back. 
And follow you no further : Let me go: 
You see how simple and how fond^ I am. 

" i. e. fniwird, cross, lll-oondilionad, or ill-siiokcn. 

SC. II. DREAM. 271 

Her. Why, get you gone : Who is't that hinders 

Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind. 

Her. What ! with Lysander ? 

HeL With Demetrius. 

Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee,Helena. 

Dent, No,sir; she shall not, though you take her 

HeL O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd : 
She was a vixen, when she went to school; 
And, though she be but little, she is fierce. 

Her. Little agam ? nothing but low and little ? — 
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus ? 
Let me come to her. 

Lys. Get you gone, you dwarf; 

You minimus of hind'ring knot-grass ^^ made ; 
You bead, you acorn. 

Dem. You are too officious. 

In her behalf that scorns your services : 
Let her alone; speak not of Helena; 
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend^ 
Never so little show of love to her. 
Thou Shalt aby it 31. 

Lys. Now she holds me not; 

Now foUow if thou dar'st, to try whose right 
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena. 

Dem. FoUow? nay, I'll go with thee cheek by 
jole. [Exeunt Lys. and Dem. 

Her. You, mistress, aU this coil is 'long of you : 
^^y> go not back. 

Hel. I will not trust you, I; 

Nor longer stay in your curst company. 

^ Anciently knot-grass was beliered to prevent the. growth 
of children. 
^ Pretend. 
^^ Ahy it, for <U)ide it, i. e. pay dearly for it, rue it. 


Your hands, than mine, are quicker tor a fray; 
My legs are longer though, to run away. [fietf. 

Hirr. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say, 

[Exit, pursuing Helena, 

Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,. 
Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully. 

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. 
Did not you tell me, I should know the man 
By the Athenian garments he had on? 
And so far blameless proves my enterprise. 
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes : 
And so far am I glad it so did sort^-, 
As this their jangling I esteem a sport. 

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fights 
Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night; 
The starry welkin cover thou anon 
"With drooping fog, as black as Acheron ; 
And lead these testy rivals so astray. 
As one come not within another's way. 
Like to Lysandcr sometime frame thy tongue. 
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong; 
^jVnd sometime rail thou like Demetrius : 
And from each other look thou lead them thus, 
Till o'er their brows death- counterfeiting sleep 
"With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep: 
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye : 
"Whose hquor hath this virtuous property. 
To take from thence all error with his might. 
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight. 
When they next wake, all this derision 
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision; 
And back to Aliens shall the lovers wend^^ 
With league whose date till death shall never e 
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ, 
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy; 

" Chaoce, fall oul, from lorl, F- " Go. 

SC. II. DREAM. 273 

And then I will her charmed eye release 

From monster's view, and all things shall be peace. 

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste ; 
For night's swift dragons^ cut the clouds full fast^ 
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger; 
At whose approach, ghosts, wanderinghere and there. 
Troop home to church-yards : damned spirits all. 
That in cross-ways and floods haye burial^. 
Already to their wormy beds^ are gone; 
For fear lest day should look their shames upon. 
They wilfully themselyes exile from light, 
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night. 

Ohe, But we are spirits of another sort : 
I'^th the Morning's love^^ hay^ oft made sport; . 
And, like a forester, the groyes may tread, 
£yen till the eastern gate, all fiery red. 
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams. 
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams^. 
But, notvriUistanding, haste ; make no delay : 
We may effect this business yet ere day. 

[Exit Oberon. 
Puck. Up and down, up and down, 
I will lead them up and down : 
I am fear'd in field and town; 
Goblin, lead them up and down. 
Here comes one. 

^ So in Cymbeline, Act ii. So. 11 : 

' Swift, swift, ye dragons of the night.' 
See note on that passage. 

^ The ghosts of self-morderers, who are baried in cross- 
roads ; and of those who being drowned were condemned (ac- 
cording to the opinion of the ancients) to wander for a hundred 
years, as the rites of sepulture had never been regularly be- 
stowed on their bodies. 

^ Or that thy beaaties lie in wormy bed.* — Milton's Ode on 
the Death of a fair Infant. 

^ Cephalns, the mighty honter, and paramour of Aurora, was 
here probably meant. 

^ Oberon here boasts that he was not compelled, like m&«&«t 
spirits, to yanish at the first dawn. 

'm midsummer-night's act 

Enter LysANDEH. 
Lgt, Where art thou, proud Demetrius? apeak, 

thou uow. 
Puck. Here, villaiu ; drawn and ready. Where 

art thou ? 
£y«. I will be with thee straight, 
Puek. Follow me thea 

To plainer ground. [Exil'Lvs.aifoUowij^thevm 

Enter Demetrius, 
Oem. Lysander ! speak ag^ain. 

Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled? 
Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide ttijh 
Puck. Thou coward, artthou bragging to the stais^ 
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars. 
And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thoit' 

I'll whip thee with a rod: He is detil'd. 
That draws a sword on thee. 

Sem. Yea; art thou there T 

Puck, Follow my voice ; we'll try no manhood 

here. [Exeunt, 

Re-enter Lysander. 
Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on; 
When I come where he calls, then he is gone. 
The villain is much lighter heel'd than I: 
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly ; 
That fallen am I in dark uneven way. 
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day ! 

[Lies doum 
For if but once thou show me thy gray light, 
T'U find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Skepi 

SC. II. DREAM. 275 

Re-enter Puck and Demetrius. 

Puck. Ho, ho ! ho, ho ^ ! Coward, why com'st 

thou not? 
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot. 
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place ; 
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face. 
"Where art thou? 

Puck. Come hither ; I am here. 

Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt 
buy this dear^. 
If eyer I iiiy face by day-light see : 
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me 
To measure out my length on this cold bed. — 
By day's approach look to be visited. 

[Lies down and sleeps. 

Enter Helena. 

Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night, 
Abate thy hours : shine, comforts from the east; 
That I may back to Athens by day-light. 

From these that my poor company detest: — 
And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye. 
Steal me awhile from mine own company. [Sleeps. 
Puck. Yet but three ? Come one more ; 
Two of both kinds makes up four. 
Here she comes, curst and sad : — 
Cupid is a knavish lad. 
Thus to make poor females mad. * 

^ This exclamation would have been uttered with more pro- 
priety by Pack, if' he were not now playing an assomed char 
racter, which he seems to forget. In the old song printed by 
Percy, in which all his gambols are related, he concludes every 
stanza with ho ! ho ! ho ! It was also the established dramatic 
exclamation g^ven to the devil whenever he appeared on the 
stage, and attributed to him whenever he appeared in reality. 

^ Johnson says, the poet perhaps wrote, < thou shalt by this 
dear;' fui in another place, ' thou shalt aby it.' 

276 midsummer-night's act hi. 

Enter Hermia. 

Her. Never so weary, never so in woe, ^ 

Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers; 
I can no further crawl, no further go ; 

My legs can keep no pace with my desires^ 
Here will I rest me, till the break of day. 
Heaven shield Lysander, if they mean a fray ! 

[Lies down. 
Puck. On the ground 
Sleep sound : 
ril apply 
To your eye. 
Gentle lover, remedy. 
[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eye. 
When thou wak'st. 
Thou tak'st 
True delight 
In the sight 
Of thy former lady's eye : 
And the country proverb known. 
That every man should take his own. 
In your waking shall be shown : 
Jack shall have Jill ; 
Nought shall go ill ; 
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be 

[Eodt Puck. — Dem. Hel. Sfc. sleep. 

** These three last lines are to be found in Heywood*s Epi- 
grams, or Three Hundred Proverbs. Steevens thinks we should 
read stUi instead of toe//, for the sake of the rhjrme. 

DREAM. 277 


SCENE I. The same. 

Enter Titania and Bottom, Fairies attending; 
Oberon behind unseen. 

Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed, 
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy ^, 
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, 
■And kiss thy fair larg/ears. my gende joy. 

Bot. Where's Peas-blossom ? 

Peas, Heady. 

Bot. Scratch my head. Peas-blossom. — ^Where's 
monsieur Cobweb? 

Cob. Ready. 

Bot. Monsieur Cobweb ; good monsieur, get your 
weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped 
humble-bee on the top of a thistle ; and, good mc^- 
sieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself 
too much in the action, monsieur ; and, good mon- 
sieur, have a care the hone/-bag break not ; I would 
be loath to have you overflown with a honey-bag, 
signior.— Where's monsieur Mustard-seed? 

Must. Ready. 

Bot. Give me your neif ^, monsieur Mustard-seed. 
Pray you, leave your courtesy, good mopsieur. 

Must. What's your will? 

Bot. Nothing, good mopsieur, but to help ca- 
valero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, 
mo;isieur; for, methinks, I am marveUous hauy 

^ To coy, is to stroke or sooth with thtf hand. The behaviour 
of Titania on this occasion seems copied from that of the lady 
in Apnleios, lib. viii. 

> That is fist. So in K. Henry IV. Part II. Pistol says : ' Sweet 
knight, I kiss thy neif.* 




aud I am such a tender ass, if u 


about the face : 

hair do but tickle me, I must scratch. 

Tila. What, wilt thou lieor some musiclc, myl 
sweet love ? 

Bot. 1 have a reasonable good ear in musick: let] 
us have the tongs and the bones ^. 

Tila. Or say, aweot lose, what thou desir'st to eat. ' 

Bot. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch ' 
your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great de- 
sire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, halJi 
no fellow. 

Tittt. I have a venturous fairy dmt shall seek 
Tile squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts. 

Bot^ I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried '' 
peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir 
me ; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me. 

Tita. Sleepthou.andlwiUwindtheciamyarBis. 
Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away. ^ "Tatnift 
So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysutkre, -*^ - 
Gently entwiat, — the female ivy so 
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm^ 
O, how I love tJiee ! how I dote on thee ! 

Oberon advance*. Enter Puck. 
Ohe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this 
sweet sight? 

' The old roDgb malic music a( the loTig!. The folio 
slBge direction: ' Mosickc Tongs, Rqrall Mnsic' 

* Steeveoa Btja, yihaC Sbitspeare aetmi to mean is tbis— . 
So tbe Hoodbioe, i. e. Ibe sweet faunej'SDclJe doth gentl; ei 
the barkj fiDgera a( tbe elm, and ho dulh the tern ' ' 

d by a pastaje i 

ID of Delight: 


le bind'weed Aolh itsetr infoid 

■ Tbe miodbiae of Shilupeare ( 
of JoDBon. Jn mu)}' of our i 
name nf the great conioUulDS 

SC. I. DREAM. 279 

Her dotage now I do begin to pity. 
For meeting her of late behind the wood^ 
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool, 
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her : 
For she his hairy temples then had rounded 
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers ; 
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds 
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls. 
Stood now within the pretty flourets' eyes. 
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail. 
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her. 
And she, in mUd tels, begg'd my patience, 
I then did ask of her her changeling child ; 
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent 
To bear him to my bower in fairy land. 
And now I have the boy, I will undo 
This hateful imperfection of her eyes. 
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp 
From off the head of this Athenian swain; 
That he awaking when the other ^ do. 
May all to Athens back again repair ; 
And think no more of this night's accidents. 
But as the fierce vexation of a dream. 
But first I will release the fairy queen. 

Be, as thou wast wont to be. 

[Touching her eyes with an herb. 

See, as thou wast wont to see : 

Dian's bud^ o'er Cupid's flower 

Hath such force and blessed power. 
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen. 

^ This was the phraseofogy of the time. So in K. Henry IV. 
Part I. — ' and anboand the rest, and then came in the other.* 

^ Dianas bud is the bud of the Agnus CastuSt or Chaste Tree. 
' The vertae of this hearbe is, that he will kepe man and woman 
chaste.* Macer's Herbal, by Lynacre, b. 1. no date. Cupid's 
flower is the Viola tricolor, or Love in Idleness^ 

8B0 midsummer-night's act iv. 

Tita, My Oberon ! what visions have I seen ! 
Methougfat I was enamour'd of an ass. 
Obe. There lies your love. 
Tita» How came these things to pass? 

O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now ! 

Ohe, Silence, awhile. — Robin, take off this head. — 
Titania, musick call; and strike more dead 
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense. 
THta, Musick, ho! musick: such as charmeth 

Puck, Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own 

fool's eyes peep. 
Obe» Hound, musick. [SHU musick.] Come, my 
(luoon, take hands with me» 
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be. 
Now iltou and 1 are new in amity; 
And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly, 
Dttitci) in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly^ 
And bloRH it to all fair posterity: 
T\wTv Nltall the pairs of faithful lovers be 
Wiuidtul, with Theseus, all in jollity. 

Puck, Fairy king, attend and mark ; 
I do hoar the morning lark. 

Obc, Then, my queen, in silence sad^^ 
Trip we after the night's shade : 
W(i the globe can compass soon. 
Swifter than the wand'ring moon. 

Tita, Gome, my lord; and in our flight. 
Toll nie how it came this night, 
That [ Hleoping here was found, 
^Vith those mortals on the ground. [Exeunt, 

[Horns sound within, 

7 Sad bere signifies only grave, serioas. 

SCI. DRSAM. ' 281 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and train. 

The, Go, one of you, find out the forester; — 
For now our observation is perform'd®: 
And since we have the vaward^ of the day, 
My love shall hear the musick of my hounds. — 
Uncouple in the western valley ; go : 
Despatch, I say, and find the forester. — 
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top. 
And mark the musical confusion • 
Of hounds and echo in conjunction. 

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once. 
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear 
With hounds of Sparta : never did I hear 
Such gallant chiding ^^; for, besides the groves. 
The skies, the fountains, every region near 
Seem'd all one mutual cry : I never heard 
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder. 

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind. 
So flew'd^^, so sanded^; and their heads are hung 
With ears that sweep away the morning dew; 
Crook-knee'd, and dew-lapp'dhke Thessalian bults ; 
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells. 
Each under each. A cry more tuneable 
Was never hoUa'd to, nor cheer'd with horn, 

® i. e. the hoooars due to the morniog of May. So in a for- 
mer scene — * to do observance to a mom of May.' 
• Forepart. 

^® Chiding means here the cry of hounds. To chide is used 
sometimes for to sound, or make a noise without any reference 
to scolding. So in K. Henry YIII. : 

' As doth a rock against the chiding flood.' 
And in the 22d Book of Drayton's Polyolbion : 

' ■ drams and trumpets chide,* 
^^ The flews are the large chaps of a deep-mouthed hound. 
^^ Sanded means of a sandy colour, which is one of the true 
denotements of a blood-hound. 

B B 2 

362 midsummkr-nicht's act iv. 

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly : 
Judge, when you hear. — But, soft ; what nymphs 
are these? 

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep: 
And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is; 
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena: 
1 wonder of their l)eing here together. 

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe 
The rite of May ; and, hearing our intent. 
Came here in grace of out aolenmity. — 
But, speak, Egeus; is not this the day 
That Hermia should give answer of her choice ? 

Effe. It is, my lord. 

T%e. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their 

Horns, and skmtt within. Demetrius, Lysander, 
Hermia, and Helena, wake and start up. 
Tlie. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is 

Begin these wood-birda but to couple now 7 

I^g. Pardon, my lord. 

[He and the rest kned to Theseus. 

The. I pray you all, stand up. 

I know you are two rival enemies; 
How comes this gentle concord in the world. 
That hatred is so far from Jealousy, 
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity? 

Lij». My lord, I shaU reply amazcdiy. 
Half 'sleep, half wuking: But as yet, I swear, 
I cannot truly say how I came here: 
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak, — 
And now I do bethink me, so it is); 
I came with Hermia hither: our intent 
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be 
Without the peril of the Athenian law, 

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord: vnu have enough : 



SC. I. DREAM. 283 

I beg the law, the la^, upon his head. — 

They ^ouldhave stol'n away, they would, Demetrius, 

Thereby to have defeated you and me : 

You, of your wife ; and me, of my consent; 

Of my consent that she should be your wife. 

Dem, My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth. 
Of this their purpose hither, to* this wood; 
And I in fury hither followed them; 
Pair Helena in fancy ^^ following me. 
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power 
(But by some power it is), my love to Hermia, 
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now 
As the remembrance of an idle gawd^^, \ , 
Which in my c)iildhood I did dote upon : 
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart. 
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye. 
Is only Helena. To her, my lord. 
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia : 
But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food : 
But, as in health, come to my natural taste. 
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it. 
And will for evermore be true to it. 

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met : 
Of this discourse we more will hear anon. — 
Egeus, I will overbear your will ; 
For in the temple, by and by with us. 
These couples shall eternally be knit. 
And, for the morning now is something worn. 
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside. — 
Away, with us, to Athens : Three and three. 
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity. — 
Come, Hippolyta. 

[Exeunt The. Hjp. Ege. and tram. 

'' Fancy is here love or affection, and is opposed to fury. So 
in Shakspeare*s Venus and Adonis : 

* A martial man to be soti fancy's slave.* 
Some now call that which a man takes particular deV\^\i\. \ii» V\v. 
fancy. " Toy. 

284 mibsummer-Night's act IV. 

JDem. Tbeso things Beem small and undistin^ubh- 
[ike far'off mountains turned into clouds. 

Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye. 
When every thing seems double. 

Hel, So methinka : 

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel. 
Mine own, and not mine own'^. 
. S)em. Are you sure 

That we are awake? It seems to me, 
That yet we sleep, we dream. — 'Do not you thiflk. 
The duke was here, and bid us follow him? 

Her. Yea; and my father. 

Hel. And Hippolyta. 

Lyn. And he did bid us follow to the temple. 

Hem. Why then, we are awake r let's follow him ; 
And, by the way, let us recount our dreams. 


As they go out. Bottom aicaies. 
Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will 
answer ; — my next is. Most fair Pyramut. — Hey, 
ho ! — Peter Quince ! Flute, tlie bellows- mender ! 
Snout, the tinker I Starveling! God's my life 1 stolen 
hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare 
vision. I have had a dream, — past the wit of man 
to say what dream it was : Man is but an ass, if he 
go about to expound this dream, Methonght 1 waa 
— there is no man can tell what. Methought 1 was, 
and methought I had, — But man is but a patched 
fool, if be will offer to say what methonght I had. 

•* Helena, perhaps, oieaui lu sty, that hnviog /ound Deme- 
trini imfxpectidly, she considered her propertj in tlm as iase- 
core u IliBl which a person has in a jewel that he bas fonnd bj 
accident, which he kuons not whether he (hall retain, and Hhich 
therefore maj properlj enongh he called Jiii omn and not hit oi™. 
WarhurloD proposed (o readfjeneW, i. e. donble ; and i! has also 
been proposed to read (/immal, which signifies a donhle ring. 

SC. I. DREAM. 285 

The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath 
not seen ; man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue 
to coBceiye, nor his heart to report, what my dream 
was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of 
this dream : it shall be called Bottom's Dream, be- 
cause it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the 
latter end of a play, before the duke : Peradyenture, 
to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her 
death 1^. [Exit. 

SCENE II. Athens. A Room in Quince's House. 

Enter Quince, Flute, Snout, and Starve- 

Quin, Have you sent to Bottom's house ? is he 
come home yet? 

Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he 
is transported. 

Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; 
It goes not forward, doth it? 

Quin. It is not possible : you have not a man in 
all Athens able to discharge Pyramus, but he. 

Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any 
handicraft man in Athens. 

Quin. Yea, and the best person to : and he is a 
very paramour, for a sweet voice. 

Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is,. 
God bless us, a thing of nought. 

Enter Snug. 

Snug. Masters, the duke is coining from the temple, 
and there is two or three lords and ladies more mar- 

*^ Theobald conjectured, happily enough, that we should read 
' after death.' As Pyramus is killed upon the scene, he might 
promise to rise again and give the duke his dream by way of 
song. The corruption, he supposes, may haTe arisen from the 
vulgar pronunciation of the word, a*t€r. Bottom may, ho^«s«t^ 
mean the death of Thishe, which hia head was then CuVV oi. 


ried : if our sport had gone forward, we 
made men. 

Flu. O sweet hiitly Bottom ! Thus hath he lost 
sixpence a-day during his hfe; he could not have 
'scaped sixpence a-day : an the duke had nut g 
him sixpence a-day fur playing Pyram 
haog'd; he would have deserved it : sixpence a-day, 
in Pyramus, or notliing '. 

Enter Bottom. 

But. Where are these lads ? where are these hearts ? 

Quin. Bottom!— Omostcourageous day ! Omoat 
happy hour ! 

Bat. Masters, I am to discourse wonders : but ' 
ask me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true 
Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it i 
fell out, 

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom. 

Bot. Not a word of me. AH that I will tell you, 
is, that the duke hath dined: Get your apparel to- 
gether ; good strings to your beards, new ribbons to 
your pumps ; meet presently at the palace ; every 
man look o'er his part; for, the short and the long 
is, our play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby 
have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the 
lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the 
lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, 
nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath ; and I 
do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet 
comedy. No more words ; away ; go, away. 


' SteeTensBBjEtfaalPiestonlheBclnraiidaiitbororCHiii 
was meanl lo be ridiculed here. The qneen having beslp 
pennioo on him of tneotj pauuds a yttr for tb« pleuure s 
ncived from his BcCing in Ihe plaj of Sido, at Cimbridge, IM,! 

DREAM. 287 


SCENE I. The same. 

An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus. 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, 
Lords, and Attendants. 

Hip. Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers 

speak of. 
The. More strange than true. I never may believe 
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. 
Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains ^, 
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend 
More than cool reason ever comprehends. 
The lunatick, the lover, and the poet. 
Are of imagination all compact^ : 
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold ; 
That is, the madman : the lover, all as frantick. 
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt : 
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling. 
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to 

heaven ; 
And, as imagination bodies forth 
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing 

^ So in the Tempest : 

* thy hrainsi 

Now useless, hoiCd within thy skull/ 
And in The "Winter's Tale : * Would any but these hoiVd brains 
of three and twenty hunt this weather ?' Drayton, in his Epistle 
to Reynolds on poets and poetry, seems to have had this in his 
mind, when, speaking of Marlowe, he says : 

* That fine madness still he did retain. 
Which rightly should possess a poet's brain.* 

* i. e« are made of mere imagination. 

288 midsummer-night's act ▼. 

A local habitation, and a name. 
Soch tricks hath strong inu^;ination; 
That, if it would but apprehend some joy , 
It comprehends some Ininger of that joy; 
Or, in the night, imagining some fear. 
How easy is a bosh suppos'd a bear? 

Hip, But all the story of the night told orer. 
And all their minds transfigured so together. 
More witnesseth than fancy's images. 
And grows to something of great constancy ' ; 
But, howsoever, strange and admirable. 

EiUer Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and 


The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and 
mirth. — 
Joy, gentle friends ! joy, and fresh days of love. 
Accompany your hearts ! 

Ly8. More than to us 

Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed! 

The. Come now ; what masks, what dances shall 
we have. 
To wear away this long age of three hours. 
Between our after-supper, and bed time ? 
Where is our usual manager of mirth? 
What revels are in hand ? Is there no play. 
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour ? 
Call Philostrate. 

Philost. Here, mighty Theseus. 

JTie. Say, what abridgments^ have you for this 
evening ? 

' 1. e. consistency, stabilitj, certainty. 

* Steevens thought, that by abridgment was meant a dramatic 
performance which crowds the events of years into a few hoars. 
Sorely the context seems to require a diflTerent explanation ; an 
abridgment appears to mean some pastime to shorten the tedions 

SC. I. DREAM. 289 

What mask? what musick? How shall we beguile 
The lazy tune^ if not with some delight? 

Philost, There is a briefs, how many sports are 
Make choice of which your highness will see first. 
X^v • [Giving a paper, 

Tne. [Reads,] The battle with the Centaurs, to 
be sung 
. By an Athenian eunuch to the harp, 
•^^VWe'll none of that : that have I told my love, 
In glory of my kinsman Hercules. 
Q^ The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals, 
'J Tearing the Thradan singer in their rage, 
' H That is an old device ; and it was play*d 
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror. 
The thrice three Muses inourning for the death 
Of learning, late deceased in beggary ^, 
That is some satire, keen, and critical. 
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony. 

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus, 
■ And his love Thisbe: very tragical mirth. 
Merry and tragical ! Tedious and brief! 
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow. 
How shall we find the concord of this discord ? 
Philost, A play there is, my lord, some ten words 
Which is as brief as I have known a play ; 
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long; 
Which makes it tedious : for in all the play 
There is not one word apt, one player fitted. 
And tragical, my noble lord, it is; 
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself. 

* Short account. 

• This may be an allusion to Spenser's poem : * The Tears of 
the Muses on the Neglect and Contempt of JLearning;' fir^it 
printed in 1591. 


3M midsummer-night's act v. 

Whidi, when I saw rehearsed, I mast confess. 
Made miiie eyes water ; bat more meny tears 
Tbe passkm of load laughter never shed. 

