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Bot. Let me play the lion 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.

All. That would hang us, 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 aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you an' 'twere any nightingale. —Act I, Sc. 2.

Quince. A proper man, as one shall see in a summer's day.

Act I, Sc. 2.

Oberon. And the Imperial votaress pass'd on,

In maiden meditation, fancy free. Act 2, Sc. I.

Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth, *

In forty minutes. -Act 2, Sc. I.


Obe. I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.

Act 2, Sc. I.

Ist Fairy. You spotted snakes with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen ;
Newts and blind-worms, do not wrong,

Come not near our fairy queen.

* This expression seems to have been a favourite with the Elizabethan dramatists. Chapman, in his “Bussy d'Ambois,” Act 1, Sc. I, 1607, says,

And, as great seamen, using all their wealth
And skill in Neptune's deep invisible paths,
In tall ships richly built, and ribb'd with brass,
To put a girdle round about the world."

Philomel, with melody,

Sing in our sweet lullably ;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.

Never harm,

Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So good night, with lullaby.

Weaving spiders, come not here.
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence !
Beetles black, approach not near,
Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomel with melody, &c.— Act 2, Sc. 2.

Lys. The will of man is by his reason sway'd.—Act 2, Sc.2.

Bot. A lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing : for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl, than your lion living.

Act 3, Sc. I.


We grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem.-Act 3, Sc. 2.

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.
Thes. 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 lunatic, 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 frantic,
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
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear ! Act 5, Sc. I.


Pro. If we offend, it is with our good will.

That you should think, we come not to offend,
But with good will. To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end. Act 5, Sc. I.

Lys. It is not enough to speak, but to speak true.

Act 5, Sc. i.


The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. -Act 5, Sc. I.

The. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.

Act 5, Sc. I.


Gra. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,

Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? Act I, Sc. I.

Gra. There are a sort of men whose visages

Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond,
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dressed in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,


As who should say, “I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark !”

Act I, Sc. 1.

Bas. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them ; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.

Act I, Sc. 1.

Bas. In my school days, when I had lost one shaft,

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way, with more advised watch
To find the other forth; and, by adventuring both,
I oft found both.-Act I, Sc. i.

Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary of this great world.-Act 1, Sc. 2.

Por. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions.

Act I, Sc. 2.

Shy. But ships are but boards, sailors but men : there be land-rats and water-rats, land-thieves and water-thieves, I mean pirates, and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks.-Act I, Sc. 3.

Ant. The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

An evil soul producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart ;
O what a goodly outside falsehood hath !-Act I, Sc. 3.


Shy. Sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.—Act I, Sc. 3.


Shy. Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,

With bated breath, and whispering humbleness,
Say this ?-Act I, Sc. 3.

Shy. Why, look you how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love.

Act I, Sc. 3.

Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are ;

Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others.-Act 1, Sc. 3.

Laun. It is a wise father that knows his own child.

Act 2, Sc. 2.

Gob. What a beard hast thou got ! thou hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my phill-horse has on his tail.

Act 2, Sc. 2.

Shy. Fast bind, fast find ; *

A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.

Act 2, Sc. 5.


Gra. Who riseth from a feast

With that keen appetite that he sits down?
Where is the horse that doth untread again
His tedious measures with the unbated fire
That he did pace them first ? all things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
How like a younker or a prodigal,
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind !
How like a prodigal doth she return;
With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails,
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind.

Act 2, Sc. 6.
Jes. Love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit.

Act 2, Sc. 6. * In Tusser's" 500 Points of Good Husbandry" we read :

Washing, dry sun, dry wind,

Safe bind, safe find."

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