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As love is full of unbefitting strains ;
All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain ;
Form’d by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye
Full 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 faults,
Suggested us to make :9 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.

Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest
Long. So did our looks.
Ros. We did not quote them so.

King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
Grant us your loves.

Prin. A time, methinks, too short
To'make a world-without-end bargain in :
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and, therefore this,
If for my love (as there is no such cause)
You will do aught, this shall you do for me :
Your oath I will not trust ; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,

That is, tempted us. JOHNSON [1] This line is obscure. Bombust was a kind of loose texture not uplike what is Dow called wadling, used to give the dresses of that time bulk and protuberance, without much increase of weight; whence the same name is given to a tumour of words unsupported by solid sentiment. The princess, therefore, says, that they considered this courtship as but bombast, as something to fill out life, which not be inz closely united with it, might be thrown away at pleasure. JOHNSON

Remote from all the pleasures of the world ;
There stay, until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about their annual reckoning :
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer made in heat of blood ;
If frosts, and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds,
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial, and last love ;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge, challenge me by these deserts ;
And, by this virgin palm, now kissing thine,
I will be thine ; and, till that instant, shut
My woeful self up in a mourning house ;
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. [Biron. And what to me, my love ? and what to me?

Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rank ;
You are attaint with faults and perjury ;
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get,
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
But seek the weary beds of people sick.*]

Dum. But what to me, my love ? but what to me?

Kath. A wife !-a beard, fair health, and honesty; With three-fold love I wish you all these three.

Dum. O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife ?

Kath. Not so, my lord ;-a twelvemonth and a day
I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say:
Come when the king doth to my lady come,
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.

Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again.
Long. What says Maria ?

Mar. At the twelvemonth's end,
I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.

[2] These six verses both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. Warburton
should be expunged; and therefore I have put them between crotchets : dot that
they were an interpolation, but as the author's draught, which he afterwards re-
jected, and executed the same thought a little lower with much more spirit and else

concur to think



Long. I'll stay with patience ; but the time is long.
Mar. The liker you ; few taller are so young.

Biron. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me,
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there ;
Impose some service on me for thy love.

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón,
Before I saw you : and the world's large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks ;
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts ;
Which you on all estates will execute,
That lie 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,
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit,
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be ; it is impossible :
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony. .

Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools :
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it : then, if sickly ears,
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? well, befal what will befal,
I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.*

[3] Dear should here, as in many other places, be dere, sad, odious. JOHNS. (4) The characters of Biron and Rosaline suffer much by comparison with those of Benedick and Beatrice. We know that Love's Labour's Lost was the elder performance; and as our author grew more experienced in dramatic writing, he might have seen how much he could improve on his own originals. To this circumstance, perhaps, we are indebted for the more perfect comedy of Much Ado about Nothing.


Prin. Ay, sweet my lord ; and so I take my leave.

(To the King. King. No, madam: we will bring you on your way.

Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play ;
Jack hath not Jill : these ladies' courtesy
Might well have made our sport a comedy.

King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day, And then t'will end.

Biron. That's too long for a play.

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 the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed in the end of our show.

King. Call them forth quickly, we will do so.

Arm. Holla! approach.Enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and

others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring ; the one maintain'd by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.


Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,
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 ;

[5] Gerard, in his Herbal, 1597, says, that the flos cuculi cardamine, &c. are called “ in English, in Norfolk Canterbury-bells, and at Namptwich in Cheshire ladie-smocks." Shakespeare, however, might not have been sufficiently skilled in botany to be aware of this particular.

Mr. Tollet has observed, that Lyte in his Herbal, 1578 and 1579, remarks, that conslips are in French, of some called coquu, prime vere, and brayes de coquu. This, he thinks, will sufficiently account for our author's cuckoo-ouds, by wbich be supposes conslip-buds to be meant. STEEVENS.

Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 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 sm

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?


Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who ;
Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,

greasy Joan doth keele the pot.

[6] i. from the eaves of the thatch or other roofing, from in the morning icicles are found depending in great abundance, after a night of frost. Our author (whose images are all taken from nature) has alluded in The Tempest, to the drops of water that after rain flow from such coverings, in their natural unfrozed state:

“ His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops

From eaves of reeds." MALONE [7] So, in King Henry VI. Part III:

“What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
“ Can neither call it perfect day or night."

[8] This word is yet used in Ireland, and signifies to scum the pot.

GOLDSMITH. Keel the pot, i. e. cool the pot: “The thing is, they mix their thicking of oatmeal and water, which they call blending the litting (or lithing,) and put it in the pot, when they set it on, because when the meat, pudding and turnips are all in, they cannot so well mix it, but 'tis apt to go into lumps ; yet this method of theirs renders the pot liable to boil over at the first rising, and every subsequent increase of the fire; to prevent which it becomes necessary for one to attend to cool it occasionally, by lading it up frequently with a ladie, which they call keeling the pot, and is indeed a greasy office.” Gent. Mag. 1760. This account seems to be accurate. RITSON.

To keel signifies to cool in general, without any reference to the kitchen. Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient metrical History of The Battle of Flodden, that it is a common thing in the North" for a maid servant to take out of

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