Tke. What are they that do play it? 

PhUott. Hard-handed men, that work in A^ns 
"Which never laboured in their minds till now ; 
And now have toil'd their onbreath'd® memories 
With this same play, against your nuptial. 

Hie. And we will hear it. 

PkUo§t. No, my noble loid. 

It is not for you : I have heard it over. 
And it is nothing, nothing in the woild : 
Unless you can find sport in their intents^. 
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain. 
To do you service. 

The. I will hear that play ; 

For never any thing can be amiss. 
When simpleness and duty tender it. 
Oo, bring them in ; — and take your places, ladies. 

[Exit Philostrate. 

Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'erchai^d. 
And duty in his service perishing. 

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such 

Hip. He says they can do nothing in this kind. 

Tlie. The kinder we, to give them thanks for no- 
Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake : 

^ It is thought that Shakspeare allades here to ' certain good 
hearted men of Corentrj/ who petitioned ' that thej monght re- 
new their old storial shew' before the Queen at Kenil worth: 
where the poet himself may hare been present, as he was then 
twelve years old. 

* i. e. unexercised, nnpractised. 

' luiemU may be pnt for the object of their aiiemtiom. To 
imiemd Mad to attend mere anciently synonymous. 

SC. I. DREAM. 291 

And what poor duty cannot do. 
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit ^^. 
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed 
To greet me with premeditated welcomes ; 
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, 
Make periods in the midst of sentences. 
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears. 
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off. 
Not paying me a welcome : Trust me, sweet. 
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome ; 
And in the modesty of fearful duty 
I read as much, as from the rattling tongue 
Of sawcy and audacious eloquence. 
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity. 
In least speak most, to my capacity. 

Enter Philostrate. 

Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is 

The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets^^. 

c, r Enter Prologue. 

Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will. 

That you should think we come not to offend. 
But with good-will. To shew our simple skill. 

That is the true beginning of our end. 
Consider then, voe come but in despite. 

We do not come as minding to content you. 
Our true intent is. All for your delight. 

We are not here. That you should here repent you. 

'^ The sense of this passage appears to be : — ' What dutifol- 
ness tries to perform without ability, regardful generosity re- 
ceives with complacency ; estimating it, not by the actual meritf 
bat according to the power or might of the humble but zealous 

" Ready. 

'^ Anciently the prologue entered after the third sounding of 
the trumpets, or, as we should now say, after the third m.ui\«. 


7%e actors art at kamd: amd^ 6y tkeir dbow. 
Yam skali Ajioir aU^ thai yarn are Hke to kmom, 

TV. Tliis fellow doth not stand upoo points. 

Ia^. He hath rid hb prol<^ue» like a loogh colt, 
he kno¥rs not the stop. A good moral, my lord: It 
is not enough to speak, bat to speak true. 

Hip. Indeed he hath played on this pn^ogoe 
like a child on a recorder^^; a sound, but not in 

Hke, His speech was Uke a tangled chain ; nodiing 
impaired, but all disordered. Who is next? 

JEaier Ptramvs mmIThisbe, Wall, Moonshine, 
amd Lion, as m Atmb jAoir. 

iVa/. ^' Gendes, perchance, you wonder at Uiis 

** But wonder on. till truth make all things plain. 
** Thb man is Pvramus. if tou would know; 

*^ Thb beauteous lady Tliisby is, certain. 
** This man, with lime and rough-cast doth present 

*^ Wall , that vile wall which did these lovers sunder : 
'^ And through wallas chink, poor souls, they are 

*' To whisper; at the whidi let no man wonder. 
** Thb man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, 

^^ Presenteth moon-shine ; for, if you wifl know, 
'^ Bv moon-shine did these lovers thmk no scom 

^^ To meet at Xinus^ tomb, there, there to woo. 

>* A ktad 9i fatvolet. To ntmrd urieatlT stgaiied to ■»- 
; petkap» tW aaae vwe firaa Wids beug taagkt to 
nnrtf bj it. Ib — d t r » cast tlw t t imdas mi 
cdUc4 Jhi€s - u aonnt jest, tlw — •■■■■g mi wUck is 
wdbarsv to tlwa« vIm sse it. 

M Le. BOt nfvIari.T. Bcc«rdnc to t&e tine. S* Hualet, 
TpftiBj; mi A mcardcr — * fmnrm tkeie Tcatac** ^^^ y 
waA. tlHKKb ; gri^e it breath vitb jwmg mmaA ; aai it viD 

It I 

SC. I. DREAM. 203 

*' This grisly beast, which by name lion hight^^, 
** The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, 
*' Did scare away, or rather did affright: 
*' And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall; 

" Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain : 
** Anon comes Pyi*amus, sweet youth, and tall, 

'' And finds his trusty Thisby 's mantle slain: 
" Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, 

" He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; 
*' And, Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade, 

*^ His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, 
'* Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain, 
" At large discourse, while here they do remain." 
[Exeunt Prol. Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine. 

The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. 

Dem. No wonder, my lord : one lion may, when 
many asses do. 

Wall, '* In this same interlude, it doth befall, 
*' That I, one Snout by name, present a wall : 
'^ And such a wall, as I would have you think, 
" That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink, 
** Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, 
" Did whisper often very secretly. 
'* This loam,thi8 rough-cast, and this stone, doth show 
'^ That I am that same wall ; the truth is so : 
" And this the cranny is, right and sinister, 
" Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper." 

The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak 

Dem. It is the wittiei^ partition that ever I heard 
discourse, my lord. 

7%e. Pyramus draws near the wall : silence ! 

" Called. 

c c2 


294 midsummer-night's act v. 

Enter Pyramus. 

Pyr, " O grim-look'd night ! O night with hue so 
black ; 
O night, which ever art, when day is not ! 
O night, O night, alack, alack, alack, 
" 1 fear my Thisby's promise is forgot ! — 
"And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall, 
" That stand'st between her father's ground and 
** Thou wall, O wall, O sweet, and lovely wall, 
" Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine 
eyne. [Wall holds up his Fingers, 

" Thanks, courteous wall : Jove shield thee well for 
this ! 
" But what see I ? No Thisby do 1 see. 
O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss : 
" Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me !" 
The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should 


curse agam. 

Pyr, No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving 
me, is Thisby's cue : she is to enter now, and I am 
to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will 
fall pat a^ I told you : — Yonder she comes. 

Enter Thisbe. 

This, *.* O w^U, full often hast thou heard my 

** For parting my fair Pyramus and me : 

** My cherry lips havp often kiss'd thy stones : 
" Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee." 
Pyr, " I see a yojce : now will I tp the chink, 
" To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. 

'* Thisby!" 

This. *' My love ! thou art my love, I think." 

SC. I. DREAM. 295 

Pyr. " Think what thou will, I am thy lover's 
** And like Limander ^^ am I trusty still." 

ThU. "And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.'' 

Pyr, ** Not Shafalus to Proems was so true," 

ThU. " As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you." 

Pyr. '^ O, kiss me through the hole of this vile 

This. '' I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all." 

Pyr. " Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me 
straightway ?" 

This. " Tide life, tide death, I come without 
delay." ^>^- 

Wall. '' Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so ; 
" And, being done, thus wall away doth go." 

[Exeunt Wall, Pyramus, and Thisbe. 

Hie. Now is the mural down between the two 

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so 
wilful to hear without waiiiing ^^. 

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. 

The. The best in this kind are but shadows : and 
the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them. 

Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not 

The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they 
of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. 
Here come two noble beasts in, a moon^^ and a 

*^ Limander and Hehiiy bluoderinglj for Leander and Hero> 
as Shafalus and Procrus for Cephalas and Procris. 

'^ This alludes to the proverb, ' l^alls have ears/ A wall 
between almost any two neighbours would soon be down, were it 
to exercise this faculty without previous warning. 

'® The old copies read, a man, &c. The emendation is bj 


Enler Lion and Moonshine. 

Liim. " You, (, whose gentle hearts do fear 

" The smittlest monstrous mouse that creeps on 
" May DOW, perchance, both quake and tremblehere, 

" When lion rough hi wildest rage doth roar. 
■' Tlien know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am 
" No lion fell, nor else no lion's dam: 
" For if I should as lion come in strife 
" Into this place, 'twere pity on my life." 

77ie. A very gentle beast, and of a good con- 

Dent. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er 

Lyg. Tliis lion is a very fox for his valour. 

The. True ; and a goose for his discretion. 

Deia. Not so, my lord : for his valour cannot 
carry his discretion ; and the fox carries the eoose. 

Tfte. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his 
valour; for the goose carries not the fox. It is 
well : leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to 
the moon. 

Moon. " This lantern doth the homed moon pre- 

J)rm. He should have worn the horns on his head. 

The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invi- 
sible within the circumference. 

Mnmt. " This lantern doth the horned moon present : 
" Myself the man i'the'moon do seem to be." 

The. This is the greatest error of all the rest : the 
man should be put into the lantern : How is it else 
the man i'the moon? 

Deni. He dares not come there foe the candle; 
for, you see, it is already in snuff''. 

SC. I. DREAM. 297 

Hip. I am a weary of this moon : Would he 
would change ! 

The, It appears, by his small light of discretion, 
that he is in the wane : but yet, in courtesy, in all 
reason, we must stay the time. 

Lys. Proceed, moon. 

Moon, All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that 
the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the moon; 
this thorn bush, my thorn bush; and this dog my 

Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; 
for they are in the moon. But silence ; here comes 

Enter Thisbe. 

This, " This is old Ninny's tomb : Where is my 

Lion. "Oh—." 

[The Lion roars. — Thisbe runs off. 
Dem, Well roared, lion. 
The, Well run, Thisbe. 

Hip, Well shone, moon. — Truly, the moon shines 
with a good grace. 

The, Well moused*®, lion. 

[The Lion ^ear« Thisbe'^ Mantle y and exit. 
Dem, And so comes Pyramus. 
Lys. And then the moon vanishes. 

Enter Pyramus. 

Pyr, *' Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny 

beams : 
'' I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright. 
" For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams, 
** 1 trust to taste of truest Thisby's sight. 

^ To mousey according to Malone, signified to maminock, to 
tear in pieces, as a cat tears a moase. 

!298 midsummer-night's act v. 

" But stay ; — O spite ! 
" But mark ; — Poor knight, 
" What dreadful dole is here? 
" Eyes, do you see ? 
'* How can it be ? 
*' O dainty duck! O dear! 
*' Thy mantle good, 
" What, stain'd with blood ? 
" Approach, ye furies fell ! 
" O fates ! come, come ^^ ; 
" Cut thread and thrum ^; 
" Quail, crush, conclude, and quell ^!" 
The, This passion, and the death of a dear friend, 
would go near to make a man look sad. 

Hip, Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man. 
Pyr, " O, wherefore, nature, didst thou lions 

frame ? 
'' Since lion vile hath here deflour'd'my dear : 
** Which is — no, no — which was the fairest dame, 
" That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd 
with cheer ^*. 
*' Come, tears, confound : 
** Out, sword, and wound 
" The pap of Pyramus : 
** Ay, that left pap, 
" Where heart doth hop : 
'* Thus die I, thus, thus, thus. 

^' Dr. Farmer thought this was written in ridicule of a pas- 
sage in Damon and Pythias, by Richard Edwards, 1582 : 

* Ye furies, all at once 
On me your torments tire. 
Gripe me, you greedy griefs 

And present pangues of death ; 
You sisters three, with cruel hands, 
With speed come stop my breath,* 
^ Thrum is the end or extremity of a weaver's warp. It is 
used for any collection or tuft of short thread. 
** Destroy. ** Countenance. 

SC. I. DEEAM. 290 

** Xow am I dead. 


Now ma I fled; 
*' My soul is ni the skj : 
Tongue, lose thy Ught ! 
Moon take thy flight! 
" Now die, die, die, die, die.^ 

[Ihei. — Exit Moonshine. 
Dem. Xo die, but an ace, for him ; for he is but 

Ltfg, Less than an ace, man ; for he is dead ; he 
is nothing. 

7%e. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet 
recover, and prove an ass^. 

Hip, How chance moonshine is gone, before 
Thisbe comes back and finds her lover? 

The, She wiU find him by star-light — Here she 
comes"; and h^ passion ends the play. 

Enter Thisbe. 

Hip, Methinks, she should not use a long one, 
for such a Pyramus : I hope, she will be brief. 

Dem, A mote will turn the balance, which Py- 
ramus, which Thisbe, is the better. 

Ltfs, She hath spied him already with those sweet 

Dem. And thus she moans ^, videlicet, 

This, " Asleep, my love ? 
" What, dead, my dove ? 

^ The oharaoter of Thesens thronghont this plaj is more ex- 
alted in its humanity than in its greatness. Though some sensible 
observations on life and animated descriptions fall from him, as 
it is said of lago, * Yon shall taste him more as a soldier than 
as a wit ;' which is a distinction he is here striving to deserve, 
though with little success ; as in support of his pretensions he 
never rises higher than a pun, and frequently sinks as low as a 

^ The old copies read means, which had anciently the same 
signification as moans, Theobdd made the alteration. 



300 midsummer-night's act v. 

" O Pyramus, arise, 

** Speak, speak. Quite dumb ? 
*' Dead, dead? A tomb 
Must cover thy sweet eyes. 
" These lily brows ^, 
" This cherry nose, 
These yellow cowslip cheeks, 
"Are gone, are gone : 
" Lovers, make moan ! 
" His eyes were green as leeks. 
" O sisters three, 
" Come, come, to me, 
" With hands as pale as milk ; 
" Lay them in gore, 
" Since you have shore 
" With shears his thread of silk. 
" Tongue, not a word : — 
" Come, trusty sword ; 
** Come, blade, my breast imbrue : 
" And farewell, friends ; — 
" Thus Thisby ends : 
" Adieu, adieu, adieu." [Dies. 

The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead. 
Dem. Ay, and wall too. 

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that 
parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the 
epilogue, or to hear a Burgomask dance ^, between 
two of our company ? 

The. ^o epilogue, I pray you: for your play 
needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the 

^ The old copies read lips instead of brows. The alteratioii 
wai made for the sake of the rhyme by Theobald. 

^ A rustic dance framed in imitation of the people of Berga- 
masco (a province in the state of Venice), who are ridiculed as 
being more clownish in their manners and dialect than any other 
people of Italy. The lingua rustica of the buffoons, in the old 
Italian comedies, is an imitation of. th«ir jttrfoa* 

SC. I. DREAM. 301 

players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. 
Marry, if he that writ it, had play'd Pyramus, and 
hanged himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have 
been a fine tragedy : and so it is, truly ; and very 
notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask : 
let your epilogue alone. [Here a dance of Clowns. 
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve : — 
Lovers, to bed ; 'tis almost fairy time. 
I fear we shall outsleep the coming mom, 
As much as we this night have overwatch'd. 
This palpable-gross play hath well beguil'd 
The heavy gait^ of night. — Sweet friends, to bed. — 
A fortnight hold we this solemnity 
In nightly revels, and new jollity. [Exeunt. 


Enter T?VCK, " 

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars, 

And the wolf behowls the moon ; 
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, 

All with weary task fordone ^ 
Now the wasted brands do glow. 

Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud. 
Puts the wretch that lies in woe. 

In remembrance of a shroud. 
Now it is the time of night, 

That the graves all gaping wide, 
Every one lets forth his sprite, 

In the church-way paths to glide : 
And we fairies, that do run. 

By the triple Hecat's team. 
From the presence bf the sun. 

Following darkness like a dream, 

® i. e. alow passage, progress. ' ^ Overcome. 


a02 midsummer-night's act t. 

Now ate fin^ ; not a mooae 
Shall distarb this haUow'd howe: 
I am seat, with hroom, before. 
To sweep die dust bdund die door^. 

Emier Obkron oxcITitania, wiik fkeir Train. 

Obe, ThnMi^ this house give gUminmiig light'. 

By the dead and drowsy fire : 
!Erery elf, and fairy sprite. 

Hop as light as bird from brier; 
And tins dit^ after me. 
Sing and dance it trippingly. 

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


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 ^ ; 

' Cleanliness is alwajs necessarj to ioTite Uie residence or 
faToor of the Fairies. So Drajton, in his Njmphidia : 

' These make oar girls their slattery me, 

Bj pinching them both black and bloe. 

And pat a pennj in their shoe 

The hoase for cleanlj sweeping/ 
To sweep the dust behind the door is a common expression, for to 
sweep Uie dast from behind the door, a necessary monition in 
lai^e old hoases, where the doors of halls and galleries are thrown 
backward and seldom shat. 

' Milton perhaps had this pictore in his thoughts : 
' And glowing embers through the room 
Teach night to counterfeit a gloom.' 
* This ceremony was in old times used at all marriages. Mr. 
Douce has giren the fonmila from the Mauual for the vie of 

Salisbury. We may observe ob tUb al "" "- m v^ Otat the 

purity of modem timet atui^ ^ mtpm- 

sions to lull the seaees • * dltwiL 

SC. II. DRBAM« 903 

And the issue, there create. 

Ever shall be fortunate. 

So shall all the couples three 

Ever true m loving be : 

And the blots of nature's hand 

Shall not in their issue stand ; 

Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar. 

Nor mark prodigious^, such as are 

Despised in nativity. 

Shall upon their cluldren be. — 

With this field-dew consecrate. 

Every ^ury take his gate^; , ^ 

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. 

The married coaple would no doabt rejoice when the benedic- 
tion was ended. In the French romance of Melosine, the Biihop 
who marries her to Raymondin blesses the nuptial bed. The 
ceremonj is there represented in a very ancient cnt. The good 
prelate is sprinkling the parties with holy water. Sometmies, 
daring the benediction, the married coaple only sat on the bed ; 
bat they generally received a portion of the consecrated bread 
and wine. It is recorded in France, that, on freqaent occasions, 
the priest was improperly detained till midnight, whilst the 
wedding gaests rioted in the laxories of the table, and made 
use of language that was extremely offensive to the clei^y, and 
injarioos to the salvation of the parties. It was therefore or- 
dained, in the year 1577, that tht ceremony of blessing the nnp- 
tial bed shoald for the fatare be performed in the day-time, or 
at least before supper, and in the presence of the bride and 
bridegroom, and of their nearest relations only. 

• Portentous. * Way, coarse. 

^ The same superstitious kind of benediction occurs in Chau- 
cer's MUlere's Tale, vol. i. p. 105, 1. 22. Whittbgham's Edit. 

304 midsummer-night's dream, act v. 

Puck. If we shadows have offended^ 

Think but this (and aU is mended), 

Thai you have but slumbered 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 Fm an honest Puck, 

If we have unearned lw:k^ 

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 befriends. 

And Robin shall restore amends. [Exit. 

® i. e. if we have better fortune than we have deserved. 

* i. e. hisses. *^ Clap joar hands, give us your applause. 

Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their vari- 
ous modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure whicli 
the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion ; 
common tradition had made them familiar, and Spenser's poem 
had made them great. Johnson. 

Johnson's concluding observations on this play are not con- 
ceived with his usual judgment. There is no analogy or resem- 
blance between the Fairies of Spenser and those of Shakspeare. 
The Fairies of Spenser, as appears from his description of them 
in the second book of the Faerie Queene, canto x. were a race of 
mortals created by Prometheus, of the human size, shape, and 
affections, and subject to death. But those of Shakspeare and 
of common tradition, as Johnson calls them, were a diminutive 
race of sportful beings, endowed with immortality and super- 
natural powers, totally different from those of Spenser. 

M. Mason. 



iLoli(^0 Hafiour^ lLo0t 


T'he novel upon which this comedy was foonded has hitherto 
elnded the research of the commentators. Mr. Douce thinks it 
will prove to be of French extraction. ' The Dramatis Personae 
in a great measure demonstrate this, as well as a palpable Ghd- 
licism in Act iv. Sc. 1 : viz. the terming a htter a c^on,* 

This is one of Shakspeare's earlj plajs, and the author's youth 
is certainly perceivable, not only in the style and manner of the 
versification, but in the lavish superfluity displayed in the exe- 
cution : the uninterrupted succession of quibbles, equivoques, 
and sallies of every description. ' The sparks of wit fly about 
in such profusion that they form complete fireworks, and the 
dialogue for the most part resembles the bustling collision and 
banter of passing masks at a carnival *,* The scene in which 
the king and his companions detect each other's breach of their 
mutual vow, is capitally contrived. The discovery of Biron's 
love letter while rallying his friends, and the manner in which 
he extricates himself, by ridiculing the folly of the vow, are 

The grotesque characters, Don Adrian de Armado, Nathaniel 
the curate, and Holofemes that prince of pedants, with the 
humours of Costard the clown, are well contrasted with the 
sprightly wit of the principal characters in the play. It has 
been observed that ' Biron and Rosaline suffer much in com> 
parison with Benedick and Beatrice,' and it must be confessed 
that there is some justice in the observation. Yet Biron, ' that 
merry mad-cap Lord,' is not overrated in Rosaline's admirable 
character of him— 

* A merrier man. 

Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never spent an hour's talk withal : 
His eye begets occasion for his wit ; 
For every object that the one doth catch 
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ; — 
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.' 

Shakspeare has only shown the inexhaustible powers of his 
mind in improving on the admirable originals of his own creation 
in a more mature age. 

Malone placed the composition of this play first in 1591, after- 
wards in 1594. Dr. Drake thinks we may safely assign it to the 
earlier period. The first edition was printed in 1598. 

* Schlegel. 


• 1 


Ferdinand, King qf Navarre. 

BlRON *, -J 

LoNGAviLLE, >Lords, attendUng on the King. 


M PAD i ^'^<'*>^**^'w'*"5'<^'*'^P'^''<^^** ^France, 

Don Adriano de Armado, afantaatical Spaniard. 

Sir Nathaniel, a Curate. 

HoLOFERNEs, a Schoolmostcr. 

Bull, a Constable. 

Costard, a Clown. 

Moth, Page to Armado. 

A Forester. 

Princess of France. 

Rosaline, ^ 

Maria, yLadieSy attending on the Princess. 

Katharine, j 

Jaquenetta, a country Wench. 

Officers atid others, attendants on the King and 


SCENE, Navarre. 
This enumeration of Persons was made by Rowe. 

* Berowne in all the old editions. 



SCENE I. Navarre. A Park with a Palace m it. 
Enter the King, BiRON, Longavilli^, and 



Let fame, that all hunt after in their hves, 

Live register'd upon our brazen tombs, 

And then grace us in the disgrace of death ; 

When, spite of cormorant devouring time, 

The endeavour of this present breath may buy 

That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge, 

And make us heirs of all eternity. 

Therefore, brave conquerors! — for so you are, 

That war against your own affections. 

And the huge army of the world's desires, — 

Our late edict shall strongly stand in force : 

Navarre shall be the wonder of the world ; 

Our court shall be a little Academe, 

Still and contemplative in living art. 

You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville, 

Have sworn for three years' term to live with me, i 

My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes, 1 

That are recorded in this schedule here : 

Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names ; 

That his own hand may strike his honour down^ 

That violates the smallest branch herein : 

308 love's act 

If you are arm'd to do, as swoni to do, 
Subacribe to your deep oath, and keep it too. 

Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years' fa»t; 
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine : 
Fat paunches have lean pates ; and dauity bits 
Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quit« the wits. 

Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified; 
The grosser manner of these world's delights 
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves : 
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die; 
With all these' living in philosophy. 

Biron. I can but say their protestation over. 
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, 
That is. To live and study here three years. 
But there are other strict obBervances : 
As, not to see a woman in that term; 
Which, 1 hope well, is not enrolled there : 
And, one day in a week to touch no food; 
And but one meal on every day beside ; 
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : 
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night. 
And not be seen to wink of all the day; 
(When I was wont to think no harm all night. 
And make a dark night too of half the day ;) 
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there: 
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep; 
Not to see ladies— study — fast— not sleep. 

King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from thea* 

Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please 
I only swore, to study with your grace. 
And stay here in your court for three years' space. 

Long. ITou swore to that, Biron, and to the rest. 

Biron, By yea and nay, sir, then T swore in jest. 
What is the end of study? let me know. 

He miLjr be luppoacd lo 

sc. I. labour's lost. 309 

King, Why, that to know, which else we should 
not know. 

Biron, Things hid and harr'd, you mean, from 
common sense? 

King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense. 

Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so. 
To know the thing I am forhid to know : 
As thus — ^To study where I well may dine. 

When I to feast expressly am forbid ; 
Or, study where to meet some mistress fine. 

When mistresses from common sense are hid : 
Or, haying sworn too hard-a-keeping oath. 
Study to break it, and not break my troth. 
If study's gain be thus, and this be so. 
Study knows that, which yet it doth not know : 
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say, no. 

Kijig, These be the stops that hinder study quite, 
And train our intellects to vain delight. 

Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that most 
Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain : 
As, painfully to pore upon a book. 

