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Long. What says Maria ?
At the twelvemonth's end,
Biron. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me,
Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron,
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
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,
Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal,
[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 is too long for a play.
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 maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.
And lady-smocks all silver white,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
And maidens bleach their summer-smucks,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
sings the staring owl,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way. [Exeunt.
THE END OF
LOVE'S LABOUR 'S LOST.