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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 theirs.

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 lion.

Enter Lion and Moonshine.

Lion. "You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear

"The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,

"May now, perchance, both quake and tremble


"When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. "Then know, that I, one Snug, the joiner, am "A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam:

For if I should as lion c me in strife "Into this place, 'twere pity on my life."

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The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience. Dein. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour. The. True; and a goose for his discretion. Dem. Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot. carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose,

The. 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 horned moon present;"

Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head. The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.

Moon. "This lantern doth the horned moon present;

"Myself the man i'th'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.

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle: for, you see, it is already in snuff.

Hip. I am aweary 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 dog."

Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for they are in the moon. But, silence; here] comes Thisbe.

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"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.
"Now am I dead,
"Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky:

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"Tongue, lose thy light!
"Moon, take thy flight!

"Now die, die, die, die, die."

[Dies.-Exit Moonshine. Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but

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Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one, for such a Pyramus: 1 hope, she will be brief. Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Py. ramus, which Thisbe, is the better.

Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet.
This. "Asleep, my love?

"What, dead, my dove ?

"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 Thisbe ends:

"Adieu, adieu, adieu."


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needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the 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 out-sleep the coming morn,
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.


Enter Puck.

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 of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolick; not a mouse

Shall disturb this hallow'd house :
I am sent, with broom, before,

Το sweep the dust behind the door.

Enter Oberon and Titania, with their train.

Obe. Through this house give glimmering light, By the dead and drowsy fire:

Every elf, and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier; And this ditty, after me,

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

Obe. Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue there create,
Ever shall be fortunate.

So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;

And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,

Shall upon their children be.--
With this field-dew consecrate,

Every fairy take his gait;

And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace with sweet peace:
E'er shall it in safety rest,

And the owner of it blest.

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

[Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and train. Puck. If we shadows have offended, Think but this, (and all is mended,) That you have but slumber'd here, While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend; If you pardon, we will mend. And, as I'm an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue, We will make amends, ere long: Else the Puck a liar call.

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.



Lords, attending on the King.

Lords, attending on the Princess of


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Ladies, attending on the Princess.

Jaquenetta, a country wench.

Officers and others, Attendants on the King and Princess.


SCENE I. Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it.
Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain.
King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
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
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors for so you are,
That war against your own affections,

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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,
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes,
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 :
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.

Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years' fast; The mind shall banquet, though the body pine: Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite 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 observances: As, not to see a woman in that term; Which, I 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 these.

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. You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest. Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.What is the end of study? let me know.

King. Why, that to know, which else we should not know.

Biron. Things hid and barr'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 forbid 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, having 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.

King. These be the stops that hinder study quite, And train our intellects to vain delight.

Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,

Which, with pain purchas'd, 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 was it blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,

That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks;
Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books.
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
Tha give a name to every fixed star,
Have no more profit of their shining nights,
Than those that walk, and wot not what they are.
Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame;
And every godfather can give a name.


Dum. In reason nothing. Biron.

Something then in rhyme. Long. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost, al That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast,

Before the birds have any cause to sing? i
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.
So you, to study now it is too late,

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Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.
King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron; 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 I'll 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 I'll 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.And hath this been proclaim'd? Long.

Four days ago.

Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.]—On pain of losing her tongue.

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Who devis'd this?

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 talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such publick shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.

This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For well you know, here comes in embassy
The French King's daughter, with yourself to


A maid of grace, and complete majesty, About surrender-up of Aquitain

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father: Therefore this article is made in vain,

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For every man with his affects 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 loth! I am the last that will last keep his oath. But is there no quick recreation granted? King. Ay, that there is: our court, you know, is haunted

King. How well he's read, to reason against
Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceed-A
Long. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the
[a breeding.
Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are
Dum. How follows that?

Fit in his place and time.

With a refined traveller of Spain;
man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain:
One, whom the musick of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:

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