To seek the light of truth : while truth the while 
Doth falsely ^ blind the eyesight of his look : 

Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile : 
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies. 
Your light grows, dark by losing of your eyes ^. 
Study me how to please the eye indeed. 

By fixing it upon a fairer eye ; 
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed. 

And give him light that it was blinded by ^. 

' Dishonestly, treacherously. 

^ The whole sense of this ^ngling declamation is only this, 
that a man by too close study may read himself blind. 

* The meaning is ; that when he dazzles, that is, has his eye 
made weak, by fixing his eye npon a fairer eye, that fairer eye 
shall be his &««d or goide, his lode^star, and give him U^VkV \)\«X. 
was blinded by it. 

310 love's act I. 

Stody is like die heaven's glorious sun, 

That will not be deep-search'd ¥rith salicy looks; 
Small have continual plodd«« ever won. 

Save base authority from others' books. 
These earthly godfisUhers of heaven's lights, 

Hiat give a name to every fixed star. 
Have no more profit of their shining nights. 

Than those that walk, and wot not "w^bat they are. 
Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame ; 
And every god&ther can give a name^. 

King. How well he's read, to reason i^ainst 

Dum, Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding ! 

Long, He weeds die com, and still lets grow the 

Biron, The spring is near, when green geese are 
a breeding. 

Dum, How follows that? 

Bircn* Fit in his place and time. 

Dum, In reason nothing. 

Biron, Something dien in rhyme. 

Long, Bir6n is like an envious sneaping^ frost. 
That bites the first-bom infants of the spring. 

Biron, Well, say I am ; why should proud sum- 
mer boast, 
Before the birds have any cause to sing? 
Why should I joy in an abortive birth? 
At Christmas I no more desire a rose 
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows ^; 
But like of each thing that in season grows. 

* Tbtt U, loo mitoh knowledge girei no real solotioD of doubts, 
but itti»r«ly fam$, or t name, a thing which everj godfather caa 

* i. «. nipping* In The Winter's Tale, Act i. Se. 1. we have 
ittsapinff mndu. To nutap U also to cheek, to rehmke. See Note 
•0 king Henry IV. Part ii. Act ii. 8c. 1. 

^ By these »lum$ the poet means Mof-gmuB, at which a simmd 
wovld be very iinweleome and onexpected. It is only a peri- 
pbrasb for Jfay. 

sc. u labour's lost. 811 

So you, to study now it is too late, 

Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate. 

King, Well, sit you out : go home, Bir6n ; adieu ! 

Biron, No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay 
with you : 
And, though I have for barbarism spoke more. 

Than for that angel knowledge you can say. 
Yet confident 111 keep what I have swore. 

And bide the penance of each three years' day. 
Give me the paper, let me read the same ; . 
And to the strict'st decrees 111 write my name. 

King. How well this yielding rescues thee from 

Biron, [Reads,] Item, That no woman shall come 
within a mile of my court, — Hath this been pro- 

Long. Pour days ago. 

Biron, Let's see the penalty. [Reads,] On pain 
of losing her tongue, — Who devis'd this penalty ? 

Long. Marry, that did I. 

Biron. Sweet lord, and why? 

Long, To fright them hence with that dread 

Biron, A dangerous law against gentility^. 

[Reads,] Item, If any man be seen to ttM with a 
woman within the term ff three years, he shall endure 
such public shame as the rest of the court can possi- 
bly devise. — 
This article, my liege, yourself must break ; 

For, well you know, here comes in embassy 
Hie French King's daughter,with yourself to speak, — 

A maid of grace, and complete majesty, — 

^ The word genttUitf here does not signify that rank of people 
called gentry ; bat what the French eiqpress by gentUesse, L e. 
tlegantiaf urbamtas. 

312 love's act I. 

About surrender-up of Aquitain 

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father : 
Therefore this article is made in vain, 

Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. 
King. What say you, lords ? why, this was quite 

Biron. So study evermore is overshot; 
While it doth study to have what it would, 
It doth forget to do the thing it should : 
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most, 
Tis won, as towns with fire ; so won, so lost. 

Ki$ig, We must, of force, dispense with this decree ; 
She must lie ^ here on mere necessity. 

Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn 
Three thousand times within this three years'' 
space : 
For every man with his aflfects is born ; 

Not by might master'd, but by special grace : 
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me, 
I am forsworn on mere necessity. — 
So to the laws at large I write my name : [Subscribes, 
And he, that breaks them in the least degree ,> 
Stands in attainder of eternal shame ; 

Suggestions ^^ are to others, as to me ; 
But, I believe, although I seem so loath, 
I am the last that will last keep his oatk 
But, is there no quick ^^ recreation granted? 

Kin^, Ay, that there is : our court, you know, i» 
With a refined traveller of Spain ; 
A man in all the world's new fashion planted, 
That' hath a mint of phrases in his brain : 

^ That is, reside here. So in Sir Henry Wotton's equivocal 
definition: 'An Ambassador is an honest man sent to lie (i. e« 
jreside) abroad for the good of his cotontrj.' 

" Temptations. " Lively, sprightly. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 313 

One, ivhom the musick of his own rain tongue 

Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony ; 
A man of complements ^^, whom right and wrong 

Hare chose as umpire of their mutiny : 
This child of fancy, that Armado hight^^. 

For ipterim to our studies, shall relate. 
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight 

From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate. 
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I ; 
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie. 
And I will use him for my minstrelsy ^^. 

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, 
A man of fire-new ^^ words, fashion's own knight. 

Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our sport ; 
And, so to study, three years is but short. 

Enter Dull, vrUh a Letter, and Costard. 

Dull, Which is the duke's own person ? 

Biron. This, fellow ; What would'st ? 

Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I 
am his grace's tharborough ^^ : but I would see his 
own person in flesh and blood. 

Biron. This is he. 

Dull, Signior Arme — Arme — conmiends you. 
There's yillany abroad; this letter will tell you more. 

Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching 

KiTig. A letter from the magnificent Armado. 

'^ Complements is here used in its ancient sense of accofnp/M&- 
menta. Vide Note on K^ Henrj V. Act ii. Sc. 2. 

*^ i. e. who is called Armado. 

^* I will make use of htm instead of a minstrkl, whose occa- 
pation was to relate /abnlous stories. 

^'^ i. e. new from the forge ; we have still retained a similar 
mode of speech in the colloquial phrase brand-new. 

** i. e. third-borough, a peace-officer. 

VOL. ir. E E 

914 love's act I. 

Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God 
for high words. 

Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant 
us patience ! 

Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing ^^? 

Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh mode- 
rately ; or to forbear both. 

Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style ^® shall give us 
cause to climb in the merriness. 

Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Ja- 
quenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with 
the manner ^9. 

Biron. In what manner ? 

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those 
three : I was seen with her in the manor house, sit- 
ting with her upon the form, and taken following her 
into the park; i/nhich, put together, is, in manner 
and form following. Now, sir, for the manner, — it 
is the manner of a man to speak to a woman : for 
the form, — in some form. 

Biron. For the following, sir ? 

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; And 
God defend the right ! 

King. Will you hear this letter with attention ? 

Biron. As we would hear an oracle. 

Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken 
after the flesh. 

King. [Reads.] Great deputy^ the welkin*s vice- 
gerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my souVs 
eartKs God, and badges fostering patron. — 

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet. 

'^ ' To hear? or forbear laughingV is possibly the true reading. 

'^ A quibble is here intended between a ttiU and style. 

>' That is, in the fact. A thief is said to be taken with the 
manner (mainour) when k* is takes with the thing stolen aboat 
him. The thing stolen was called mainour, manourf or meinour, 
from the French numierf mam tractare. 

AC. I. labour's lost. 815 

King. So it is, — 

Cost. It may be so : but if he say it is so^ he is, 
in telling true, but so, so. 

King, Peace. 

Cost. — be to me, and every man that dares not 

KiTig. No words. . 

Cost. — of other men's secrets, I beseech you. 

King. So it is, besieged toith sable-coloured me- 
kmckoly, I did commend the black-oppressing hummtr 
to the most wholesome physick of thy health-giving 
air ; and, as lam a gentleman, betook myself to walk. 
The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts 
most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that 
nourishment which is called supper. So much for the 
time when: Now for the ground which; which, I 
mean, I walked upon : it is ycleped thy park. Then 
for the place where; wkd'e, I mean, I did encounter 
that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth 
from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which 
here tfum vieivest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest : But 
to the place, where, — It standeth north-north-east and 
by east from the west comer of thy curious-knotted 
garden^: There did I see that low-spirited swain, 
that base minnow of thy mirth ^^, 

Cost. Me. 

King. — that unlettered small-knowing soul. 

Cost, Me. 

King. — that shallow vassal. 

Cost. Still me. 

King. — which, as I remember, hight Costard, 

^ Ancient gardens aboonded with knots or figures, of which 
the lines intersected each other. In the old books of gardening 
are devices for them. 

^^ i. e. the contemptible little object that contributes to thy 
entertainment. So in Coriolanns : — 

' This Triton of the Minnows.' 

316 love's act I. 

Cost, O me ! 

King. — sorted and consorted, contrary to thy esta- 
blished proclaimed edict and continent canon, with — 
with, — with — hat with this I passion to say where- 

Cost. With a wench. 

King. — with a child of our grandmother Eve, a 
female; or, for thy Tnore sweet understanding, a wo- 
man. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me 
on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punish- 
ment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Antony Dull; a man 
of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation. 

Dull, Me, an't shall please you; I am Antony 

King. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel 
called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain,) 
I keep her as a vessel of thy law*sfury; and shall, at 
the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine ^ 
in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat 
of duty, Don Adriano de Armado. 

Biron, This is not so well as I looked for, biit the 
best that ever I heard. 

King, Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, 
what say you to this ? 

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench. 

King. Did you hear the proclamation ? 

Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but 
little of the marking of it. 

King. It was proclauned a year's imprisonment, 
to be taken with a wench. 

Cost. I was taken with none, sir; I was taken 
with a damosel. 

King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel. 

Cost. This was no damosel neither, sir ; she was 
a virgin. 

King. Tt is so varied too; for it was proclaimed, 

sc. I. labour's lost. 317 

Cost, If it were, I deny her virginity ; I was taken 
with a maid. 

King. This maid will not serve your turn, sir. 

Cost, This maid will serve my turn, sir. 

King, Sir, I will pronounce your sentence ; 
You shall fast a week with bran and water. 

Cost, I had rather pray a month with mutton and 

King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper. 
— My lord Biron, see him delivered o'er. — 
And go we, lords, to put in practice that 

Which each to other hath so strongly sworn. — 
[Exeunt King, Longaville, and Dumain. 

Biron, I'll lay my head to any good man's hat, 

These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn. — 
Sirrah, come on. 

Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir : for true it is, I 
was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true 
girl ; and therefore, Welcome the sour cup of pros- 
perity ! Affliction may one day smile again, and till 
then. Sit thee down, sorrow ! [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Another part of the same. 
Armado's House. 

Enter Armado and Moth. 

Arm. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of great 
spirit grows melancholy ? 

Moth. A great sign, sii*, that he will look sad. 

Arm. Why, sadness is one and the self-same 
thing, dear imp ^. 

Moth. No, no ; O lord, sir, no. 

^ Imp literally means a graft, slip, scion, or sucker : and by 
metonymy is nsed for a child or boy. Cromwell, in his last let- 
ter to Henry VIII. prays for the imp his son. It was then per- 
japs gprowing obsolete. It is now used only to signify young 
fiends; as the Devil and his imps. 


818 love's act I. 

Arm. How canst thou part sadness and melan- 
choly, my tender Juvenal 2 ? 

Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the work- 
ing, my tough senior. 

Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior? 

Moth. Why, tender juvenal? why tender ju venal? 

Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent 
epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which 
we may nominate tender. 

Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title 
to your old time, which we may name tough. 

Arm. Pretty, and apt. 

Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my 
saying apt? or I apt, and my saying pretty? 

Arm. Thou pretty, because little. 

Moth. Little pretty, because little: Wherefore apt? 

Arm. And therefore apt, because quick. 

Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master? 

Arm. In thy condign praise. 

Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise. 

Arm. What ? that an eel is ingenious ? 

Moth. That an eel is quick. 

Arm. I do say, thou art quick in answers : 
Thou heatest my blood. 

Moth. I am answered, sir. 

Arm. I love not to be crossed. 

Moth. He speaks the mere contrary, crosses^ 
love not him. [Aside. 

Aim. I have promised to study three years with 
the duke. 

Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir. 

Arm. Impossible. 

* i. e. youth. 

3 3y crosses he means money. So in As Yon Like It : the 
Clown says to Celia * If I should bear you, I should bear luy cross.* 
Many coins were anciently marked with a Cross on one side. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 319 

Moth. How many is one thrice told ? 

Arm, I am ill at reckoning, it fitteth the spirit of 
a tapster. 

Moth, You are a gentleman, and a gamester, sir. 

Arm. 1 confess both; they are both the varnish 
of a complete man. 

Moth, Then, I am sure, you know how much the 
gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to. 

Arm. It doth amount to one more than two. 

Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three. 

Arm. True. 

Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? 
Now here is three studied, ere you'll thrice wink: 
and how easy it is to put years to the word three, 
and study three years in two words, the dancing 
horse* will tell you. 

Arm. A most fine figure ! 

Moth. To prove you a cipher. [Aside. 

Arm. I will hereupon confess, I am in love : and, 
as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love 
with a base wench. If drawing my sword against 
the humour of affection would deliver me from the 
reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, 
and ransom him to any French courtier for a new 
devised courtesy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks, 
I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort me, boy : What 
great men have been in love ? 

Moth. Hercules, master. 

Arm. Most sweet Hercules! — More auUiority, 

^ This allades to the celebrated bay horse Morocco, belonging 
to one Bankes, who exhibited his docile and sagacious animal 
through Europe. Many of his remarkable pranks are nientioned 
by cotemporary writers, and he is alluded to by numbers be- 
sides Shakspeare. The fate of man and horse is not known with 
certainty, but it has been asserted that they were both burnt at 
Rome, as magicians, by order of the Pope. The best account of 
Bankes and his horse is to be found in the notes to a French 
translation of Apnleius's Golden Ass, by Jean de Monil^vt^, 

320 LOVES ACT 1. 

demr boy, name more; and, sweet my childy let 
them be men of good repute and carna|;e. 

Mcik. Samson, master : he was a man of good 
crarriage, great carriage! for he carried the town* 
gates on his back, like a porter : and he was in lore. 

Arm. O well-knit Samson ! strong-jointed Sam- 
son ! I do excel thee in my rapier, as nrach as tfaov 
didst me in carrying gates. I am in lore too, — 
Who was Samson's love, my dear Modi ? 

Moth. A woman, master. 

Arm. Of what complexion ? 

Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two; 
or one of the four. 

Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexicm? 

Moth. Of the sea-water green, sir. 

Arm. Is that one of the four complexions? 

Moik. As I have read, sir; and die best of them 

Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of Wers^: but 
to have a lore of that colour, methinks, Samson 
bad small reason for it. He, surely, affected her 
for her wit 

Moth. It was so, sir ; for she had a green wit. 

Arm. My love is most immaculate white and red. 

Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are mask- 
ed under such colours. 

Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant. 

Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, 
assist me! 

Arm. Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty » 
and pathetical ! 

Moth. If she be made of white and red, 
Her faults will ne'er be known ; 
For blushing cheeks by faults are bred. 
And fears by pale-white shown : 

* The dlosion probably is to the wiUow, the supposed ormat- 
Dtent of nnsaceessfiil lovers. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 321 

Then, if she fear, or be to blame, 

By this you shall not know ; 
For still her cheeks possess the same, 
Which native she doth owe^. 
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of 
white and red. 

Arm. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and 
the Beggar*^? 

Moth, The world was very guilty of such a bal- 
lad some three ages since : but, I think, now 'tis not 
to be found; or, if it were, it would neither serve 
for the writing, nor the tune. 

Arm, I will have the subject newly writ o'er, 
that I may example my digression ^ by some mighty 
precedent. Boy, I do love that country girl, that 
I took in the park with the rational hind ^ Costard : 
she deserves well. 

Moth, To be whipped ; and yet a better love than 
my master. [Aside, 

Arm, Sing, boy ; my spirit grows heavy in love. 

Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light 

Arm, I say, sing. 

Moth. Forbear till this company be past. 

JBn^erDuLL, Costard, awrf Jaquenetta. 

Dull, Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep 
Costard safe : and you must let him take no delight, 
nor no penance ; but a' must fast three days a- week : 

^ Of which she is naturally possessed. 

^ See Percy's Reliques of Antient Poetry, fourth edit toI. i. 
p. 198. 

® Digression is here used for the act of going out of the right 
way, transgression. So in Shakspeare's Rape of Lucrece — 

" my digression is so yile, so base, 

That it will live engraven on my face.' 
• Armado applies this- epithet ironically to Costard. 

922 love's act I. 

For this damsel, I must keep her at the park; she 
is allowed for the day-woman ^^. Fare yoa well. 

Arm. I do betray myself with blushing. — Maid. 

Jaq. Man. 

Arm. I will visit thee at the lodge. 

Jaq. That's hereby ^^. 

Arm. I know where it is situate. 

Jaq. Lord, how wise you are ! 

Arm. I will tell thee wonders. 

Jaq. With that face ^? 

Arm. I love thee. 

Jaq. So I heard you say. 

Arm. And so farewell. 

Jaq. Fair weather after you ! 

JhiU. Come, Jaquenetta, away. 

[Exeunt Dull and Jaquenetta. 

Arm. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences, 
ere diou be pardoned. 

Cott. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do 
it on a full stomach. 

Arm. Thou shalt be heavily punished. 

Cost. I am more bound to you, than your fellows, 
for they are but lightly rewarded. 

Arm. Take away Uiis villain; shut him up. 

Moth. Come, you transgressing slave ; away. 

Cost. Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast, 
being loose. 

'^ Tahema Casearia is ioterpreted in the old Dictionaries a 
daye hoose, where cheese is made. A tUof-wowum is therefore a 
tkury-womam. Johnson sajrs tlay is an old word for milk. A 
dairj-^naid is still called a dey or day in the northern parts of 

'* Jaqnenetta and Armado are at cross-pnrposes. Hereby is 
used bj her (as among the common peo|Je of some counties), in 
1 he sense of as it may ht^ppen. He takes it in the sense of just by. 

^' This odd phrase was still in use in Fielding's time, who, 
patting it into the month of Bean Didapper, thinks it necessary 
to apologize (in a note) for its want of asaaa. hj addiay that it 
was taken rerbatim from rery polH* ' *^ 

sc. II. labour's lost. 323 

Moth. No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou 
shalt to prison. 

Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of 
desolation that I have seen, some shall see — 

Moth, What shall some see ? 

Cost, Nay, nothing, master Moth, but what they 
look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent 
in their words ; and, therefore, I will say nothing : 
I thank God, I hare as little patience as another 
man ; and, therefore, I can be quiet. 

[Exeunt Moth and Costard. 

Arm, I do affect ^^ the very ground, which is 
base, where her shoe, which is baser, guided by her 
foot, which is basest, doth tread. I shall be for- 
sworn (which is a great argument of falsehood), if 
I love : And how can that be true lore, which is 
falsely attempted ? Love is a familiar : love is a devil : 
there is no evil angel but love. Yet Samson was so 
tempted : and he had an excellent strength : yet was 
Solomon so seduced ; and he had a very good wit. 
Cupid's butt-shaft ^^ is too hard for Hercules' club, 
and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier. 
The first and second cause will not serve my tura^^; 
the passado he respects not, the duello he regards 
not : his disgrace is to be called boy ; but his glory 
is to subdue' men. Adieu, valour ! rust, rapier ! be 
still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea, he 
loveth. Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme, 
for, I am sure, I shall turn sonneteer. Devise, wit; 
write, pen ; for I am for whole volumes in folio. 


" Lore. 

^* A kind of arrow used for shootinii; at butts with. The baUt 
was the place oo which the mark to be shot at was placed. 
** See Notes on the last Act of As You Like It. 

•*24 love's 

ACT 11. 

SCENE I. Another part of the same, A Pavi-- 
lion and Tents at a distance. 

Enter the Princess o/* France, Rosaline, Maria, 
Katharine, Boyet, Lords, and other Atten- 

Boyet, Now, madam, summon up your dearest^ 
spirits : 
Consider who the king your father sends ; 
To whom he sends ; and what's his embassy : 
Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem ; 
To parley with the sole inheritor 
Of all perfections that a man may owe. 
Matchless Navarre ; the plea of no less weight 
Than Aquitain ; a dowry for a queen. 
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace, 
As nature was in making graces dear. 
When she did starve the general world beside. 
And prodigally gave them all to you. 

Prin, Good lord Boyet, my beauty, though but 
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise ; 
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye. 
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues ; 
I am less proud to hear you tell my worth. 
Than you much willing to be counted wise 
In spending your wit in the praise of mine. 
But now to task the tasker, — Good Boyet, 
You are not ignorant, all-telling fame 
Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow, 
Till painful study shall out-wear three years, 

» Best. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 325 

No woman may approach his silent court : 

Therefore to us seemeth it a needful course^ 

Before we enter his forbidden gates, 

To know his pleasure ; and in that behalf, 

Bold^ of your worthiness, we single you 

As our best-moving fair solicitor : 

Tell him, the daughter of the king of France, 

On serious business, craving quick despatch, 

Imp6rtune8 personal conference with his grace. 

Haste, signify so much ; while we attend. 

Like humbly-visag'd suitors, his high will. 

Boy. Proud of employment, willingly I go. [Exit. 

Prin, All pride is willing pride, and yours is so, — 
"Who are the votaries, my loving lords. 
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke ? 

1 Lord. Longaville is one. 

Prin, Know you the man ? 

Mar, I know him, madam ; at a marriage feast, 
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir 
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized 
In Normandy, saw I this Longaville : 
A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd ; 
Well fitted^ in the arts, glorious in arms : 
Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well. 
The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss 
(If virtue's gloss will stain wilh any soil), 
Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a will ; 
Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills 
It should none spare that come within his power. 

Prin. Some merry mocking lord, belike ; is't so ? 

Mar. They say so most, that most his humours 

Prin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they 
WTio are the rest? 

3 i. e. confident of it. ' Well fitted is well qualified. 


826 love's act 

Kath. The young Dumain, a well-accompliafa'd 
Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd; 
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill; 
For he hath wit to make au ill shape good, 
Aud shape to win grace thou^ he had do wit. 
] saw him at the dnke Alen^on's once; 
And much too little of that good I saw. 
Is my report, to his great worthjueaa. 

Rot. Another of these students at that time 
Was there with him : if 1 have heard a truth, 
Bir6n they coll him; but a menier man. 
Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never spent an hour's talk withal: 
His eye begets occasion for his wit; 
For every object that the one dolh catcb, 
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ; 
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor). 
Delivers in such apt and gracious words. 
That aged ears play truant at his tales. 
And younger hearings are quite ravished: 
So sweet and voluble is hia discourse. 

Prin. Ood bless my ladies; ore they all in love' 
That every one her owu hath gamish'd 
With such bedecking ornaments of praise? 

Mar. Here comes Boyet. 

Re-enter Boyet. 
Prin. Now, what admittance, lordf 

Boyet. Navarre had notice of your fair approach 
And he, and his competitors'" in oath. 
Were all address'd^ to meet you, gentle lady. 
Before I came. Marry, thus much 1 have learnt. 
He rather means to lodge you in the field 
(Like one that comes here to besiege his court), 

' CoiifedcrBlts. " PrupafuJ. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 327 

Than seek a dispensation for his oath, 
To let you enter his unpeopled house. 
Here comes Navarre. [The Ladies mask. 

Enter King, Longav|lle, Dumain, Biron, 

and Attendants. 

King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of 

Prin, Fair, I give you back again : and, welcome 
I have not yet : the roof of this court is too high to 
be yours ; and welcome to the wild fields too base 
to be mine. 

King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court. 

Prin. I will be welcome then; conduct me thither. 

King. Hear me, dear lady ; I have sworn an oath. 

Prin. Our lady help my lord ! he'll be forsworn. 

King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will. 

Prin. Why, will shall break it ; wiU, and nothing 

King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is. 

Prin. Were. my lord so, his ignorance were wise, 
Where ^ now his knowledge must prove ignorance. 
I hear your grace hath sworn-out house-keeping : 
Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord. 
And sin to break it : 
But pardon me, I am too sudden-bold ; 
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me. 
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming. 
And suddenly resolve me in my suit. 

[Gives a Paper. 

King. Madam, I wiU> if suddenly I may. 

Prin. You will the sooner, that I were away ; 
For you'll prove perjur'd, if you make me stay. 

^ Where is here used for whereas. So in Pericles, Act i. Sc. 1. 
' Where now you're both a father and a son.* 
See also K. Henry VI. Part ii. passim. 

328 love's act 

Birmt. Dill not I dance with you in Brabant oncef^ 

Rot. Did not I dance with you in Brabant oncefj 

Birou. I know you did. 

Ron. How needless was it then 

To ask the question I 

Biron. You roust not bi 

Roi. Tis 'long of you tliat spur me with sfich 

JBiroH. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twiU 

Rog. Not till it leave the rider iu the mire. 

BtTon. What time o' day ? 

Ros. The hour that fooU should ask. 

Bir<m. Now fair liefall your mask! 

Ro*. Fair fall the face it covers ! 

Biron. And send you many lovers I 

Rot. Amen, so you be none. 

Biron. Nay, then will I be gone. 

King. Madam, your father here doth intimate 
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns; 
Being but the one half of an entire sum, 
Disbursed by my father in his wars. 
But say, that he, or we (as neither have), 
Receiv'd that sum ; yet there remains unpaid 
A huDdred thousand more ; in surely of the which, 
One part of Aquitain is bound to us, 
Although not valued to the money's worth. 
If then the king your father will restore 
But that one half which is unsatisfied, 
We will give up our right in Aquitain, 
And hold fair friendship with his majesty. 
But that, it seems, he little purposeth. 
For here he doth demand to have repaid 
A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands, 
Od payment of a hundred thousand crowns. 
To have his title live in Aqi" inj; 

sc. I. labour's lost. 329 

Which we much rather had depart ? withal. 

And have the money by our father lent. 

Than Aquitain so gelded^ as it is. 

Dear princess, were not his requests so far 

From reason's yielding, your fair self should make 

A yielding 'gainst some reason, in my breast. 

And go well satisfied to France again. 

Prin. You do the king my father too much 
And wrong the reputation of your name. 
In so unseeming to confess receipt 
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid. 

King. I do protest, I never heard of it; 
And, if you prove it, I'll repay it back. 
Or yield up Aquitain. 

Prin. We arrest your word : — 

Boyet, you can produce acquittances. 
For such a sum, from special officers 
Of Charles his father. 

King. Satisfy me so. 

Boyet. So please your grace, the packet is not 
Where that and other specialties are bound ; 
To-morrow you shall have a sight of them. 

King. It shall suffice me : at which interview^ 
All liberal reason I will yield unto. 
Mean time, receive such welcome at my hand, 

7 To depart and to part were anciently synonjmons. 
® This phrase appears to us unseemly to a princess, bat it was 
a common metaphorical expression then much ased. Perhaps 
it was no more considered offen^iye than it would be now to talk 
of the eaatrationa of Holinshed. It was not peculiar to Shak- 
speare. In the Return from Parnassus, Act iii. Sc. 1, we find : 

' He hath a proper gelded parsonage.' 
And Bishop Hall in the second Satire of Book iy. 

* plod it at a patron's tail, 

To get some gelded chapel's cheaper sale.' 
It appears to have been synonymous with curtailed. 


830 love's act II. 

As honour, without breach of honour, may 

Make tender of to thy true worthiness : 

You nwy not come, fair princess, in my gates ; 

But here without you shsdl be so received. 

As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart. 

Though so denied fair harbour in my house. 

Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell : 

To-morrow shall we visit you again. 

Prin. Sweet health and fair desires consort your 

King, Thy own wish wish I thee in every place ! 

[Exeunt King and his Train. 

Biron. Lady, I will commend you to my own 

Ros, 'Pray you, do my conmiendations ; I would 
be glad to see it. 

Biron. I would, you heard it groan. . 

Ros. Is the fool sick ? 

Biron. Sick at heart. 

Ros. Alack, let it blood. 

Biron. Would that do it good ? 

Ros. My Physick says, 1 9. 

Biron. Will you prick't with your eye ? 

Ros. No point ^^, with my knife. 

Biron. Now, God save thy life ! 

Ros. And yours from long living ! 

Biron. I cannot stay thanksgiving. [Retiring. 

Dum. Sir, I pray you, a word : What lady is that 

Boyet. The heir of Alen9on, Hosaline her name. 

^ The old spelling of the affirmative particle ay is here re- 
tained for the sake of the rhyme. 

^° Point, in French, is an adyerb of negation, bat, if properly 
spoken, is not soonded like the point of a knife. A quibble was 
however intended. Perhaps Sbakspeare was not well acquainted 
with the pronunciation of French. Florio in his Italian Dic- 
tionary, in y. PUNTO: explains it by ' never a whit; — no point, 
as the Frenchman says.' See Aot v. A«* * "^ S88. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 331 

Dwn, A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well. 

Long. I beseech you a word ; What is she in the 

Boyet. A woman sometimes, an you saw her in 

the light. 
Long. Perchance, light in the light : I desire her 

Boyet. She hath but one for herself; to desire 

that, were a shame. 
Lcng. Pray you, sir, whose daughter? 
Boyet. Her mother's, I have heard. 
Long. God's blessing on your beard ! 
Boyet. Good sir, be not o£fended : 
She is an heir of Falconbridge. 

Long. Nay, my choler is ended. 
She is a most sweet lady. 
Boyet. Not unlike, sir; that may be. 

[Exit Long. 
Biron. What's her name, in the cap ? 
Boyet. Katharine, by good hap. 
Biron. Is she wedded, or no ? 
Boyet. To her will, sir, or so. 
Biron. You are welcome, sir ; adieu ! 
Boyet. Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you. 

[Exit Biron. — Ladies unmask. 
Mar. That last is Biron, the merry mad-cap lord ; 
Not a word with him but a jest. 

Boyet. And every jest but a word. 

Prin. It was well done of you to take him at his 

Boyet. I was as willing to grapple, as he was to 

Mar. Two hot sheeps, marry ! 
Boyet. And wherefore not ships ? 

No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips. 

383 lovb's act ii. 

Mar, You sheep, and I pasture ; Shall thai finish 

the jest? 
Beyei. So you grant pasture for me. 

[Offering to kiss her. 
Mar. Not so, gentle beast ; 

My lips are no common, though several ^^ they be. 
Bayet. Belonging to whom ? 
Mar. To my fortunes and me. 

Prin. Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, 
The civil war of wits were much better used 
On Navarre and his book-men; for here 'tis abused. 
Boyet. If my observation (Which very seldom 
By the heart's still rhetorick, disclosed with eyes ^, 
Deceive me not now. Navarre is infected. ^ 
Prin. With what ? 

Bayet. With that which we lovers entitle, affected. 
Prin. Your reason ? 

Boyet. Why, all his behaviours did make their 
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire : 
His heart, like an agate, with your print impressed. 
Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed : 

'^ A quibble is here intended apon the word several, which 
besides its ordinary signification of separate, distinct, signified 
also an enclosed pastore as opposed to an open field or common. 
Bacon and others ased it in this sense. Dr. James has giyen a 
difierent explanation of the term, which may be its local signifi- 
cation, bnt the aboye is the general sense in old writers. One 
example may suffice. ' There was a lord that was leane of visage, 
but immediately after his marriage he grew fat. One said to 
him " Your Lordship doth contrary to other married men ; for 
they first wax lean, and yon wax fat.'' Sir Walter Raleigh stood 
by, and said " Whj^ there is no beast, that if yon take him from 
the common, and put him into the several, but he will wax fat." ' 
— Bacon^s Apothegms, 1625, p, 296. 

13 So in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1594 : 

' Sweet silent rhetoric of persuading eyes 

Dumb eloquence.* 

sc. I. labour's lost. 333 

His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see ^^, 
Did stumble with haste in his eye-sight to be ; 
All senses to that sense did make their repair^ 
To feel only looking on fairest of fair ; 
Methought, all his senses were lock'd in his eye^ 
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy ; 
Who, tendering their own worth, from where they 

were glass'd. 
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd. 
His face's own margent ^^ did quote such amazes. 
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes ; 
111 give you Aquitain, and all that is his. 
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss. 

Prin. Come, to our pavilion : Boyet is dispos'd — 

Boyet, But to speak that in words, which his eye 
hath disclos'd : 
I only have made a mouth of his eye. 
By adding a tongue which I know will not lie. 

Ros, Thou art an old love-monger, and sp^ak'st 

Mar. He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns news 
of him. 

Ros, Then was Venus like her mother; for her 
father is but grim. 

Boyet. Do you hear, my mad wenches ? 

Mar. No. 

Boyet. What then, do you see? 

Ros. Ay, our way to be gone. 

Boyet. You are too hard for me. 


*^ Althoagh the expression in the text is extremely odd, jet 
the sense appears to be, that his tongne envied the quickness of 
his eyes, and strove to be as rapid in its utterance, as thej in 
their perception. 

'^ In Shakspeare's time notes, quotations, &c« were QsvaJIjr 
printed in the exterior margin of books. 

834 love's 

ACT m. 

SCENE I. Aneiker pmri if tke 

Emier Armaik> mmd Moth. 

Arm. Warble, child, make passkmale ny sense 
of keanag. 

Modi. Cameolmel^ [^Sfai^n^. 

Arm. Sweet air! — €rOyteBderaess of years; take 
diis key, gire enlargeiBefll to die swaia, bn^ faini 
festiaalely^ kither; I amst ei^ikyy kin m a letter to 
my lore. 

Maik. Master, will yo« wia yoar lore wift a 
Freach brawl'? 

Arm. How meaa'st tkoa? brawfiag ia Frea^? 

Maik, No, my complete amster : but to fig off a 
taoe at die tongae's end, canary^ to it whfa yoor feet, 
hamour it with taramg up y oor ey e-bds ; sigk a note, 
and siag a note; s<Hnetime tfaroogh die throat, as if 
you swallowed lore with ^ging lore; scmietime 
tkrongk die nose, as if yon saoffed up lore by sa^D- 
iag love ; with your hat peatfaouselike o'er die shop 

' A soa^ is apfwreatlj lost kcre. !■ old eonedies the 
ue fre<;[BeBtlj oautted. Ob tkis oecaaioa the BtMge direcl 
geeenllj Utn ikty nmg—or CamUmL 

' i. e. hfaatihf. So is Leer : *■ Adirise the Dvke where j9m are 
geiof to a ■est/MfMiv preperation.' 

' A kud of dance ; spelt hroMde bj some aathors : beui; the 
V^Bch aame for the same daiice. There b the £g«re of it set 
dowB ia MarstoB*s Malcontent. It appears that sereral peraoae 
wuted hands in a circle, and gare each other c o niinnal shakes^ 
Ae steps chanpng witik Ae tnne. It nsnallj consisted of ttrce 
fmsy and a prnd-jomi to the time of fonr strokes of the bov; whi^ 
beinf repeated, was termed a donble hrawL 

^ CiDMry wastikenameaf nsprighftlj(~ 
ponied bj the castanets. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 335 

of your eyes; with your ^rms crossed on your tbin 
belly-doublet, like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands 
in your pocket, like a man after the old paintupig; 
and keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and 
away : These are complements^, these are humours; 
these betray nice wenches — that would be betrayed 
without these; and make them men of note, (do you 
note, men^?) that most are a£fected to these. 

Arm, How hast thou purchased this experience? 

Moth. By my penny of observation'^. 

Arm, But O, — but O, — 

Moth. — the hobby-horse is forgot. 

Arm. Callest thou my love, hobby-horse^? 

Moth. No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, 
and your love perhaps a hackney. But have you 
forgot your love ? 

Arm. Almost I had. 

Moth. Negligent student ! learn her by heart. 

Arm. By heart, and in heart, boy. 

Moth. And out of heart, master : all those three 
I will prove. 

Arm. What wilt thou prove ? 

Moth, A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and 

'^ i.e. accomplishments. 

* One of the modern editors, with great plansibility, proposes 
to read ' do joa note hm V 

7 The allnsion is probably to the old popular pam^dlilet ' A 
Pennyworth of Wit.* 

® The Hchhy-horsB was a personage belonging to the ancient 
Morris dance, when complete. It was the figure of a horse fas- 
tened round the waist of a man, his own legs going through the 
body of the horse, and enabling him to walk, but concealed by a 
long footcloth ; while false legs appeared where those of the man 
should be at the sides of the horse. Latterly the Hobby-borse 
was frequently omitted, which appears to have occasioned a po- 
pular b^lad, in which was this line, or burden. It had become 
almost a proverbial expression, and occurs again in Hamlet, Act 
iii. Sc. 2. 

33« love's act III. 

witboat, upMt the mst&nl : By beait yon lore ber, 
because your heart cannot come by her: in beart 
yon love tier, bec»n»e yoar bewt is in love with ber; 
and DDl of heart yon love ber, bang out of heart ibmt 
yon cannot enjoy her. 

Arm. I am all these three. 

Alotk. And three times as much more, and y«Cfl 
nothing at all. 

Arm. Fetch hither the swain ; he must carry M'l 
n letter. 

Math. A messai;e well sympathised; a horse toA 
Ih- (-mbaiisador for an ass ! 

Arm. Ha, ha! nhat sayest thoa ? 

Mnth. .Marry, sir, you must send the ass upoi 
liorse, for he is very slow-gaited ; But I go. 

Arm. The way is but short; away. 

Molh. A» swift as lead, sir. 

Arm. Thy meaning, pretty ingenious? 
I« not 1(4*1 o metal heary, dull, and slow? 

Moth, Wrnimr, honest master; or rather, master, no. 

/lr>H. I ony, I«-a<lis slow. 

Itliilh. Vou are too swift *, sir, to say so : 

Is that lead slow which is lir'd from a gun? 

Arm. KwMt smoke of rhetorick! 
Hi>Ttipu(t<R mnacuimon; and the bullet, that's he : — 
I iilioiiL tlioc al the swain. 

Molh. Thump then, and I flee. 


Arm. A nnut acutf jurcnal : voluble and free of 


Hy thy Cnvmir, awnct welkin, I must sigh in thyfacc : 
Moil ruild iiU'IuiK'hoIy, valour gives thee place. 
My lt»r»ld U irliirnM. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 337 

Re-enter Moth and Costard. 

Moth. A wonder, master; here's a Costard ^^ 

broken in a shin. 
Arm, Some enigma, some riddle ;— come, — thy 

V envoy ^^ ; — begin . 
Cost. No egma, no riddle, no Venvoy : no salve in 
the mail^^, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain; no 
Venvoy, no Venvoy, no salve, sir, but a plantain ! 

Arm. By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; tiiy 
silly thought, my spleen ; the heaving of my Inngs 
provokes me to ridiculous smiling; O, pardon me, 
my stars! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for 
Venvoy, and the word, Venvoy, for a salve ? 

Moth. Do the wise think them other? is not 
Venvoy a salve ? 

Arm. No, page; it is an epilogue or discourse, 
to make plain 
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain. 
I will example it: 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee. 
Were still at odds, being but three. 
There's the moral : Now the Venvoy. 

Moth. I will add the Venvoy : Say the moral again. 
Arm. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee. 
Were still at odds, being but three : 

*^ i. e. a head ; a name adopted from an apple shaped like a 
man's head. It must have been a common sort of apple, as it 
gave a name to the dealers in apples, who were called costar- 

** An old French term for conelnding verses, which served 
either to convey the moral, or to address the poem to some person. 

'^ A maU or nude was a budget, wallet, or portmanteau. Cos- 
tard, mistaking enigma, riddk, and Venvoy for names of salves, 
objects to the application of any sahe in the budget, and cries 
out for a plantain leaf. There is a quibble upon salve and stdvty 
a word with which it was not unusual to conclude epistles, &c. 
and which therefore was a kind of femvoy. 

VOL. II. G G . 

388 LOVt'S ACT III. 

Moth. Until the goose came out of door, 
And stay'd the odds by adding four. 
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow 
with my Venvoy. 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee. 
Were still at odds, being but three : 
Arm. Until the goose came out of door. 

Staying the odds by adding four. 
Moth. A good Venvoy, ending in the goose. 
Would you desire more ? 

Chst. The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose ; 
that's flat : — 
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be 

fat. — 
To sell a bargain well, is as cunning as fast and loose : 
Let me see a fat Venvoy; ay, that's a fat goose. 
Arm. Come hither, come hither: How did this 

argument begin ? 
Moth. By saying that a Costard was broken in 
a shin. 
Then call'd you fojr the Venvoy. 

Cost. True, and I for a plantain ; Thus came your 
aro'ument in ; 
Then the boy's fat Venvoy, the goose that you bought ; 
And he ended the market ^^. 

Arm. But tell me; how was there a Costard ^^ 
broken in a shin ? 

Moth. T. will tell you sensibly. 
Cost. Thou hast no feeling of it. Moth; I will 
speak that Venvoy: 

I, Costard, running out, that was safely within. 
Fell over the threshold, and broke my shin. 
Arm. We will talk no more of this matter. 

*^ Alluding to the proverb, ' Three women and a goos€ make a 

" See p. 337, note 10. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 830 

Cost. Till diere be more matter in the shin. 

Arm. Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee; 

Cost, O, marry me to one Frances: — I smell 
some Venvoy, some goose, in this. 

Arm, By my sweet soul/ 1 mean, setting thee at 
liberty, enfreedoming thy person'; thoa wert im- 
mured, restrained, captivated, bound. 

Cost. True, true; and now you will be Hiy pur- 
gation, and let me loose. 

Arm. I give thee thy liberty, set thee from du- 
rance ; and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing 
but this : Bear this significant ^^ to the country maid 
Jaquenetta: there is remuneration; [Giving him 
money.] for the best ward of mine honour, is, re- 
warding my dependents. Moth, follow. [Exit. 

Moth. Like the sequel, I. — Signior Costard, adieu. 

Cost, My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my in- 
cony ^^ Jew ! — [Exit Moth. 
Now will I look to his remuneration. Bemunera* 
tion ! O, that's the Latin word for three farthings : 
three farthings — ^remuneration. — Whafs tite price of 
this inhle ? a penny : — iVb, FU give you a remtmera^ 
tion: why, it carries it. — Bemuneration ! — why, it 
is a fairer name than French crown. I will neter 
buy ahd sell out of this word. 

Enter Biron. 

Biron. O, my good knave Costard ! elbeedidgly 
well met. 

^ Armado sustains his character well ; he will not give anj^ 
thing its vulgar name, he calls the Utter he would send to Jaqde^ 
netta a significant, 

*' InoMjf, The meaning ilnd etymology of this phrase is hot 
clearly defined, though numerous instances of its use are adduced. 
Sweet f pretty, delicate seem to be some of its acceptations ; and 
the best dek-iyation seems to be Arom the northern word eoftny or 
coniqf, meaning pretty^ the tii will be intensive and equivalent to 


Cotl. Pray you, sir, liow much carnation ribboo 
may a. man buy for a remuneration? 

Birott. What is a reran aeration ? 

Cost. Marry, sir, haif-penny farthing. 

Biron. O, why then, three-farthings- worth of silk. 

Co»t, I thank your worship: God be with you! 

Birott. O, stay, slave; I must employ thee : 
As Ihou wilt win my favour, good my knave. 
Do one thing for mc that I shall entreat. 

Cnnt. When would you have it done, sir? 

Biron. 0, this aft«moou. 

Co»l. Well, I will do it, sir: Fare you well. 

Biron, O, thou knowest not what it is. 

Coit. I shall know, sir, when I have done it. 

BiTon,. Why, villain, thou must know first. 

Cmt. I will come to your worship to-morrow 

Biron. It must be done this afternoon. Hark, 
slave, it is but this; — 

The princess comes to hunt here in the park. 
And in her train there is a gentle lady ; 
When tongiies speak sweetly, then they name her 

And Tlosalme they call her: ask for her; 
And to her white hand see thou do commend 
This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon"; 
go. [Gives him money. 

Cmt. Guerdon, — O sweet guerdon ! better than 
remuneration; eleven-pence farthing better: Moat 
sweet guerdon ! — I will do it, sir, in print i*. — 
Guerdon— remuneration, [Exit. 

" Gwrdsfi, Fr. js reward. Mr. Sterveni prinli n ttor; of rimi- 
lu import iTom an old trnct enlilJed ' A Health lo tbe gentle- 
miulTj ProfeMion of Serving-msn ; or, The Servln^-maB's Com- 
fort,' 1S7tl; whiob, if the dale be correol, funoiahi^d SfaakBpcBre 
vith CoAlard'a pleasantry aboal Gneidon and ReuunBntiaii. 

» With the Dtiaoat Dicctf. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 341 

Biron. O! — And I, forsooth, in love I I, that 
have been love's whip ; 
A very beadle to a humorous sigh; 
A critick; nay, a night-watch constable; 
A domineering pedant o'er the boy, ' 
Than whom no mortal so magnificent^^! 
This wimpled^, whining, purblind, wayward boy; 
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; 
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms. 
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, 
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents. 
Dread prince of plackets ^^, king of codpieces, 
Sole imperator, and great general 
Of trotting paritors^* — O my little heart!— 
And I to be a corporal of his field ^, 
And wear his colours^ like a tumbler's hoop! 
What? I ! I love ! I sue ! I seek a wife ! 
A woman, that is like a German clock ^, 
Still a repairing; ever out of frame; 

*' Magnificent here means glorying, boasting. 

^ To toimple is to veil, from guimpht Fr. which Cotgrare ex- 
plains ' The crepine of a French hood/ i. e. the cloth going from 
the hood round the neck. Kersey explains it, ' The muffler or 
plaited linen cloth which nuns wear about their neck.' Shak- 
speare means no more than that Cupid was hood^winked. 

'^ Plackets were stotnachers. See Note on Winter's Tale, 
Act iv. Sc. 3. 

^ The officers of the spiritual courts who serre citations. 

^ It appears from Lord Stafford's Letters, toI. ii. p. 199, that 
a corporal of the field was employed, as an aid-de-camp is now, ' in 
taking and carrying to and fro the directions of the general, or 
other higher officers of the field.' 

^^ It was once a mark of gallantry to wear a lady's colours. 
So in Cynthia's Revels by Jonson, ' dispatches his lacquey to 
her chamber early, to know what her colours are for the day.' 
It appears that a tumbler's hoop was usually dressed out with 
coloured ribands. 

^ Clocks, which were usually imported from Germany at this 
time, were intricate and clumsy pieces of mechanism, soon de- 
ranged, and frequently ' out of frame/ 

GG 2 

342 love's act 111. 

And never going aright, being e. watch. 

But being watch'd that it may still go right? 

Nay, to be perjw'd, which is worst of all; 

And, among tliree, to love the woret of all ; 

A whitely wanton with a velvet brow. 

With two pitch balls stuck, in hev face for eyes; 

Ay, and, by heaven, one that will do the deed. 

Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard : 

And I to sigh for her! to watch for her I 

To pray for her ! G o to ; it is a plague 

That Cupid will impose for my neglect 

Of his almighty dreadful little might. 

Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, and groan; 

Some men must love my lady, and some Joan. 



SCENE I. Another part of thf mme. 

EntfT the. Princess, Rosai.inr, Maria, Ka- 
THAEINE, BoYET, Lords, Attendants, and a 
Prin. Was that the king, that spurr'd his horse 

Against the steep uprising of tbc hill? 

Boyet. 1 know not; but, I think, it was not he. 

Prin. Whoe'er he was, he show'd a mounting mind. 
Well, lords, tO'day we shall have our despatch; 
On Saturday we will return to France. — 
Then, forester, my friend, where is tlie bush. 
That we must stand and play the murderer In? 

For. Here by, upon the edge of yonder coppice ; 
A stand, where you may make the fairest shoot, 

Prin. I thank my beauty, 1 am f^r that shoot, . 
And thereupon thou speak'st, the fairest shoot. 

For. Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 343 

Prin. What, what? first praise me, and again 
say, no? 
O short-liv'd pride! Not fair? alack for woe! 

For. Yes, madam, fair. 

Prin, Nay, never paint me now ; 

Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow. 
Here, good my glass ^, take this for telling true ; 

[Giving him numey. 
Fair payment for foul words is more than due. 

For. Nothing but fair is that which you inherit. 

Prin. See, see, my beauty will be.sav'd by merit. 
O heresy in fair, fit for these days ! 
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise. — 
But come, the bow : — Now mercy goes to kill. 
And shooting well is then accounted ill. 
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot: 
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't ; 
If wounding, then it was to shew my skill. 
That more for praise, than purpose, meant to kill. 
And, out of question, so it is sometimes ; 
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes ; 
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part, 
We bend to that the working of the heart : 
As I, for praise alone, now seek to spill 
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill. 

Boyet, Do not curst wives hold that self- sove- 
Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be 
Lords o'er their lords? 

Prin, Only for praise : and praise we may afford 
To any lady that subdues a lord. 

* Here Drs. Johnson and Farmer have each a note too long 
and too absurd to quote, to show it was the fashion for ladies to 
wear mirrors at their girdles. Steevens sajs justly (though he 
qualifies his assertion withperAcp^) that Dr. Johnson is mistaken, 
and that the forester is the mirror. It is impossible for common 
sense to suppose otherwise. — Pye, 

Enter Costarr. 
Here comes a meniber of die comtnonwealtli^. 

Cost. God dig-you-den' ail ! Pray you, which ii 
the head lady ? 

Prin, Thou shalt know her, fellow, by tlie red 
that have no heads. 

CW. Which is the greatest lady, the liighest? 

Prin. The thickest, and the tallest. 

Co»t. IV thickest, and the tallest! it is so; truth 
is truth. 

An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit* 
One of these maids' girdles fov yourwaiat should befit.. 
Are not yon the chief woman? you are the thickest 

Prin. What's your will, sit? what's your will 

Coit. 1 hare a letter from monsieur Birun, to oi» 
lady Rosaline. 

Prin. O, ^y letter, thy letter ; he's a good friericl 
of mine : 
Stand aside, good bearer. — Boyet, you can carve; 
Break up this capon'*. 

Boyet, I am hound to serve. — 

Tills letter is mistook, it importeth none here; 
It is writ to Jai^oenetta. 

Prin. We will read it, I swear 

Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear 

Boyet. [Reads.] By heaven, that ihim art fair, ft 
moat infallible: true, that thou art beauteova; truth 

' The princBBS calla Co.turd a wumter uf Ihf taimiatweaim^ 

sc. I, labour's lost. 345 

4tself, that thou art lovely: More fairer than fair, 
beautiful than beauteous; truer than truth itself, have 
commiseratim <m thy heroical vassal ! The magnani- 
mous and mjost illustrate^ king Cophetua^ set eye 
upon the pemicUms and indubitate beggar Z^nelo- 
phon ; and he it was that might rightly say, yeni, 
yidi, yici ; which to anatomize in the vulgar, (0 base 
and obscure vulgar!) yidelicet, he came, saw, and 
overcame: he came, one; saw, two; overcame, three. 
Who came? the king; Why did he come? to see; 
Why did he see ? to overcome ; To whom came he ? 
to the beggar; What saw he? the beggar; Who over- 
came he ? the beggar : The conclusion is victoty ; On 
whose side? the king^s: the captive is enriched; On 
whose side? the beggars; The catastrophe is a nup- 
tial; On whose side? the king's? — no, on both in one, 
or one in both. I am the king; for so stands the 
comparison: thou the beggar; for so witnesseth thy 
lowliness. Sliall I command thy hoe? I may: Shall 
I enforce thy love ? I could: Shall I entreat thy love ? 
I will. What shalt thou exchange for rags? robes; 
For tittles, titles; For thyself me. Thus, expecting 
thy reply, Iprofane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on 
thy picture, and my heart on thy every part. 

Thine, in the dearest design of industry, 
Don Adriano de Armado. 

Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar 

'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey; 

Submissiye fall his princely feet before. 
And he from forage will incline to play : 

But if thou striye, poor soul, what art thou then ? 

Food for his rage, repasture for his den. 

^ Illustrations. 

* The ballad of King Cophetna and the Beggar Maid may be 
seen in the Reliqnes of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. The beggar's 
name was Penelophon. Shakspeare alludes to the ballad again 
in Romeo and Juliet; Henry IV. Part ll.; and in Richard II. 

S46 love's act IV. 

Prm. What plume of feathers is he, that indited 

this letter? 

What vane? what v^eathercock? did you ever hear 


Boyet, I am much deceived,but I remember the styles 

Pirin. Else your memory is bad, going o'el: it 

Boyet, This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps 
here in court; 
A phantasm, a Monarcho^, aiid one that makes sport 
To the prince, and his book-mates. 

Prm, Thou, fellow, a word : 

Who gave thee this letter? 

Cost, I told you ; my lord; 

Prin. To whom shouldst thou give it? 
Cost, From my lord to my lady. 

Prin, From which lord, to which lady ? 
Cost, From my lord Biron, a good master of mine. 
To a kdy of France, that he call'd Rosaline. 
Prin, Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, 
Here, sweet, put up this ; ^ill be thine another day i 

[Exit Princess and TVatii. 
Boyet, Who is the suitor? who is the suitor^? 

' i. e. lately. 

' I who erewhUe the happj garden song.' 

Milton, Par, Meg, 
A pun is intended npon the word sHHe, 

^ The allusion is to a fantastical character of the time. ' Po- 
polar applaose (says Meres in Wit's Treasnrie, p. 178), doth 
nourish some, neither do thej gape after any other thing bat vaine 
praise and glorie, — as in our age Peter Shakerlye of Paoles, and 
Monarcho that lived about the court/ He is called an ItaUan 
by Nashe, and Churchyard has written some lines which he calls 
his * Epitaphe.' By another writer it appears that he was a 
' Bergamasco/ 

^ An equivoque was here intended ; it should appear that the 
words shooter and smtor were pronounced alike in Shakspeare's 

sc. I. labour's lost. 347 

Ros. Shall I teach you to know? 

Boyet, Ay, my continent of beauty. 
Ros* Why, she that bears the bow. 

Finely put off! 
Boyet. My lady goes to kill horas; but, if thou 
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry. 
Finely put on ! 
Ra$. Well then, I am the shooter. 
Boyet. And who is your deer? 

Rm. If we choose by the horns, yourself: come 
Finely put on, indeed ! 
Mar. You still wrangle with her, 3oyet, and she 

strikes at the brow. 
Boyet. But she herself is hit Ipwer : Have I hit 

her now ? 
Ro9. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, 
that was a man when lung Pepin of France w^ a 
little boy, as touching the hit it? 

Boyet. So I may answer thee with one as old^ 
that was a woman when queen Guinever of Britain 
was a little wench, as touching the hit it 

Ros. Thau canst not hit it^ hit it, hit it, [Singing. 

Thou canst not hit it, my good man. 
Boyet. An I cannot, catmot, cannot. 
An I cannot, another can. 

[Exeunt Ros. and Kath. 

Cost. By my troth, most pleasant ! how both did 

fit it! 
Mar. A mark marvellous well shot; for they both 

did hit it. 
Boyet. A mark! O, mark but that mark; A 

mark, says my lady ! 
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be. 

348 love's act IV. 

Mar, Wide o'the bow haDd^^^! I'faith your hand 

is out. 
Cost, Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or hell ne'er 

hit the clout 
Boyet, An if my hand be out, then, belike your 

hand is in. 
Cost, Then will she get the upshot by cleaving 

the pin. 
Mar, Come, come, you talk greasily ^^^ your lips 

grow foul. 
Cost, She's too hard for you at pricks, sir ; chal- 
lenge her to bowl. 
Boyet, I fear too much rubbing ^^ ; Good n^;fat, my 
good owl. [Exeunt Boyet and Maria. 
Cost, By my soul, a swain ! a most simple clown ! 
Lord, lord ! how the ladies and I have put him down ! 
O' my troth, most sweet jests ! most incony vulgar 

When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it 

were, so fit. 
Armatho o' the one side, — O, a most dainty man! 
To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan ! 
To see him kiss his hand ! and how most sweetly 

a' will swear ! — 
And his page o' t' other side, that handful of wit I 
Ah, heavens, it is a most patheticaP^ nit! 
Sola, sola ! [Shxmting within. Exit Cost, running. 

^^ This is a term in archery still in use, signifying ' a good 
deal to the left of the mark.' Of the other expressions the clotU 
was the white mark at which archers took aim. The jpm was 
the wooden nail in the centre of it. 

" i. e. grossly. This scene, as Dr. Johnson justly remarks, 
* deserves no care.' 

^^ To rnb is a term at bowls. 

'^ Pathetical sometimes meant passionatef and sometimes pas" 
sion-movingf in oar old writers ; but is here used by Costard as 
an idle expletive, as Rosalind's * pathetical break-promise/ in As 
You Like It. 


SCENE n. The same. 

£nfer HoLOFERNES, Sir Nathaniel, and Dull. 

Nath. Very reverent sport, truly; and done in 
the testimony of a good conscience. 

Hoi, The deer was, as you know, in sanguis^ — 
blood ; ripe as a pomewater ^, who now hangeth like 
a jewel in the ear of ccBloy — the sky, the welkin, the 
heaven ; and anon falleth like a crab, on the face of 
terra f — the soil, the land, the earth ^. 

Nath. Truly, master Holofemes, the epithets are 
sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least ; But, sir, 
I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head '. 

HoL Sir Nathaniel, havd credo. 

Dull. 'Twas not a haud credo, ^twas a pricket 

HoL Most barbarous intimation! yet a kind of 
insinuation^ as it were, in via, in way, of explication ; 
facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, ostentare, 
to show, as it were, his inclination, — after his un- 

' Pomewaierf a species of apple. 

' Warbnrton's conjectore that Florio, the author of the Italian 
Dictionary, was ridicoled nnder the name of Holofemes would 
derive some strength from the following definition : * cielot heaven^ 
the sine, firmameiU or welkin, Terruy Uie element called earth, 
anie ground, earth, countrie, land, soUe,* But Florio*8 Dictionary 
was not published until 1698 ; and this play appears to have been 
written in 1594, though not printed until 1598. 

^ In The Return from Parnassus, 1606, is the following ac- 
count of the different appellations of deer at their different ages. 
' Amoretto. I caused the keeper to sever the rascal deer from the 
bucks of the first head. Now, sir, a buck is the first year, hfawn; 
the second year, a pricket; the third year, a sorrel; the fourth 
year, a soare ; the fifth, a buck of the first head; the sixth year, 
a complete buck. Likewise your hart, is the first year, a calfe ; 
the second year, a brocket ; the third year, a ^itade ; the fourth 
year, a stag; the sixth year, a.Aorf. A roe-buck is the first year, 
a kid; the second year, a gird; the third year, a hemuse; and 
these are your special beasts for chase.' 



dretfcd, unpolished, uneducated, mpnined, 
tnined, or rather unlettered, or, ratfamst, uncon- 
fimed fashion, — to insert a^ain my kamd credo for 
a deer. 

DmlL I said, the deer was not a htaui endo; 
'twas a pricket. 

HoL Twice sod simplicity, hu eoehu! — O ^oo 
moMter, igncmuice, how deformed dost thoo look ! 
Naik. Sir, be hath nerer fed of die daintica dial 
are bred in a book ; he hath not eat paper, as b 
were; he hath not drunk ink: his intellect is moi 
rej^enished; he is only an animal, only sensabie in 
the duller parts; 
And such barren plants are set before us, Uiai we 

thankful should be 
(Whidi we of taste and feeling are) for those parts 

that do fructify in us more than he^. 
For as it would ill become me to be yain, indiscieet, 

or a fool. 
So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him 

in a school ^ : 
But, cmne bene, say I ; being of an old father's mind. 
Many can brook the weather that love not the wmd. 
IhUL You two are book-men : Can you tell by 
your wit. 
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not 
five weeks old as yet? 
Hoi. Dictynna, good man Dull; Dictynna^, good 
man Dull. 

* Tbe length of these lines was no noveltj on the Eng^sh stage. 
The Moralities aflbrd whole scenes of the like measure. 

' The meaning is, to be in a school would as ill become a 
paieh, or low fellow, as follj would become me. 

* Shakspeare might have foond this oncommon title for Diana 
in tbe second book of Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamor* 

sc. II. labour's Lost. 651 

Dull. What is Dictynna? 

Nath, A title to Phcebe^ to Lnna^ to the moon. 

HoL The moon was a month old^ when Adam 
was no more ; 
And ranght^ not to fiye weeks^ when he came to 

The allusion holds in the exchange®. 

Dull. Tis true indeed ; the collusion holds in the 

Hoi. God comfprt thy capacity ! 1 bay, the allu- 
fsion holds in the exchange. 

Dull. And I say the pollution holds in the ex- 
change; for the moon is never but a month old: 
imd I say beside> that twas a {Kicket that the 
princess kill'd. 

Hoi. Sir Nathaniel^ will you heair an extemporal 
epitaph on the death of the deer? and» to humout 
tile ignorant, I have called the deer the prihcess 
kill'd> a pricket. 

Nath. Perge, good master Holofemes, perge; 
fio it shall please you to abrogate scurrility; 

Hd, I will sometiiing affect the letter^; for it 
argues facility. 

7 Reached. 

^ {. e. the riddle is as good when I use tiie name of Adam, ta 
when I use the name df Cain. ■ 

^ i. e. I will ase or practise alliteration. To t^ect is thus nsed 
by Ben Jonson in his Discoveries : * Spenser, in affecting the an- 
cients, writ no language ; yet I would have him i%ad for his 
matter, but as Virgil read Ennius.' ' In Baret's Alfearie, 1678, 
we have * much affected, farre fette,' for Dictum accersitum, &o. 
Th^ ridicule in this passage is directed against the verj preva- 
lent piece of folly, of which the following is an apt illnstradota 
from Ulpian Fulwell's poem in Commemoration of Queene Anne 
Bayne, which makes part of a collection called The Flower of 
Fame, 1675 : 

* "Whose princely praise has pearst the pricke 
And price of endless fame,' &o. 

S82 love's act IV; 

Tke proiiieful princKt* pierc'd and prii'k'd a preihf 

pleasMg pricket ; 

Same lay, a sore; bat not a tore, tilt now mads 

mre with shooting. 

The doffs did yell! jmt I to sore, then foret jutHpt 

from thicket; 

Or pricket, sore, m- eite smel'" ; the people Jail a 


If lore be sore, that L to tore makes fifty soreg; O 

Of one lore I a hundred make, bij adding but one 

Nath. A mre talent! 

Dull. It' a talent be a claw, look how he clavrc 
him with a talent". 

Hoi. This is a gift diat I have, simiile, simfile] 
a foolish extravagant spirit, full of fumiB, figures, 
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, re- 
volutions : these are begot in the ventricle of me' 
mory, aourishediu the womb oipia mater; and de- 
Ijver'd upon the mellowing of occasion : But the g^ 
is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am thank- 
ful for it. 

Nath. Sir, I praise the Lord for you ; and so may 
my parishioners; for their sous are well tutor'd by 
you, and their daughters profit very greatly undw 
you : you are a good member of the commonwealth. 

Hoi. Mehercle, if their sons be ingenious, they 
shall want no instruction : if theii daughters b< 
pable, I will put it to them : But, vir sapit, qui 
pauca loquitur: a soul feminine salutetii us. 

" For Die riplanation of Ihe Umn priclitt, mre or loa 

mrell in Ihii q 




eader is prepa 

red, by the 


tract rroraTh 


-n from Pnraaa 



or Ihe scene. 

" Tahmwi 





tirae. Ho 

Dull qnibblo 


of the 



sen. labour's LOST. 853 

Enter Jaquenetta and Costard. 

Jaq. God give you good morrow, master person. 

HoL Master person, — giMm pers-on. And if one 
should be pierced, which is the one? 

Cost, Marry, master schoolmaster, he that is likest 
to a hogshead. 

HoL Of piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of 
conceit in a turf of earth; fir6 enough for a flint, 
pearl enough for a swine : 'tis pretty ; it is well. 

Jaq. Good master parson, be so good as read me 
this letter; it was given me by Costard, and sent 
me from Don Armatho : I beseech you, re&d it 

Hoi. Fauste, precor gelidd quando pecus omne sub 
Ruminat, — and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan ^^ ! 
I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice : 

Vinegia, Vinegia, 

Chi Tum te vede, ei non te pregia^K 
Old Mantuan ! old Mantuan ! Who understandeth 
thee not, loves thee not — Ut, re, sol, la,m%,fd^^, — 
Under pardon, sir, what are the contents ? or, rather, 
as Horace says in his — ^What, my soul, verses ? 

Nath. Ay, sir, and very learned. 

13 The Eclogues of Mantnaniui were translated before the time 
of Shakspeare, and the Latin printed on the opposite side of the 
page for the use of schools. In 1567 they were also versified 
by Torberville. La Monnoye, in a note on Le» Contes de Des 
PerierSf observes that Famaby had pleasantly remarked in his 
Preface to Martial, that pedants made no difficulty of preferring 
the Eclogues of Mantnanns to the Eneid of Virgil. The first 
Eclogne of Mantnanns begins Fauste, precor gelida, &c. 

1' This proverb occurs in Florio's Second Frutes, 1591, wbere 
it stands thus : 

' Venetia, chi non ti vede non ti pretia 
Ma chi ti vede, ben gli costa.' 
*^ He hums the notes of the gamut as Edmund does in King 
Iiear, Act i. Sc. 2. 

• HH 2 

354 love's Acrr iv. 

Hoi. Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a Terse: 
Lf^, domme. 

Ac/A. If love make me forawora, how shall I 

swear to love ? 
Ah, never ^th could hold, if not to beauty Towed ! 
TThough to m\ sell foiswom, to thee 111 faithfol proTe ; 
Those thouefats to me were oaks, to thee like osieis 

Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine 
Where all those pleasures live that ait would 
If knowled^ be the mark, to know thee shaU 
Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee 
All ignorant that soul, that sees thee without 
(Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts 
Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, diy voice his 
dreadful thunder. 
Which, not to anger bent, is musick and sweet 
Celestial, as thou art, oh pardon, love, diis wrong. 
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly 

tongue ^ I 
Hoi, You find not the apostrophes, and so miss 
the accent ; let me supervise the canzonet. Here 
are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, 
facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovi- 
dius Naso was the man : and why, indeed, Naso ; 
but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, 
the jerks of invention ? Imitari, is nothing : so doth 
the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the tired 

" Thene verse* «re printed, wi*'* Wh^IbIW Pa»- 

Pil^rin, IMKI. 

sc. u. labour's lost. 355 

horse ^^ his rider. But damoselia virgin^ was this 
directed to you ? 

Jaq, Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron^^, one of 
the strange queen's lords. 

HoL I wUl oyerglance the superscript. To the 
snow-white hand of the most beauteous lady Rosaline, 
I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for 
the nomination of the party writing to the person 
written unto : 

Your ladyship^s in all desired employment, BiRON. 
Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with 
the king; and here he hath framed a letter to a se- 
quent of the stranger queen's, which, accidentally, 
or by the way of progression, hath miscarried. — ^Trip 
and go, my sweet ; deliver this paper into the royal 
hand of the king ; it may concern much : Stay not 
thy compliment ; I forgive thy duty ; adieu. 

Jaq, Good Costard, go with me., — Sir, God save^ 
your life ! 

Cost. Have with thee, my girl. 

[Exeunt Cost, and Jaq. 

Nath, Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, 
very religiously ; and, as a certain father saith 

HoL Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear co- 
lourable colours*®. But to return to the verses; 
Did they please you, sir Nathaniel ? 

NatL Marvellous well for the pen. 

HoL I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain 

1' i. e. The horse adorned with ribands ; Bankes's horse is 
here probably alluded to. Lyly, in his Mother Bombie, brings 
in a hackneyman and Mr. Halfpenny at cross-purposes with this 
word: ' Why didi^t thou bore the horse through the ears?' — 
* It was for tiring,' — ' He would never tiref* replies the other. 

17 Shakspeare forgot that Jaqaenetta knew nothing of Biron, 
and had said just before that the letter had been ' sent to her 
from Don Armathot and given to her by Costard.' 

*® That is, specious or fair seeming appearances. 

350 love's act IV. 

pvpil of mine ; where if, before repast, Hsludl please 
you to upratify the table with a grace, I wfll, on ny 
privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid 
child or pupil, undertake yoor bem vemtfo; vrhere I 
vrill prove those verses to be very unlearned, neitfaer 
savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention : I beseech 
your society. 

Nath. And thank yon too : for society, (saitk liie 
text), is the happiness of life. 

lioL And, certes ^^, the text most infallibly con- 
cludim it, — Sir, [To Dull.] I do invite you too; 
you shall not say me, nay : pauca verba. Away ; 
thi) gentles are at their game, and we will to our re- 
creation* [ExemU. 

HCIiNE III. Another part rf the same... 
Enter BiRON, with a Paper. 

Jiirm* The king he is hunting the deer; I am 
(sourMitig myself : they have pitch'd a toil; I am 
Uiiling ill a pitch ' ; pitch that defiles ; defile ! a foul 
word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so, they 
fttiVf ilio fool said, and so say I, and I the fooL 
W (til proved, wit ! by the lord, this love is as mad 
M AJax: it kills sheep; it kills me^, la sheep: 
Wull proved again on my side! I will not love: if 
I <lo, \m%\\^ me; iYaith, I will not. O, but her eye, — 
by iliiM light, but for her eye, I would not love her; 
ym, for h«r two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the 
world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I 
do love ; and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be 
melancholy ; and here is part of my rhyme, and h^re 
my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets 

^^ (;«r(ftlnly, In truth. 

* AUndInK to Roialine's oomplexioo, who is represented as a 
hlaok hmu\y, 

' Thin U (fiven an a proverb in Fuller's Gnomologia. 

sc. III. labour's lost. 357 

already ; the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the 
lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest 
lady ! By the world, I would not care a pin if the 
other three were in : Here comes one with a paper ; 
God give him grace to groan ! [Gets up into a Tree. 

Enter the King, with a Paper. 

King, Ah me! 

Biron. [Aside J] Shot, by heaven ! — Proceed, 
sweet Cupid ; thou hast thump'd him with thy bird- 
bolt under the left pap : — I'faith secrets. — 

King. [Reads.] So sweet a kiss the golden sun 
gives not 

To those fresh morning drops upon the rose^ 
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote 

The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows: 
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright 

Through the transparent bosom of the deep. 
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light; 

Thou shin' St in every tear that I do weep : 
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee, 

So ridest thou triumphing in my woe; 
Do but behold the tears that swell in me. 

And they thy glory through thy grief will show: 
But do not love thyself; tJuen them wilt keep 
My tears for glasses, aful still make me weep. 
queen of queens, how far dost thou excel! 
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal teU,--^ 

How shall she know my griefs ? I'll drop the paper; 
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here ? 

, [Steps aside. 

Enter Longaville, with a Paper. 

What, Longaville ! and reading ! listen, ear. 

Biron. Now, in thy likeness, one more fool, ap- 
pear ! [Aside. 

858 love's act IV. 

Long, Ah me ! I am forsworn. 
Biron. Why, he comes in like a perjure ', wear- 
ing papers. [Aside. 
King. In love, I hope ; Sweet fellowship in shame ! 

Biron. One drunkard loves another of the name. 

Long. Am I the first that have heen perjur'd so ? 
Biron. [Aside.] I could put thee in comfort; not 
by two, that I know : 
Thou mak'st the triumviry, the comer-cap of society. 
The shape of love's Tybimi^ that hangs up simpli- 
Lang. I fear, these stubborn lines lack power to 
O sweet Maria, empress of my love ! 
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose. 
Biron. [Aside.] O, rhymes are guards dn wanton 
Cupid's hose : 
Disfigure not his slop^. 
Long. This same shall go. — 

[He reads the Sonnet. 
Bid not the heavenly rhetorick of thine eye 

CGavnst whom the world cannot hold argument). 
Persuade my heart to this fake perjury? 

Vows, for thee broke, deserve not punishment. 
A woman Ifoyrswore; hut, I will prove. 

Thou being a goddess, Ifoyrswore not thee : 
■My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love; 

Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me. 

^ The ancient punishment of a perjured person was to wear 
on the breast a paper expressing the crime. 

^ Bj triumviry and the shape of love's Tyburn Shakspeare 
alludes to the gaHows of the time, which was occasionally fri- 

^ <S/op« were wide kneed breeches, the garb in fashion in 
Shakspeare's time. 

sc. III. labour's lost. 359 

Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is: 
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine, 

ExhaVst this vapour vow ; in thee it is: 
If broken then, it is tw fault of mine; 

If by me broke. What fool is not so wise. 

To lose an oath to win a paradise? 
Biron. [Astde,"] This is the liver vein^, which 
makes flesh a deity ; 

A green goose, a goddess : pure, pure idolatry. 

God amend us, God amend! we are much out o' 
the way. 

Enter DuMAiN, with a Paper, 

Long. By whom shall I send this ? — Company ! 
stay. [Stepping aside. 

Biron, [Aside,] All hid, all hid, an old infant play: 
like a demi-god here sit I in the sky. 
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye. 
More sacks to the mill ! O heavens, I have my wish; 
Dumain transform'd: four woodcocks^ in a dish! 
Dum. O most divine Kate ! 
Biron, O most profane coxcomb ! 

Dum, By heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye ! 
Biron. By earth she is but corporal; there you 
lie. [Aside, 

Dum. Her amber hairs for foul have amber coted^. 
Biron. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted. 


^ It has been already remarked that the liver was anciently 
supposed to be the seat of love. So in Much Ado abont No- 
thing : 

' If erer love had interest in his Uver.* 

"" A woodcock means a foolish fellow; that bird being supposed 
to have no brains. 

^ Coted signifies nuurhed or noted. The word is from the otter 
to quote. The construction of this passage will therefore be, 
' her amber hairs hare marked or shown that real i^nber is fool 
in comparison with themselyes.* 

360 love's act IV. 

D-urn. As upright as the cedar. 
Birom. Stoop, I say ; ' 

Her shoulder is with child. {Aside. 

Dum, As fair as day. 

Biron. Ay, as some days; but then no son most 
shine. \Adde. 

Dum. O that I had my wish ! 
Long. And I had mine ! 


King. And I mine too, good Lord ! [Aside. 

Biron. Amen, so I had mine : Is not that a good 

word ? [Aside. 

Dvm. I would forget her; but a fever she 

Reigns in my blood, and will remember'd be. 

Biron. A fever in your blood, why, then incision 
Would let her out in saucers ; Sweet misprision ! 

Dum. Once more I'll read the ode that I have 

Biron. Once more 111 mark how love can vary 
wit. [Aside. 

Dum. On a day, (alack the day!) 

Love, whose month is ever May, 
Spied a blossom, passing fair. 
Playing in the vmnton air: 
Through the velvet leaves the wind, 
All unseen, 'gan passage find: 
That the lover, sick to death. 
Wished himself the heaven's breath. 
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow ; 
Air, would I might triumph so ! 
But alack, my hand is sworn, 
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn: 
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet; 
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet. 
Do not call it sin in me. 
That I am fofrs^cofrn for thee; — 

sc. III. labour's lost. 361 

Thee — -for whom J one would swear ^^ 
Juno but an Ethiop were; 
And deny himself for Jove, 
Turning mortal for thy love, — 

This will I send : and something else more plain^ 
That shall express my true love's fasting ^^ pain. 
O, would the King> Bir6n, and Longaville, 
Were lovers too ! Ill, to example ill, 
Would from my forehead wipe a perjur'd note ; 
For none offend, where all alike do dote. 
Long. Dumain, [advancing,] thy love is far from 

That in love's grief desir'st society : 
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know, 
To be o'erheard, and taken napping so. 

King, Come, sir, [advancing,] you blush ; as his 

your case is such; 
You chide at him, offending twice as much : 
You do not love Maria ; Longaville 
Did never sonnet for her sake compile ; 

• * Thee — for whom Jove would swear, 
Juno bat an Ethiop were/ 

The old copy reads — 

' Thou for whom Jore would swear.' 
Pope thought this line defective, and altered it to—* 

' Thoa for whom even Jove would swear.* 

This sonnet is printed in England's Helicon, 1614, and in Jag* 
gard's Collection, 1599, where the couplet preceding — 
' Do not call it sin in me 
That I am forsworn bj thee,' 
is omitted. Pope's emendation is. not necessary, for the second 
line of the couplet has six sjllabfi^s only, and it was common to 
intersperse such lines in similar verses, as Mr. Boswell has 
shown in his Essay on the Metre of Shakspeare. The substitu" 
tion of Thee for Thou which I Jiave ventured upon, throws the 
emphasis on that word thus reduplicated, giving the line its pro- 
per cadence. 

10 Fasting is longing, hungry, wanting. 


a02 love's act IV. 

Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart 
His loving bosom, to keep down his heart. 
I have been closely shrouded in this bush. 
And mark'd you both, and for you both did blush. 
I heard your g:uilty rhymes, observ'd your fashion ; 
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion : 
Ah me ! says one ; O Jove ! the other cries ; 
One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes : 
You would for paradise break faith and troth ; 

[To Long. 
And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath. 


What will Bir6n say, when that he shall hear 
Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear? 
How will he scorn ? how will he spend his wit ? 
How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it ? 
For all the wealth that ever I did see, 
I would not have him know so much by me. 

Biron, Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy. — 
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me : 

[Descends from the Tree. 
Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove 
These worms for loving, that art most in love ? 
Your eyes do make no coaches ^^ ; in your tears. 
There is no certain princess that appears : 
You'll not be perjur'd, 'tis a hateful thing; 
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting. 
But are you not asham'd ? nay, are you not, 
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot? 
You found his mote ; the king your mote did see ; 
But I a beam do find bk each of three. 
O, what a scene of foolery T have seen, 
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen ^" ! 

^* Alluding to a passage in the King's Sonnet: 

* No drop but as a coach doth carry thee.' 
" Grief. 

sc. III. labour's lost. d6d 

me, with what strict patience have I sat, 
To see a king transformed to a gnat^^ ! 

To see great Hercules whipping a gigg, 
And profound Solomon to tune a jigg, 
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys, 
And critick^^Timon laugh at idle toys? 
Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumain ? 
And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain ? 
And where my liege's? all about the breast: — 
A caudle, ho ! 

King, Too bitter is thy jest. 

Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view ? 

Biron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you ; 
I, that am honest : I, that hold it sin 
To break the vow I am engaged in ; 

1 am betray'd, by keeping company 

With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy. 
When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme ? 
Or groan for Joan? or spend a minute's time 
In pruning ^^ me? When shall you hear that I 
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye, 
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist, 
A leg, a limb ? — 

King, Soft; Whither away so fast? 

A true maA, or a thief, that gallops so ? 

Biron. I post from love ; good lover, let me go. 

*^ Gnat is the reading of the old copy, and there seems no 
necessity for changing it to knot or any other word, as some of the 
editors hare been desirous of doing. Neither do I think there 
is any allusion to the singing of the gnat, as others hare supposed; 
but it is merely put as an insignificant insect, just as he calls 
the others worms abore. 

** Cynic. 

*^ A bird is said to be pruning himself when he picks and 
sleeks his feathers. So in K. Henry IV. Part i. 

' Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up 
The crest of youth.* 

d64 love's act IV. 

Enter Jaquenetta and Costard. 

Jaq. God bless the king! 

J^iii^. What present hast thou there ? 

Coit. Some certam treason. 
King, What makes treason here ^^? 

Cost. Nay, it makes nothing, sir. 
King, If it mar nothing neither. 

The treason, and you, go in peace away together. 

Jaq. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read ; 
Our parson misdoubts it; ^twas treason, he said. 

Biron. Biron, read it over. [Gitdng him the letter. 
Where hadst thou it? 
Jaq. Of Costard. 
King, Where hadst thou it? 
Cast. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio. 
King. How now ! what is in you ? why dost thou 

tear it? 
Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy ; your grace needs 

not fear it. 
Long, It did move him to passion, and therefore 

let's hear it. 
Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name. 

[Picks up the pieces. 
Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, [To Cos- 
tard.] you were born to do me shame. — 
Guilty, my lord, guilty; I confess, I confess. 
King. What? 

Biron. That you three fools lack'd me fool to 
make up the mess : 
He, he, and you, my liege, and I, 
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die. 

'* That is~< what does treason here ?* What mafcest thoa 
there? or, what hast thou there to do? Quid istic tibi negotii 
est? — Baret. Shakspeare plajs on this phrase in the same man> 
ner in As You Like It, Act i. Sc. 1. and in King Richard III . 
Act i. So. 3. 

sc. III. labour's lost. 365 

O, dismiss tiiis audience, and I shall tell you more. 
Dum, Now the number is even. 
Biron* True, true ; we are four : — 

Will these turtles be gone ? 

King. Hence, sirs; away. 

Cost Walk aside the true folk, and let the trai- 
tors stay. [Exeunt Cost, and Jaq. 
Biron, Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us em- 
brace ! 
As true we are, as flesh and blood can be : 
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face ; 

Young blood will not obey an old decree : 
We cannot cross the cause why we were born; 
Therefore, of all hands ^^ must we be forsworn. 
King, What, did these rent lines show some lov^ 

of thine? 
Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the hea- 
venly Rosaline, 
That like a rude and savage man of Inde, 

At the first opening of the gorgeous east^^. 
Bows not his vassal head ; and, strucken blind. 

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? 
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye 

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow. 
That is not blinded by her majesty ? 

King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee 
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon ; 
She, an attending star, scarce seen a light. 
Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Bir6H^^: 
O, but for my love, day would turn to night ! 

*^ i. e. at any rate, at all events. 

'^ Milton has transplanted this into the third line of the se- 
cond book of Paradise Lost : 

' Or where the gorgeous east.* 

'^ Here, and indeed throaghout the play, the name of Bir6n 
is luscented on the second syllable. In the first folio and quarto 


3G6 love's act iy. 

Of all complexions the cull*d sov^eignty 

Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek ; 
Where several worthies make one dignity ; 

Where nothing wants; that want itself dodi 
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues, — 

Fye, painted rhetorick ! O, she needs it not : 
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs ; 

She passes praise; then praise too short doth 
A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn. 

Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye : 
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-bom. 

And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy. 
O, 'tis the sun, that maketh all things shine ! 
King, By heaven, thy love is black as ebony. 
Biron. Is ebony like her? O wood divine! 

A wife of such wood were felicity. 
O, who can give an oath ? where is a book ? 

That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack. 
If that she learn not of her eye to look : 

No face is fair, that is not full so black. 
King. O paradox ! Black is the badge of hell. 

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night; 
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well**^. 

copies it is spelled Berovms, From the line before as it appears 
that it was pronouDced Biroon. Mr. Bos well has remarked that 
this was the mode in which all French words of this termination 
were pronounced in English. Mr. Fox always said Touloon when 
speaking of Toulon in the Honse of Commons. 

^ Crett is here properly opposed to badge, Blackf says the 
King, is the badge of hellf bat that which graces heaven is the 
crest of beauty. Black darkens hell, and is therefore hatefal : 
tohite adorns heaven, and is therefore lovely. Crest, is the very 
top, the keiglU of beaaty or utmost degree of fairness. So in 
K. John : 

* this is the very top 

The height, the crest, or crest onto the crest 
Of murder's arms.' 

sc. III. labour's lost. 367 

Biron. Devils soonest tempt, reseinbling spirits of 
O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt, 

It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair^^. 
Should ravish doters with a false aspect : * 

And therefore is she bom to make black fair. 
Her favour turns the fashion of the days ; 

For native blood is counted painting now; 
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise. 
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. 
Dum, To look like her, are chimney-sweepers 

Long, And since her time, are colliers counted 

King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion 

Dum, Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light. 
Biron, Your mistresses dare never come in rain» 
For fear their colours should be wash'd away. 
King, Twere good, yours did; for» sir, to' tell 
you plain, 
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day. 
Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday 


King, No devil will fright thee then so much as she. 

Dum, I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. 

Long, Look, here's thy love: my foot and her 

face see. [Shewing Ms Shoe, 

Biron, O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes. 

Her feet were much too dainty for such tread ! 

Dum. O vile ! then as she goes, what upward lies 

The street should see as she walk'd over head. 

^^ This alludes to the fashion prevalent among ladies in Shak- 
speare's time, of wearing false hair, or periwigs as they were then 
called, before that coyering for the head had been adopted bj 

368 LOVES ACT IT. ^ 

JiTtii^. But what of this ? Are we not all in love? 
Birtm. O, nolhiDg so sure ; and thereby all for- 

Kiag. Then leaTc this chat; and, gocxl BirSn, 
now prove 
Our loving lawfid, and our faith not torn. 

J}um. Ay, marry, there; — some flattery for thU 

Long. O, some authority how to proceed; 
Some tricks, some (|uiUels ^°, how to cheat the deviL 

Jhtm. Some aalve for perjury. 

Bhon. O, 'tia more thaw need !- 

Have at you then, affection's men at amis: 
Consider what you first did swear unto ;•>- 
To fast, — to study, — and to see no woman ; — 
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth. 
Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young; 
And abstinence engenders maladies. 
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords. 
In that each of you hath fotawom his book : 
Can you still drenm, and pore, and thereon look? 
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you. 
Have found the ground of study's excellence. 
Without the beauty of a. woman's face? 
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive? 
They are the ground, the books, the academes. 
From whence doth spring the tnie Promethean fire. 
Why, universal plodding prisons up 
The nimble spirits in the arteries; 
As motion, and long during action, tires 
The sinewy vigour of the traveller. 
Now, for not looking on a woman's face. 
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes; 

sc. III. labour's lost. 8^39 

And study too, the causer of your vow : 
For where is any author in the world, 
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye ? 
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself, 
And where we are, our learning likewise is. 
Then, when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes. 
With ourselves ^, 

Do we not likewise see our learning there ? 
O, we have made a vow to study, lords : 
And in that vow we have forsworn our books ^^; 
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you. 
In leaden^ contemplation, have found out 
Such fiery numbers, as the prompting eyes 
Of beauteous tutors have enrich'd you with ? * 
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ; 
And therefore finding barren practisers, 
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil : 
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes, 
Lives not alone iounured in the brain ; 
But, with the motion of all elements. 
Courses as swift as thought in every power; 
And gives to every power a double power. 
Above their functions and their offices. 
It adds a precious seeing to the eye ; 
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind ; 
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound. 
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd ; 
Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible, 

^ This hemistich is omitted in all the modern editions except 
that by Mr. Boswell. It is found in the first quarto and first 

^ i. e. our trae boohs, from which we derive most information ; 
the eyes of women. 

^ So in Milton's II Penseroso : 

* With a sad leaderif downward cast/ 
And in Gray's Hymn to Adversity : 

* With leaden eye that loves the ground.' 

870 love's act IV. 

Than are the tender horns of cockled snails ; 
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste : 
For valour, is not love a Hercules, 
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides^? 
Subtle as sphinx ; as sweet, and musical. 
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair; 
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods 
Make heaven drowsy with the harmony ^. 
Never durst poet touch a pen to write, 
Until his ink were temper'd with love's sighs ; 
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears, 
And plant in tyrants mild humility. 
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive : 
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire ; 
They are the books, the arts, the academes, 
That show, contain, and nourish all the woiid ; 
Else, none at all in aught proves excellent : 
Then fools you were these women to forswear ; 
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools. 
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love ; 
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men^; 
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women ; 
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men ; 

^ Shakspeare had read of ' the gardens of the Hesperides,* and 
thoaght the latter wdrd was the name of the garden. Some of 
his contemporaries have made the same mistake. So Robert 
Green in his Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, 1598 : 

' Shew the tree, leay'd with refined gold, 
Whereon the fearful dragon held his seat 
That watch'd the garden caWd Hesperides* 
^ Few passages hare been more discussed than this. The 
most plausible interpretation of it is, ' Whenever love speaks, 
all the gods join their voices in harmonious concert.' The power 
of harmonious sounds to make the hearers drowsy has been al- 
luded to by poets in all ages. The old copies read make, Shak- 
speare often falls into a similar error. 

^ i. e. that is pleasing to all men. So in the language of the 
time : — it Ukes me voell, for it phases me. Shakspeare uses the 
word licentiously for the sake of the antitkiib. • 

sc. III. • labour's lost. 871 

Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves, 
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths : 
It is religion to be thus forsworn : 
For charity itself fulfils the law ; 
And who can sever love from charity? 

King, Saint Cupid, then ! and, soldiers, to the field ! 

Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them, 
lords ; 
Pell-mell, down with them ! but be ^rst advis'd^ 
In conflict that you get t^e sun of tbem^. 

Long. Now to plain-dealing ; lay these glozes by } 
Shall we resolve tq woo these girls of France ? 

King. And win them too : therefore let us devise 
Some entertainment for them in their tents. 

Biran, First, from the park let us conduct them 
thither ; 
Then, homeward, every man attach the hand 
Of his fair mistress : in the afternoon 
We will with some strange pastime solace them^ 
Such as the shortness of the tinie c^n shape; 
For revels, dances, masks, imd merry hours. 
Fore-run fair Love **, strewing her way with flowers. 

King. Away, away I no time shall be omitted. 
That will be time, and may by us be fitted. 

Biron. AlUms! Allans ! — Sow'd cockle reap'd no 
And justice always whirls in equal measure : 
light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn ; 
If so, our copper buys no better treasure. 


^ In the days of archery, it was of consequence to have the snn 
at the back of the bowmen, and in the ffice of the enemy. This 
circumstance was of great adrantage to oar Henry V. at the 
Battle of Agincourt. Shakspeare had, perhaps, an eqaivoqae in 
his thoughts. 

^ Fair love is Venus, So in Antony and Cleopatra : . 
' Now for the love of love, and her soft houm.' 

372 love's 


SCENE I. Afu^her part of the same. 

Enter Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel, and 


Hoi. Satis quod sufficii^. 

Nath. I praise God for you, sir : your reasons ^ at 
dinner have been sharp and sententious; pleasant 
without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious 
without impudency, learned without opinion, and 
strange without heresy. I did converse this quon- 
dam day with a companion of the king's, who is 
intituled, nominated, or called, Don Adriano de 

Hoi. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humour is 
lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed', his 
eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general 
behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical \ He is 
too picked ^, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it 
were, too peregrinate, as I may call it. 

' i. e. enough's as good as a feast. 

* ' I know not (sajs Johnson) what degree of respect Shak- 
peare intends to obtain for his Ticar, but he has here pat into 
his mouth a finished representation of colloqaial excellence. It 
is very difficult to add any thing to his character of the school* 
master s table-talk, and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione 
will scarcely be found to comprehend a rule for conyersation so 
justly delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited.' 

lUasoHf here signifies discourse : audacious is used in a g^d 
sense for spirited^ animated^ confident ; affection is affectation ; opi- 
nion is obstinacy^ opinidtrel^, 

' Filed is polished. 

* Thrasonical is vainglorious, boastful. 

^ Picked, piked, or picket, neat, spruce, over nice ; that is, too 
nice t» his dress. The substantive is used by Ben Jonson in his 
Discoveries : Pickedness for nicety in dress. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 873 

Nath. A most singular and choice epithet. 

[ Takes out his Table-book* 

Hoi. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity 
finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such 
fantastical phantasms, such insociable and point- 
devise^ companions; such rackers of orthography, 
as to speak, doubt, fine, when he should say, doubt; 
det, when he should pronounce, debt : d, e, b, t ; 
not d, e, t : he clepeth a calf, cauf ; half, hauf ; 
neighbour, vocatuvy nebour, neigh, abbreviated, ne : 
This is abhominable (which he would call abomin- 
able), it insinuateth me of insanie; Ne inteUigis, 
domine? to make frantick, lunatick. 

Nath. Laus deo, bone intelligo. 

Hoi. Bone? bone, for ben^: Prisdan a little 

scratched; 'twill serve. 

Enter Arm ado. Moth, and Costard. 

Nath, Videsne quis venit? 

Hoi. Video, et gaudeo. 

Arm. Chirra! [To Moth. 

Hoi. Quare Chirra, not sirrah ? 

Arm. Men of peace, well encounter'd. 

Hoi. Most military sir, salutation. 

Motk. They have been at a great feast of lan- 
guages, and stolen the scraps. [To Costard aside. 

Cost. O, they have lived long in the alms-bas^ 
ket^ of words ! I marvel, thy master hath not eaten 
thee for a word; for thou- art not so long by the 

* A common expressioii for exact, precise, or finical. So in 
Twelfth Night, MalTolio says — 

' I will be poitU-device the very man.' 

^ i. e. the refuse of words. The refiise meat of families was 
pnt into a basket, and given to the poor, in Shakspeare's time. 

874 love's act v. 

head as kcmorificMlitudinitaHlnu^ : thou art easier 
•wallowed than a flap-dragon ^. 

Moth, Peace ; the peal begins. 

iirifi. Monsieur, [To Hol.] are you not letter'df 

Moth. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hom-book : 
What is a, b, spelt backward with a bora oa his 

HoL Ba, pmeritiaf with a horn added. 

Moth, Ba, most silly sheep, with a horn : — ^Yoa 
hear his learning. 

Hol. QttM, quiif thou consonant? 

Moth, The third of the five vowels, if you repeat 
them ; or the fifth, if I. 

HoL I will repeat them, a, e, i.-« 

Moth, The sheep : the other two concludes it; o, u. 

Arm. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterra-> 
neum, a sweet touch, a quick venew ^^ of wit : snip, 
snap, quick and home; it rejoiceth my intellect: 
true wit. 

Moth, Offered by a child to an old man ; which 
is wit-old. 

Hol, What is the figure ; what is the figure ? 

Moth. Horns. 

Hol. Thou disputest like an infant : go, whip thy gig. 

Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and I 
will whip about your infamy circitm circd ; A gig of 
a cuckold's horn ! 

Cost, An I had but one penny in the world, thou 
shouldst have it to buy gingerbread : hold, there is 
the very remuneration I had of thy master, tliou 
half-penny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discre- 

* This word, whencesoever it comes, is often mentioned as the 
longest word known. 

* A fiap-dragon was some small combustible body set on fire 
and pat afloat in a glass of liquor. It was an act of dexteritj in 
the toper to swallow it without burning his mouth. 

>o A hit. See Vol. i. p. 105. 

sc. I. labour's lost. 375 

tion. O, an the heayens were so pleased^ that thou 
wert but my bastard I what a jo3rfiil father wottldst 
thou make me ! Go to ; thou hast it ad dimghiU, at 
the fingers' ends^ as they say. 

Hoi. O, I smell false Latin ; dunghill for unguem. 

Arm. Arts-mauf prtBambula; we will be singled 
firom the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at 
the charge-house^^ on the top of the mountain? 

Hoi. Off mom, the hill. 

Arm. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain. 

Hoi. I do, sans question. 

Arm. Sir, it is the king's most sweet {Measure and 
affection, to congratulate the princess at her pavilion, 
in the polsteriors of this day; which the rude multi- 
tude call, the afternoon. 

Hoi. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, 
is liable, congruent, and measurable for the after- 
noon : the word is well cuU'd, chose ; sweet and 
apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure. 

Arm. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman ; and my 
£Bimiliar, I do assure you, yery good friend :-^For 
what is inward ^^ between us, let it pass : — I do be- 
seech thee, remember thy courtesy ^^; — ^I beseech 
thee, apparel thy head; — and among other impor-' 
tunate and most serious designs, — and of great im- 
port indeed, too ; — but let that pass :-^— for I must 
tell thee, it will please his grace (by the world) 
sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder; and with 
his royal finger, thus, dally with my excrement ^*, 

'* Free-sohool. *' ConfideBtial. 

^^ Bj remember thy courtesy, Armado probably means ' remem- 
ber that all this time thou art standing with thy hat off.' ' The 
patting off the hat at table is a kind of courteaie or oeremoBie 
rather to .be avoided than otherwise.' — Fhrio^s Second FnUes, 

^* The heard is called valoar'a excrement in the Merchant of 

376 love's act v. 

with my mustachio : but, sweet heart, let that pass. 
By the world, I recount no fable ; some certain spe- 
cial honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart to 
Armado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hathr seen 
the world : but let that pass. — ^The very all of all 
is, — but, sweet heart, I do implore secrecy, — ^that 
the king would have me present the princess, sweet 
chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or 
pageant, or antick, or firework. Now, understand- 
ing that the curate and your sweet self, are good at 
such eruptions, and sudden breaking out of mirth, 
as it were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end 
to crave your assistance. 

HoL Sir, you shall present before her the nine 
worthies. — Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some enter- 
tainment of time, some show in the posterior of this 
day, to be rendered by. our assistance, — ^the king's 
command, and this most gallant, illustrate^ and 
learned gentleman, — before the princess; I say,* 
none so fit as to present the nine worthies. 

Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough 
to present them ? 

Hoi, Joshua, yourself; myself, or this gallant 
gentleman, Judas Maccabeus ; this swain, because 
of his great limb or joint, shall pass ^^ Pompey the 
great ; the page, Hercules. 

Arm, Pardon, sir, error : he is not quantity enough 
for that worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the 
end of his club. 

Hoi. Shall I have audience? He shall present 
Hercules in minority : his enter and exit shall be 
strangling a snake ; and I will have an apology for 
that purpose. 

Moth, An excellent device ! so, if any of the au- 
dience hiss, you may cry : well done, Hercules I now 

" i. e. shall march, or walk • • PMapej. 

8C. I. labour's lost. 877 

thou crushest the snake! that is the way to inake an 
offence gracious ^^; though few have the gr^ce to 
do it. 

Arm. For the rest of the worthies ? — 

HoL I will play three myself. 

Moth. Thrice worthy gentleman ! 

Arm. Shall I tell you a thing? 

HoL We attend. 

Arm. We will have, if this fadge^^ not^ an antick. 
I beseech you, follow. 

Hoi. Via^^, goodman Dull ! thou hast spoken no 
word all thb while. 

Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir. 

HoL Alkms! we will employ thee. 

DuU. I'll make one in a dance, or so ; or I will 
play on the tabor to the worthies, and let them dance 
the hay. 

Hoi. Most dull, honest Dull, to our sport, away. 


SCENE II. Another part of the same. 
Before the Princess's Pavilion. 

Enter the Princess, Katharine, Rosaline, and 


^ Prin. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart. 
If fairings thus come plentifully in : 
A lady wall'd about with diamonds ! — 
Look you, what I have from the loving king. 

Ro8. Madam, came nothing else along with that? 

Prin, Nothing but this ? yes, as much love in 
. rhyme, 

*• That i8, convert our offence against yourselves into a <fra- 
matic propriety. 

^"^ i. e. suit not, go not. 

*^ An Italian exclamation signifying Courage ! Come on ! Se« 
Vol. i. p 221. 

K K 2 

378 love's • ACT V. 

As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper^ 
Writ on both sides the leaf, margent and all ; 
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name. 

Ro8, That was the way to make his god-head 
For he hath been five thousand years a boy. 

Kath, Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too. 

Ros, You'll ne'er be friends with him ; he kill'd 
your sister. 

Kath, He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy; 
And so she died : had she been light, like you. 
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit. 
She might have been a grandam ere she died : 
And so may you ; for a light heart lives long. 

Rog. What's your dark meaning, mouse ^, of this 
light word ? 

Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark. 

Ros, We need more light to find your meaning out. 

Kath, You'll mar the light, by taking it in snuff ^ ; 
Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument. 

Ros, Look, what you do, you do it still i' the 

Kath, So do not you ; for you are a light wench. 

Ros, Indeed, I weigh not you ; and therefore light. 

Kath, You weigh me not, — O, that's you care not 
for me. 

Ros, Great reason ; for, Past cure is still past care. 

Prin, Well bandied both; a set* of wit well 
But Hosaline, you have a favour too : 
Who sent it? and what is it? 

* Grow. 

^ This was a term of endearmenl formerly. So in Hamlet : 

' Pinch wanton on your cheek ; call yon his mouse,* ■ 
' Snuff is here used equivocally for anger ^ and the snuff of a 
coMle, See King Henry IV. Act i. Sc. 3. 
^ A set is a term at tennis for a game. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 379 

Ro8, I would, you knew : 

And if my face were but as fair as yours. 
My favour were as great : be witness this. . 
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Bir6n : 
The numbers true ; and, were the numb'ring too, 
I were the fairest goddess on the ground : 
I am compared to twenty thousand fairs. 
O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter! 

Prin. Any thing like ? 

Ros. Much, in the letters ; nothing in the praise. 

Prin, Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion. 

Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book. 

Ros. 'Ware pencils * ! How ! let me not die your 
My red dominical, my golden letter : 
O, that your face were not so full of O's ! 

Kath. A pox^ of that jest! and beshrew all 
shrows ! 

Prin. But what was sent to you from fair Du- 

Kath. Madam, this glove. 

Prin. Did he not send you twain. 

Kath. Yes, madam ; and moreover. 
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover : 
A huge translation of hypocrisy, 
Vilely compil'd, pfofound simplicity. 

Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longaville ; 
The letter is too long by half a mile. 

'^ She advises Katharine to beware ofdraxoing likenesses^ lest she 
should retaliate. 

^ Theobald is scandalized at this language from a princess. 
But Dr. Farmer observes ' there need no darm — the smaUrpox 
only is alluded to; with which it seems Katharine was' pitted; 
or as it is quaintly expressed ** her face was full of O's." Davison 
has a canzonet " on his lady's sicknesse of the poxe ;" and Dr. 
Donne writes to his sister, ** At my return from Kent, I found 
Pegge had the poxe" ' Such a plague was the smaUrpox formerly, 
that its name might, well be used as an imprecation. 

980 Lov e's 

Priu. I think no less : Dost thou not wish ia heart. 
The chaiD were longer, and the letter short? 

Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might Dever part. 

Prwi. We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so, 

A(M. They areworse fools to purchase mocking ao. 
That same Bir^tn I'll torture ere I go. 
O, that I knew he were hut in by the week' 
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seeltf 
Aad wait the season, and observe the times. 
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes ; 
And shape his service wholly to my behests ; 
And make him proud to make me proud that jests^I 
So potent-like^ would I o'ersway his state. 
That he should be my fool, and I his fate. 

Prin. None are so surely caught, when they an 
As wit tum'd fool : folly, in wisdom hatch'd. 
Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school; 
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool '*. 

Ro*. The blood of youth bums not widi suci 

As gravity's revolt to wantonness. 

Mar. Folly in fools bears not bo strong a note. 
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote ; 
Since all the power thereof it doth apply, 
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity. 

' Thii is an c^tpreiiion taken Cram the hiring of Hrvmiti 
meaning ' 1 wiah I knew Ibst be nns in love with ine, or my an 

' Tlie meaning of Ihi* ohMare line leetni ta be, — r wnnli 
make him praod to flalter ne, who m«ke ■ mock of bin Bdier' 

° The nid copies read pinaial-lih. The modtrn editions rei 
with Sir T. Hanmer, porlaH-lite^ of wfaioh Warburton bus gi> 
an ingenious bat onfoanded enplanalioD. The reading I ha 
adopted may l>e evplained Iffraal-like. Patents if, uaed iot pote 
tat,, in K. John, Act ii. Sc. g. 

'" Johnson remarks thai ' IheSB are nhservalioni. worthy ol 

sc. II. labour's lost. 381 

ErUer Boyet. 

Prin, Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. 

Boyet, O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's 
her grace ? 

Prin. Thy news, Boyet? 

Boyet, Prepare, madam, prepare ! — 

Arm, wenches, arm ! encounters mounted are 
Against your peace : Love doth approach disguis'd, 
Armed in arguments ; you'll be surprised : 
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence; 
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence. 

Prin. Saint Dennis to saint Cupid! What are they. 
That charge their breath against us ? say, scout, say. 

Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore, 
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour : 
When lo ! to interrupt my purpos'd rest. 
Toward that shade I might behold addrest 
The king and his companions : warily 
I stole into a neighbour thicket by. 
And overheard what you shall overhear ; 
That, by and by, disguis'd they will be here. - 
Their herald is a pretty knavish page. 
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage : 
Action, and accent, did they teach him there ; 
Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear; 
And ever and anon they made a doubt. 
Presence majestical would put him out ; 
For, quoth the king, an angel shalt thou see ; 
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously. 
The boy reply'd, An angel is not evil; 
I should have feared her, had she been a devil. 
With that all laugh'd, and clapp'd him on the shoulder ; 
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder. 
One rubb'd his elbow, thus ; and fleer'd, and swore, 
A better speech was never spoke before: 

S83 love's act t. 

Another, with his fiDger and bis thumb, 
Cry'd, Via" t v!e will ^''t, come what will come: 
The third he caper'd, and cried. All goet well: 
The fourth tum'd on the toe, and down he fell. 
"With that they all did tumble on the ground, 
"Vfitb such a zealous laughter, so profound. 
That in the spleen ridiculous '- appears. 
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears. 

Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us ? 

Bnyet. They do, they do ; and ate apparel'd thus, — 
Like Muscovites, or Russians": as 1 guess. 
The purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance : 
And every one his love-feat will advance 
Unto his several mistress ; which they'll know 
By favours several, which they did bestow. 

Prin. And will they so ? the gallants shall be task'd i 
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd; 
And not a man of them shall have tlie grace. 
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.— 
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shall wear; 
And then the king will court thee for his dear; 
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine; 
So shall Bir6n take me for Rosaline. — 

' Spletn ridii 


uE^f orUnicIiler. Tb« Bplce 



' Spltn ridere facit, oogil ama 
" In Ihe first jear of K. Heorj VIII. 
thf foteiga BiabBBaadorB in Ihe parliament cfaamber at WealralD- 
Bier, • ouns the Lorda Henrj £arle of Wiltshire and tlie Lord* 
Fitzwater, in (wo long gownes of jellov satin trarersed with 
white satin, and in e«ei; bend of white was a bend aforlaOBeD 
sittin after tbe fsshion of Russia or Rnslande, nith furred hatles 

handea, and boolea with pjkes turned ap.'—Hall, Hiary VIIl. 
p.6. ThisflxtraDtmajaerre to show that a mask of HascoiilBa 

dress naed on Ihi: i 


sc. II. labour's lost. 383 

And change you favours too ; so shall your loves 
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes. 

Ros. Come on then ; wear the favours most m sight. 

Kath. But, in this changing, what is your int^t? 

Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs : 
They do it but in mocking merriment ; 
And mock for mock is only my intent. 
Their several counsels they unbosom shall 
To loves mistook ; and so be mock'd withal. 
Upon the next occasion that we meet. 
With visages display'd, to talk, and greet. 

Ras, But shall we dance, if they desire us to't? 

Prm. No ; to the death, we will not move a foot : 
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace ; 
But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her Deice. 

Boyet, Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's 
And quite divorce his memory firom his part. 

Prin. Therefore I do it ; and, I make no doubt,. 
The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. 
There's no such sport, as sport by sport o'erthrown ; 
To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own : 
So shall we stay, mocking intended game ; 
And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame. 

[ Tnmipets sound within, 

Boyet, The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the 
maskers come. [The Ladies mask. 

Enter the King, BiRON, Longaville, and Du- 
MAIN, in Russian habits^ and mashed; Moth,. 
Musicians and Attendants. 

Moth. All hail, the richest beanies on the earth! 
Boyet, Beauties no richer than rich taffata ^^. 
Moth. A holy parcel of the fairest dames, 

[The ladies turn their backs to him. 
7%at ever turned their — backs — to mortal views! 

^* i. e. the taffata masks they vfOTe. 

384 love's act v. 

Biron. JTieir eyes, villain, their eyes. 

Moth. That ever tum*d their eyes to mortal views! 

Boyet, True ; out, indeed. 

Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouch- 
Not to behold— 

Biron. Once to behold, rogue. 

Moth. Once to behold with your sun-heamed eyes, 
unth your sun-beamed eyes — 

Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet ; 
You were best call it, daughter-beamed eyes. 
. Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings me out. 

Biron. Is this your perfectness ? be gone, you rogue. 

Bos. What would these strdngers? know their 
minds, Boyet: 
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will 
That some plain man recount their purposes : 
Know what they would. 

Boyet. What would you with the princess ? 

Biron. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. 

Ros. What would they, say they ? 

Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. 

Ros. Why, that they have ; and bid them so be gone. 

Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be gone. 

King. Say to her we have measur'd many miles. 
To tread a measure with her on this grass. 

Boyet. They say that they have measur'd many 
a mile. 
To tread a measure ^^ with you on this grass. 

* Ros. It is not so : ask them, how many inches 
Is in one mile : if they have measur'd many, 

** A grave solemn dance, with slow and measured steps, like 
the minuet. As it was of so solemn a nature, it was performed 
at public entertainments in the Inns of Court ; and it was not 
unusual, nor thought inconsistent, for the first characters in the 
law to bear a part in treading a measure. Sir Christopher Hatton 
was famouB for it. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 385 

The measure then of one is easily told. 

Boyet, If, to come hither you have measur'd miles, 
And many miles ; the princess bids you tell, 
How many inches do fill up one mile. 

Biron, Tell her, we measure them by weary steps. 

Boyet, She hears herself. 

Ro8. How many weary steps. 

Of many weary miles you have o'ergone. 
Are number'd in the travel of one mile ? 

Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you ; 
Our duty is so rich, so infinite, 
That we may do it still without accompt. 
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face. 
That we, like savages, may worship it. 

Ros, My face is but a moon, and clouded too. 

King, Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do \ 
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to 

shine ^^ 
(Those clouds remov'd) upon our wat'ry eyne. 

Ros, O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter; 
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. 

King, Then, in our measure vouchsafe but one 
change : 
Thou bid'st me beg ; this begging is not strange. 

Ros. Play, musick, then : nay, you must do it 

soon. [Mime plays. 

Not yet; — no dance : — thus change I like the moon. 

King, Will you not dance ? How come you thus 

Ros, You took the moon at full; but now she's 

King, Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. 
The musick plays ; vouchsafe some motion to it. 

'^ When Queen Elizabeth asked an ambassador how he liked 
her ladies ? — * It is hard/ said he, * to judge of stars in the pre- 
sence of the sun.' 


Jim. Our ears vouchsafe it. 

Khig. Hut your legs should do iL 

Ro». Sioce you are strangers, and come here by 
We'll not be nice : take hands ;— we will not dance. 

King. Why take we bonds then? 

Rot. Only to part friends : — ■ 

Court'ay, sweet hearts ; and so the measure ends. 

King. More measure of this measure; benotnice. 

Roi. We can afford no more at such a price. 

King. Prize you yourselves; What huys your 
company ? 

Roi. Your absence only. 

King. That can never be. 

Ro». Then cannot we be bought : and so adieu ; 
Twice to your visor, and half once to you ! 

King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat. 

Ros. In private then. 

King. I am bent pleas'd with that 

[ Thpg coneerte apart, 

Binm. White-handed mistress, one sweet word 
with thee. 

Pria. Honey, and milk, and sugar ; there ie three. 

Biron. Nay then, two treys (an if you grow so 


Metheglin, wort, and malmsey; — Well r 
There's half a doKen sweets. 

Pria, Seventh sweet, adieu ! 

Since you can cog", I'll play no more with you. 
Biron. One word in secret. 
Prin. Let it not be sweet. 

Binm. Thou griev'st my gall. 
Prin. Gall? bitter. 

Therefore meet. 

cheat. lUa 

sc. II. labour's lost. 887 

Dwm, Wiil you vouchsafe with me to diange a 

Mar, Name it. 
Dwm, Fair lady,— 

Mar. Say you so ? Fair lord, — 

Take that for your ^ftir lady. 

Dum. Please it you, 

As much in private, and 111 bid adieu. 

[Tkey converse apart, 
Kath,YfhaXy was your visor made without a tongue? 
Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. 
Katk. O, for your reason! quickly, sir; I long. 
Long. You have a double tongue within your mask. 
And would afford my speechless visor half. 

Kath. Veal ^^, quoth the Dutchman ; — Is not veal 

a calf? 
Long. A calf, fedr lady ? 
Kath. No, a fiiir lord calf. 

Long. Let's part the word. 
Kath. No, I'll not be your half: 

Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox. 

Long. Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp 
mocks ! 
Will you give horns, chaste lady ? do not so. 
Kaih. Then die a calf, before your horns do grow. 
Long. One word in private with you, ere I die. 
Kath. Bleat softly then, the butcher hears you 
cry. [They converse apmrt. 

Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as 
As is the razor's edge invisible. 
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen; 
Above the sense of sense : so sensible 

'^ The same joke occurs in * Dr. Dodjpoll.' ' Doct. Hans, 
my very speciall friend ; fait and trot, me be right glad for see 
you. veah., Hans. What, do you make a calfe of me, M. Dootorf 

388 love's act y. 

Seemeth their conference ; their conceits have wings. 
Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter 
Ras. Not one word more, my maids ; break off, 

break off. 
Biron, By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff! 
King. Farewell, mad wenches ; you have simple 
wits. [Exeunt King, Lords, Moth, 

Mustek, and Attendants. 
Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites. — 
Are these the lureed of wits so wonder'd at? 

Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths 

puff'd out. 
Ro8. Well-liking^^ wits they have; gross, gross; 

fat, fat 
Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poclr flout ! 
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night? 

Or ever, but in visors, show their faces ? 
This pert Bir6n was out of countenance quite. 
Ro8. O ! they were all in lamentable cases ! 
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word. 
Prin. Bir6n did swear himself out of all suit. 
Mar. Dumain was at my service, and his sword : 
No point ^, quoth I ; my servant straight was mute. 
. Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart ; 
And trow you, what he call'd me ? 

Prin. Qualm, perhaps. 

Kath. Yes, in good faith. 
Prin. Go, sickness, as thou art! 

Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute- 
caps ^^ 

^' WeU-liking is the same as weU-conditioned, fat. So in Job, 
xxxix. 4. Their young ones are in good-liking, 

^ No point, A quibble on the French adverb of negation as 
before, Act ii. Sc. 1, p. 330. 

>* An act was passed the 13th of Elizabeth (1571), * For the 
oontinnanoe of making and wearing woollen caps, in behalf of 

3C. II. labour's lost. 389 

But will you hear? the king is my lore sworn. 

Prm, And quick Bir6n hath plighted faith to me. 

Kath. And Longaville was for my service bom. 

Mar. Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree. 

Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear: 
Immediately they will again be here 
In their own shapes ; for it can nevor be. 
They will digest this harsh indignity. 

Prin. Will they return? 

Boyet. They will, they will, God knows ; 

And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows : 
Therefore, change favours ^ ; and, when they repair. 
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air. 

Prin. How blow? how blow? speak to be un- 

Boyet. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their bud : 
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown. 
Are angels vailing clouds^, or roses blown. 

Prin. Avaunt, perplexity ! What shall we do. 
If they return in their own shapes to woo? 

Ro9. Grood madam, if by me youll be advis'd. 
Let's mock them still, as well known, as disgui^^d, 

the trade of cappers, proriding that all ahove the age of fix 
years (except the nohilitj and some others), should on Sabbathr 
days and holidays, wear caps of wool, knit, thieked, and dreat 
in England, Qp<ui penalty of ten groats.' 

The term fiat cap for a citizen will now be familiar to most 
readers from the use made of it by the author of The Fortunes 
of Nigel. The meaning of this passage probably is ' 6eMer wUs 
nuttf befoumd amonff citiMetuJ So in the Family of LoTe, 1608. 'It 
is a law enacted by the common-cooncil of statute caps* Again 
in Newes from Hell brought by the Devil's Carrier, 1606 : 

' — in a bowling alley, in tifiat cap, like a shop-keeper.' 

^ Features, countenances. 

^ Ladies uwmasVd are like angels vailing clouds, or letting those 
clouds which obscured their brightness sink before them. So in 
The Merchant of Venice, Act i. Sc. 1. 

* Vailing her high top lower than her ribs.' 


390 love's • ACT V. 

Let us complain to them what fools were here, 
Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless^ gear; 
And wonder, what they were ; and to what end 
Their shallow shows, and prologue yilely penn'd. 
And their rough carriage so ridiculous. 
Should be presented at our tent to us. 

Bayet, Ladies, withdraw ; liie gallants are at band. 

PriM. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land. 
[ExewKl Princess, Ros. Kath. and Maria. 

Eater the King, Biron, Longaville, and 
DuMAiN, in their proper habits. 

King, Fair sir, God save you! Where is the 
princess ? 

Bayet, Gone to her tent : Please it your majesty. 
Command me any service to her thither? 

King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one 

Boyet. I will ; and so will she, I know, my lord. 


Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas ; 
And utters it again when Jove doth please : 
He is wit's pedler ; and retails his wares 
At wakes and wassels^, meetings, markets, fairs ; 
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know. 
Have not the grace to grace it with such show. 
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve ; 
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve : 
He can carve too, and lisp : Why, this is he, 
That kiss'd away his hand in courtesy ; 

24 Unconth. 

^ Wastels. Festiye meetings, drinking-honts : from the Saxon 
vcas-half be in health, which was the form of drinking a health ; 
the customary answer to which was drine^Juelf I drink joar health. 
The vcasseUcupf toasselrbowl, toasset-hread, wassel-candle, were all 
aids or accompaniments to festiyitj. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 391 

This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, 
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice 
In honourable terms ; nay, he can sing 
A mean^ most meanly; and, in ushering, 
Mend him who can : the ladies call him, sweet; 
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet : 
This is the flower that smiles on every one, 
To show his teeth as white as whales bone^ : 
And consciences, that will not die in debt, 
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. 

King. A blister on his sweet tongue with my heart. 
That put Armado's page out of his part ! 

Enter the Princess, mher'd by Boyet ; Rosaline; 
Maria, Katharine, and Attendants. 

Biron. See where it comes! — Behaviour, what 
wert thou. 
Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now? 
King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day ! 
Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. 
King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. 
Prin. Then wish me better, I vfill give you leave. 
King. We came to visit you ; and purpose now 

To lead you to our court: vouchsafe it then. 
Prin. This field shall hold me ; and so hold your 
Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. 
King. Rebuke me not for that which you provoke ; 

The virtue of your eye must break my oath. 
Pnn. You nick-name virtue: vice you should 
have spoke; 
For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. 

^ The tenor in miuic. 

^ Whales bone : the Saxon genitive case. It is a common 
comparison in the old poets. This bone was the tooth of the 
jfiTorse-wAoie, morse, or walrus, now superseded by ivory. 

Now, by roy maiden honour, yet as pure 

As the unaullied lily, I protest, 
A world of tornienta though I should endure, 

I would not yield to be your house's guest: 
So much I hate a breaking- cause to be 
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity. 

King. O, you have tiv'd in desolation here, 
Unseen, unvisitcd, much to our shame. 

Prm. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear; 
We havehadpa^times here, and pleasant game; 
A mess of Russians left us but of late. 

King. How, madam? Russians? 

Prin. Ay, in truth, my lord] 

Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state. 

Roi. Madam, speak true: — It is not so, my lord] 
My lady, (to the manner of the days^). 
In courtesy, gives undeserving praise. 
We four, indeed, confronted here with four 
In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour. 
And talk'd apaco; and in that hour, my lord. 
They did not bless us witii one happy word. 
I dare not call them fools ; but this I think. 
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink. 

Ilirtm. This jest is dry to me. — Fair, gentle sweet. 
Your wit makes wise tliuigs foolish; when we greet 
With eyes best seeing heaven's tiery eye, 
lly light we lose light: Your capacity 
Is of that nature, that to your huge store 
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor. 

Aim. This [>ruves you wise and rich ; for in my eye, 

lUrim. I am a fool, and full of poverty. 

/Cm. But that you take what doth to you belong. 
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongui 

Hiron. O, I am yours, and all that I possesi 

Ro*. All the fuol miuo? 

Biron. I cannot give you less. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 393 

Ros. Which of the visors was it^ that you wore ? 
Birjon, Where? when? whatyisor? why demand 

you this ? 
Ros, There, then, that visor; that superfluous case. 
That hid the worse, and show'd the better face. 
King, We are descried: they'll mock us now 

Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. 
Prin, Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your high- ' 

ness sad? 
Ros. Help, hold his brows ! he'll swoon ! Why 
look you pale? — 
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. 

Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for 
Can any face of brass hold longer out? — , 
Here stand I, lady ; dart thy skill at me ; 

Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout ; 
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance ; 

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; 
And I will wish Ihee never more to dance. 
Nor never more in Russian habit wait. 
O ! never will I trust to speeches penn'd. 

Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue ; 
Nor never come in visor to my friend^; 

Nor woo in rh3nne like a blind harper's song ; 
Taffata phrases, silken terms precise, 

Three-pil'd^ hyperboles, spruce affectation. 
Figures pedantical ; these summer-flies 

Have blown me full of maggot ostentation : 
I do forswear them, and I here protest. 

By this white glove, (how white the hand, God 

knows !) j 

Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd ^ 

In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes : 

® Mistress. ^ A metaphor from the pUe of veWet.. 

aM lovb's act v. 

And, to begin, 4ireBchy — so God help me, la! — 
My loye to thee b sound, sans crack or flaw. 

Ros. Sans sans, I pray you^^ 

Binm, Yet I have a trick 

Of the old rage : — ^bear with me, I am sick ; 
I'll leare it by degrees. Soft, let us see ; — 
Write, Lord have mercy onus^^, aa those Hiree ; 
They are infected, in their hearts it lies. 
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes : 
These lords are irisited; you are not firee. 
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see. 

Prm. No, they are free, that gave these tokens 
to us. 

Binm, Our states are forfeit, seek not to ando'us. 

Ros. It is not so ; For how can this be true. 
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue^ ? 

Biron, Peace ; for I will not have to do with yon. 

Mas. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend. 

Bvnm. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an end. 

King, Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude trans- 
Some fair excuse. 

Prtft. The fairest is confession. 

Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd ? 

King. Madam, I was. 

Prin. And were you well adyis'd ? 

King. I was, &ir madam. 

Prim. Wh«i you then were here. 

What did you whisper in your lady's ear? 

** i. e. without French words, I pray yon. 

^ This was the inscription pnt npon the doors of honses mfeded 
with the pla^e. The tokens of the plague were the first spots 
or discoloratioas of the skin. 

^ That is, how can those be liahle to forfeitore that begin the 
process ? Tlie quibble lies in the ambiguity of the word sue, 
which signifies to procmd to iav, aad to fetUim. 


King. That more thanall tiie world I did resq^ect 

Prin. When she shall challeDge this, you will 
reject her. 

Kmg. Upon mine honour, no. 

Prin. Peace, peace, forbear; 

Your oath once broke, you force ^ not to forswear. 

King. Despise me, when I break this oath of mine. 

Prin. I wUl; and therefore ke^ it: — Rosaline, 
What did the Russian! whisper in your ear? 

Rm, Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear 
As precious eye-^ight ; and did value me 
Above this world : adding thereto, moreover. 
That he would wed me, or else die ray lover. 

Prin. God give thee joy of him ! I&e noUe lord 
Most honourably doth uphold his word. 

Kmg, What mean you, madam? by my life, my 
I never swore diis lady such an oath. 

Ros. By heaven, you did ; and to confirm it plain, 
You gave me this : but take it, sir, again. 

King. My faith, and this, the {Nrincess I did give ; 
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve. 

Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear ; 
And lord Bir6n, I thank him, is my dear: — 
What; will you have me, or your pearl again? 

Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain.-— 
I see the trick on't: — ^Here was a consent^, 
(Knowing aforehand of our merriment). 
To dash it like a Christmas comedy : 
Some carry-tale, some please-man,some slight zany^, 

^ i. e. yon care not, or do not regard forawetriog. 
*^ An agreement, a conspiracy. See Ak Yon lAe It, Aet Ei. 
So. 2. 
* Buffoon, 

306 ' . love's act v. 

Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight^ some 

Dick,— • 
That smiles his cheek in jeers ^ ; and knows the trick 
To make my lady laugh, when she's dispos'd, — 
Told our intents before : which once disclos'd. 
The ladies did change favours ; and then we. 
Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. 
Now, to our perjury to add more terror. 
We are again forsworn; in will and error ^. 
Much upon this it is : — And might not you, 


Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue ? 
Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire^. 

And laugh upon the apple of her eye ? 
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire. 

Holding a trencher, jesting merrily ? 
You put our page out: Go, you are allow'd*®; 
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shrowd. 
You leer upon me, do you? there's an eye. 
Wounds like a leaden sword. 

Boyet, Full merrily 

Hath this brave manage, this career, been run. 

Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight ! Peace ; I have 

Enter Costard. 

Welcome, pure wit ! thou partest a fair fray. 

Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know. 
Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no. 

Biron, What, are there but three ? 

^ The old copies read yeeres, the emendation is Theobald's. 
^ i. e. first in will, and afterwards in error, 
® From esquierre, Fr. rwfc, or square. The sense is similar to 
the proverbial saying — he has got the length of her foot, 
*^ That is^ yon are an allowed or a licensed fool or jester. 

sc. lu labour's lost. 397 

Cott. Npy sir ; but it is vara fine. 

For every one pursents three. 

Biron, And three times thrice is nine. 

Cost. Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope, 
it is not so : 
You cannot beg us^^, sir, I can assure you, su:; we 

know what we know : 
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir, — 

Biron. Is not nine. 

Cost, Under correction, sir, we know where- 
until it doth amount. 

Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for 

Cost. O Lord, sur, it were pity you should get your 
living by reckoning, sir. 

Biron. How much is it? 

Cost. O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, liie ac- 
tors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for 
my own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one 
man, — e'en one poor man ; Pompion the great, sir. 

Biron. Art thou one of the worthies ? 

Cost. It pleased them, to think me worthy of 
Pompion the great : for mine own part, I know not 
the degree of the worthy ; but I am to stand for him. 

Biron. Go, bid them prepare. 

Cost. We will turn it finely off, sir; we vrill take 
some care. [Exit Costard. 

King. Bir6n, liiey will shame us, let them not ap- 

*^ In the old common law was a writ de idiota wquirendOf under 
which if a man was legally proved an idiot, the profits of his 
lands, and the custody of his person might he granted by the 
king to any subject. Such a person, when this grant was asked, 
was said to be begged for a fool. See Blackstone, b. 1. c. 8. § 18. 
One of the legal tests appears to have been to try whether the 
party could answer a simple arithmetical question. 

VOL. !!• M M 

398 lotb's act v. 

Bir9m. We are staane-proof, my lord: asd 'tis 
some policy 
To kaye one show worse than the king's and his 

King. I say, they shall not cone. 

Prm. Nay, my good lord, let me o'emile yon notw ; 
That sport best pleases, ttmi doth least know how : 
Where zeal strires to content, and the contents 
Die in the zeal of them which it presents^. 
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth ; 
When great things labouring^ perish in their birth. 

Binm* A right description of o«r sport, my lord. 

Enter Armado. 

Arm, Anointed, I implore so mnch expense aiiixy 
royal sweet breath, as wiU utter a brace of words. 
[Armado conveneg with the King, and dMoers 

him a paper.'] 
Prin, Doth this man serve God? 
Biron. Why ask yon ? 

Prin. He speaks not like a man of Grod's makmg. 
Arm. Thaf s all one, my hxr, sweet, honey mo- 

^ The old eopieM read — 

* Dies in the zeal of thai which it preseots.* 
The eraendatioB in the text ia Malcme's, and he thos endeaYOars 
to give this ohsGiure passage a meaning. ' The word it, I believe, 
refers to ^porf. Tkat sportf sajs the princess, pleases best, where 
the acton are least skilfa] ; where zeal strives to please, and the 
contents, or great things attempted, perish ia the very act of 
being produced, from the ardent zeal of those who present the 
sportive entertaimBeat. It, however, maj refer to eomtenUy and 
that word maj aieaB the most material part of the exhibitioii.' 
Masoo inroposed to read : 

' Where zeal strives to content, and the conteot 
Lies ia the zeal of tho&e which it present' 

^^ IdAoarimg here means in the act of parturition. So Ros- 
common : 

' The moantains laboured, and a mouse was bom/ 

sc. II. labour's lost. 399 

narch : for, I protest, the schoobnaster is exceeding 
fantastical; too, too vain; too, too vain: But we 
will put it, as they say, to forhma delta gtiora, I 
wish you the peace of mind, most royal couple- 
ment^. [EacU Armado. 

King. Here is like to be a good presence of wor- 
thies: He presents Hector of Troy; the swain, 
Pompey the great; the parish curate, Alexander; 
Armado's ps^, Hercules ; the pedant, Judas Ma- 

And if these four worthies in their first show thrive. 
These four will change habits, and present the other 

Birom, TThere is five in the first show. 

King, You are deceiv'd, 'tis not so. 

Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, 
the fool, and Uie boy : — 

A bare throw at novum ^ ; and die whole world again. 
Cannot prick^ out five such, take each one in his vein. 

King. The ship is under sail, and here she comes 
[Seats brought for the King, Princess, Sfc. 

Pageant of the Nine Worthies. 

Enter Costard amCd^fcr Pompey. 

Cost. I Pompey amy 

Boyet. You Ue, you are W3^ he. 

^ This word is used asrain bj Shakspeare in fais 21st Sonnet : 
' Making a couphment of proud compare.* 

^ A game at dice, properly called novem quinque, from the prin- 
cipal throws being nme and /me. The first folio reads ' Abate 
throw/ &o. The second toii% which reads ' A bare throw/ is 
evidently right. The meaning is obvioos, though Mr. Malone 
found the passage unintelligible; and proposed reading 'Abate 
a throw / the meaning of which is bj no means clear. 

*« Pick out 

400 love's act v. 

Cost. / Pompey am,- 

Boyet. With libbard's head on knee^^. 

JBtrofi. Well said, old mocker ; I must needs be 

friends with thee. 
Cost I Pompey am^ Pompey, mmam^d the hig, — 
Dicm. TThe great 

Ckut. It is great, sir \— Pompey tumanCd the great; 
That oft infield, with targe and shield, did make my 

foe to sweat: 
And travelling along this coast, I here am come by 

And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of 

If your ladyship would say, Thanhs, Pompey, I had 
Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey. 
Cost. Tis not so much worth ; but, I hope, I was 
perfect : I made a little fault in, great. 

Biron. My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves 
the best worthy. 

Enter Nathaniel arm^d,for Alexander. 

Nath. When in the world Iliv^d, I was the world's 
By east, west, north, and south, I spread my con- 
quering might: 
My 'scutcheon plain declares that lam Alisander. 
Boyet. Your nose says, no, you are not; for it 
stands too right^. 

^ This allades to the old heroic habits, which, on the knees 
and shonlders, had sometimes bj way of ornament the resem- 
blance of a leopard's or lion's head. See Cotgrave's Dictionary, 
in V. Masqmtte, 

** It should be remembered, to relish this joke, that the head 
of Alexander was obliquely placed on his shoulders. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 401 

Biron. Your nose smelb, no^ in this, most tender-^ 
smelling knight^. 

Prin. The conqueror is dismay'd: Proceed, good 

Nath. When in the world lliv'^d, I was the world's 
commander; — 

Boyet. Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Ali- 

Biron, Pompey the great, 

Cost. Your servant, and Costdrd. 

Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away 

Cost. O, sir, [To Nath.] you have overthrown 
Alisander the conqueror ! You will be scraped out 
of the painted cloth for this : your lion, that holds 
his poll-ax sitting on a close-stool^, will be given 
to A-jax : he will be the ninth worthy. A con- 
queror, and afeard to speak ! run away for shame, 
Alisander. [Nath. retires.] There, an*t shall please 
you ; a foolish miid man ; an honest man, look you, 
and soon dash'd ! He is a marvellous good neigh- 
bour, in sooth; and a very good bowler: but, for 
Alisander, alas, you see how 'tis; — a little o'er- 
parted : — But there are worthies a coming will speak 
their mind in some other sort. 

Prin. Stand aside, good Pompey. 

*^ * His (Alexander's) body had so sweet a smell of itselfe 
that all the apparell be wore next onto his body, tooke thereof 
a passing delightful savour, as if it had been perfumed.' North'* 

^ This alludes to the arms giren, in the old history of the 
Nine Worthies, to Alexander, * the which did bear geules a lion 
or, seiante in a chayer, holding a battle-axe argent' There is a 
conceit of Ajax and ajakesy by no means uncommon at the time ; 
when Sir John Harington published his witty performance, 
' A new Discourse of a Stale Subject, called The Metamorphosis 
of Ajax,' 1596, giving a humorous account of his inTention of 
a water-closet. 

MM 2 


402 love's act v. 

Enier Holofernes arm'd,for Judas, and Moth 

amCdyfar Hercules. 

Hoi. Great Hercules is presented by this imp, 

Whose clvb kilTd Cerberus, that three-headedcBnus, 
And, when he was a babe, a child, a shrimpy 

Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus : 
Quoniam, he seemeth in miTwrity; 
Ergo, / come with this apology. — 
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish. 

[Exit Moth. 

Hoi. Judas I am, — 

Dum. A Judas ! 

Hoi. Not Iscariot, sir. — 
Judas I am, ycleped MachabcBUS, 

Dum. Judas Machabasus dipt, is plain Judas. 

Biron. A kissing traitor : — How art thou prov*d 
Judas ? 

Hoi. Judas I am, — 

Dum. The more shame for you, Judas. 

Hoi. What mean you, sir ? 

Boyet. To make Judas hang himself. 

Hoi. Begin, sir ; you are my elder. 

j^iron. Wellfollpw'd : Judas was hang'd on an elder. 

Hoi. I will not be put out of countenance. 

Biron. Because thou hast no face. 

Hoi. What is this ? 

Boyet. A cittern head^^ 

Dum. The head of a bodkin. 

Biron. A death's face in a rins:. 


Zon^. The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen. 
Boyet. The pummel of Cassar's faulchion. 
Dum. The carv'd-bone face on a flask ^, 

^^ The citterrif a masical instnunent like a guitar, had usaally 
a head grotesquely carved at the extremity of the neck and 
'linger-board : hence these jests. 

®^ i. e. a soldier's powder-horn. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 40d 

Biron. St George's half-cheek in a brooch ^. 

Dum, Ay, and in a brooch of lead. 

Biron, Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer : 
And now, forward ; for we have put thee in coun- 

Hoi. You have put me out of countenance. 

Biron, False ; we have given thee faces. 

HoL But you have out-fac'd them all. 

Biron. An thou wert a lion, we would do so. 

Boyet, Therefore, as he is, an ass, let him go. 
And so adieu, sweet Jude ! nay, why dost thou stay ? 

Dum, For the latter end of his name. 

Biron, For the ass to the Jude ; give it him : — 
Jud-as, away. 

HoL This is not generous, not gentle, not humble. 

Boyet. A light for monsieur Judas : it grows dark, 
he may stumble. 

Prin, Alas, poor Machabaeus, how hath he been 
baited ! 

Enter Arm ado amCd,foT Hector. 

Biron, Hide thy head, Achilles; here comes 
Hector in arms. 

Dum, Though my r ocks come home by me, I 
will now be merry. 

King, Hector was but a Trojan ^ in respect of this. 

Boyet. But is this Hector? 

Dum. I think. Hector was not so clean-timber'd. 

Long. His leg is too* big for Hector. 

Dum. More calf, certain. 

Boyet. No ; he is best indued in the smalL 

Biron, This cannot be Hector. 

^ A brooch was an ornamental clasp for fastening hat-bands, 
girdles, mantles, &c. a brooch of lead, because of his pd[»«lid 
wan complexion, his leaden hue. 

^ Trojan is supposed to have been a cant term for a thie£. 
It was, howcTer, a familiar name for any equal or inferior. 

404 love'b act v. 

Dum. He*s a god or a painter ; for he makes faces. 

Arm. Tlte arwdpotetU Mars, of ianees'^ tie al- 
Omte Be&Ufr a giftf — 

Dum. A gilt nutmeg. 

Birom. A lemon. 

Long. Stuck with cloves. 

Dum, No» cloven. 

Arm. Peace. 
The armipoient Mar$, ofiances the almighty, 

"Oave Hector a gift, the heir ofllion; 
A man so breatKd, (Aa^ certain he would Jighi, yea 

From mom tiU night, out of his pavilion, 
lam that flower, — 

Dum. That mint. 

Long. That colnmbiae. 

Arm. Sweet lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. 

Long. I must rather give it the rein ; for it runs 
against Hector. 

Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound. 

Arm. The sweet war-man is dead cmd rotten; 
sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried: 
when he breath'd, he was a man — But I will for* 
ward with my device : Sweet royalty, [to the Prin- 
cess.] bestow on me the sense of hearing. 

[BiRON whispers Costard. 

Prtit. Speak, brave Hector; we are much de- 

Arm. I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper. 

Boyet. Loves her by the foot. 

Dum. He may not by the yard. 

Arm. This Hector far surmmmted Hannibal, — 

Cost. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is 
gone ; she is two months on her way. 

Arm. What meanest thou 7 

^ i. e. Unoe-meo. 

8c. II. labour's lost. 4M 

Cott, Faith, unless you play the honest Tit^an^ 
the poor wench is cast avray : she's quick ; the cJiild 
brags in her belly already ; 'tis yours. 

Arm, Dost thou infamonize me among potentates t 
thou shalt die. 

Cast, Then shall Hector be whipp'd, for Jaque- 
netta that is quick by him ; and hang'd, for Pom* 
pey that is dead by him. 

Dum, Most rare Pompey ! 

Boyet, Renowned Pompey I 

Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great 
Pompey ! Pompey the huge ! 

Dum, Hector trembles. 

Biron, Pompey is moved: — More Ates*, more 
Ates ; stir them on ! stir them on ! 

Dum, Hector will challenge him. 

Biron, Ay, if he have no more man's blood m's 
belly than will sup a flea. 

Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee. 

Coat, I will not fight with a pole, like a northern 
man^; I'll slash ; I'll do it by the sword : — I pray 
you, let me borrow my arms again. 

Dum, Room for the incensed worthies. 

Cost. Ill do it in my shirt. 

Dum. Most resolute Pompey ! 

Moth. Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. 
Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for the combat? 
What mean you? you will lose your reputation. 

Arm, Gentlemen, and soldiers, pardon me ; I will 
not combat in my shirt. 

Dum, You may not deny it; Pompey hath made 
the challenge. 

^ i. e. more instigation. At6 was the goddess of discord. 

^^ Vir Borealist a clown. See <An Optick Glasse of Ha- 
monrs, by T. W. 1663.' The reference may be, however to the 
particular use of the quarter staff in the- northern counties. 


. Sweet bloods, I both may and will. 
Biron. What reasoux have y 
Arm. The oaked truth of Jt is, I have ii 

I go woolward^ for peas 

B<ryvt. True, aod it was eDJoin'd him b Borne for 

want of linen : since when, I'll be sworn, he wore 

none, but a dish-clout of JaqueneUa's ; and thai 'a 

wears nest his heart for a favour. 

Enter a Messens;er MoNsiEiiR MebcADE. 

Mer. God aave you, madam. 

Prin. Welcome, Mercade; 
But that thou intemipt'st our merriment. 

Mer. I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring. 
Is heavy in my topgue. The king your father— 

Prin. Dead, for my life. 

Mer. Even bo ; my talc is told. 

Biron. Worthies, away ; the scene begina to cloud; 

Arm. Tor mine own part, 1 breathe free breath : 

I have seen the day of wrung through the little hole 

of discretion^, and I will right myself like s soldier. 

[Exeunt Wortkiet. 

King. How fares your majesty ? 

Pfin. Boyet, prepare; I will away to-night. 

King. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, slay, 

Prin. Prepare, I say. — 1 thank you, gracious i 
Tor all your fair endeavours ; and entreat. 
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe 

" Thai is ctolbed in wool, aad ant in liaeo. A penai 

ur lbi» Age. 1596. we bave tfae cliarucltr ol 

iliiii is m nAflbiag. and Qi«D h« goes aoofvard.' 

<* Annadt. probably means Id bbj in his affeotBd styls 
' he hid diuoiEred h« was wranged.' ' Oee maj see day 
litlle bale' is a proverb. 

sc. II. labour's lost. 407 

In your rich wisdom, to excuse, or hide. 
The liberal^ oppositioB of our spirits : 
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves 
In the converse of breath, your genUeoess 
Was guilty of it. — ^Farewell, worthy lord ! 
A heavy heart bears not an humble ^^ ton^e: 
Excuse me so, coming so short of thanks 
For my great suit so easily obtain'd. 

King, The extreme parts of time extrem^ fbm 
All causes to the purpose of his ^)eed; 
And often, at his very loose ^, decides 
That which long pocess could not arbitrate : 
And though the mourning brow of prog«By 
Forbid the smihng courtesy of love. 
The holy suit which fain it would convince^; 
Yet, since love's argument was first on foot. 
Let not the cloud of sorrow jusUe it 
From what it purposed; since, to wail friends lofl. 
Is not by much so wholesome, profitable. 
As to rejoice at friends but newly found. 

Prin, I understand you not; my gTiefs are double. 

Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear of 
And by these badges understand the king. 
For your fair sakes have we neglected time, 
Play'd foul play with our oaths; your beauty, la£es, 
Hadi much deform'd us, fashioning our humours 
Even to the opposed end of our intents ; 
And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous, — 
As love is fuU of unbefitting strains ; 
All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain ; 

•* Free to excess. 

** By humble is here meant chseqtaotulif thankfuL 
^ L(H)se maj mean at the moment of his parting, i. e. of kis 
getting loose or awaj fr(mi ns. 

** i. e. which it fain woold succeed in obtaining. 


408 love's act Yi 

Forra'd by the eye, and Uieretbre, like the eye, 
Tull of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms. 
Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll 
To every varied object in his glance: 
Which party-coated presence of loose love 
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes, 
Have misbecom'd our oaths and gravities, 
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faultB» 
Su|>ge3tecl ^ us to make : Therefore, ladies, 
Our love being yours, the error that love makes 
Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false. 
By being once false for ever to be true 
To those that make us both, — fair ladies, you : 
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin. 
Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace. 

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. 

Dttm. Our letters, madam, show'd much mom 
than jest. 

Long. So did our looks. 

■* Templed. 

" Thus in Decker'a Satiromutix : 'Yog shall SAcar oat lo 
bomhiat out a Dew plaj with the old lintNrjs of jests.' 

Btmhaat waa the alnffin; or vadding of donblets. Stnbhs, in 
hia AnalamieorAbDiea, ipeiikB of their being 'etuBed with four, 
fire, or aix poBiida of hombast a( least.' The word originall; 
si^ified cDlton, rrom the Lat. bom&ii, ibis material beiog prin- 
cipally used for wadding or slafiing. The metaphorical sense is 
tamid. UJIated. The Princess stye that this courtsbip was con- 
sidered as bal bombiut, as someUilng to Jill ont life, which not 
being aloielj auited with it, mighl be IbrowD awajrit 

sc. II. labour's lost. 400 

Ro8. We did not qoote^ than so. 

King, Now, at the latest minute of the hour. 
Grant us your loves. 

Prtn. A time, methinks, too short 

To make a world-without-end bargain in : 
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured 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 ; 
Theie stay, until the twelve celestial signs 
Have brought about their annual reckoning: 
If this austere insociable life 
Change not your ofier 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 woful self up in a moi|ming house; 
Raining the tears of lamentation. 
For the remembrance of my father's death* 
If this thou do deny, let our hands part; 
Neither intitled in the other's heart. 

King. If this, or more than this, I would deny. 
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. 

Birdn. And what to me, my love ? and what to me ? 

Ro8, You must be purged too, your sins are rank; 

« Regard. w CHothing. 


Vou are attaint with faults and perjury ; 
Thrrefote, if you my favour mean tn get, 
A twi^lvi'Miciiitli sliall you spend, and never rest, 
Uut Htick the weary beds of people sick. 

Dvm. But what to tne, my love ? butwhattomeT 

Kalh. A wife I — A beard, fair health, and honeBtyi 
With threa-fold lov« 1 wish you all these three. 

Duin. O, ahull I say, 1 thank you, gentle wife? 

A'ufA. Notao, mylordi — a twelvemonth and aday 
I'll mark no words that sniooth-fac'd wooera say : 
('onie when the king doth to my lady come, 
1'hen, if 1 have much love, I'll give you some. 

Dum. I'll BtTve thee true and faithfully till then. 

Kalh. Yet sweat not, lest you be forawom ^aio, 

Limg. What sayM Maria? 

Utar. At the twelvemonth's end^ 

I'll ufaan^ my black gown for a faithful friend. 

Limy. I'll stay with patience; but the lime ia long. 

Mar. The liker you; few taller are ho young. 

Binm. Stndiea 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 mc for thy love. 

Kog. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron, 
Before I saw you : and the world's lars:e ton^e 
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks ; 
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts; 
Which you on all estates will execute. 
That Ue within the mercy of your wit ; 
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain ; 
And, therewithal, 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. 


8c. II. labour's lost. 411 

With all the fierce^ endeaTOur of your wit» 
To enforce the pained impotent to smile. 

Bircn, To move wild laughter in the throat of death? 
It cannot be ; it is impossible : 
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony. 

Ro§. 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? wel],befall what will befall, 
I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. 

Pnit. 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. Thaf s too long for a play. 

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 

* Vehement 

^ Dear, See note on Twelfth Night, Act v. So. 1, p. 136. 

412 love's act v. 

the plough for her sweet love three years. But, 
most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue 
that the two lesumed 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. 
Arm. Holla! approach. 

Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, Moth, 
Costard, and others. 

Thb 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, 
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 ; 
Cuckoo, cuckoo, — O word of fear, 
Unpleasing to a married ear! 


When shepherds pipe on oaten straws. 
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks. 

When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws. 
And maidens bleach their summer smocks, 

'® Gerarde in his Herbal, 1697, says, that the flos cuculi car- 
daminef &c. are called ' in English cuckoo 'ftowers, in Norfolk 
Canterbury bells, and at Namptwich, in Cheshire, Ladiesmocks.* 
In Lyte's Herbal, 1578, it is remarked, that cowslips are, in 
French, of some called coquu prime vere, and brayes de coquu, 
Herbe a coqu was one of the old French names for the cowslip, 
which it seems probable is the flower here meant. See Lear, 
Act L Se> 4. 

SC. II. labour's LOST. 413 

The 4suchoo, then, am every tree, 
Mocks married men, far thus sings he, 

Cuckoo ; 
Cuckoo, cuckoo, — O word of fear, 
Unpleasing to a married ear ! 


Winter. When icicles hang by the waU, 

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 befoul. 
Then nightly sings the staring awl, 

To-who : 
To-whit, to-who, a merry note. 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot, 


When aU aloud the wind doth blow^ 

And coughing (brawns the parson^s saw. 
And birds sit brooding in the snow. 

And Marian's nose looks red and raw. 
When roasted crabs''^ hiss in the bowl. 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 

To-who : 
To-whit, to-who, a merry note. 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot"^^. 

"^ This wild English apple, roasted before the fire, and put 
into ale, was a very favourite indulgence in old times. 

^^ To keel, or keley is to cool, from Celan, Anglo Saxon. Lat- 
terly it seems to have been applied particularly to the cooling of 
boiling liquor. To keel the pot is to cool it by stirring the pot- 
tage with the ladle to prevent the boiling over, Tooke was un- 
aware of the following ancient example, or he would have been 
less severe upon the commentators: 

' And lered men a ladel bygge, with a long stele 
That cast for to kele a crMe, and save the fatte above.' 

P, Plouhman, p, 380. Ed, 1813. 

414 lovb's labour's wbt. act v. 

Arm.' The wordf of Mercury we hanh after the 
songs of Apollo. You, that way; we» this way. 


In this pUj, which all the editors haye concurred to censare, 
and some have rejected aa unworthy of oar poet, it most be oon- 
feaaed that there are many passages mean, childish, and yuigar; 
and some which onrht not to have been exhibited, as we are told 
thej were, to a maidtn q««f n« Bat there are scattered through 
the whole many sparka of genius; nor if there imy play that has 
man eWdent marks of the nand of Shakspeare. Johnson, 


U. and C. WhlttlagiBim| College Hoase, Chiswick.