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Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are.

CHARACTER OF AN OLD SONG. Mark it, Cesario; it is old, and plain: The spinster and the knitters in the sun, And the free maids, that weave their thread with Do use to chaunt it; it is silly sootht, [bones*, And dallies with the innocence of love, Like the old aget.


Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;

Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,

0, prepare it;
My part of death no one so true

Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown;

Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown;
A thousand thousand sighs to save,

Lay me, O where
Sad true lover ne'er find my graye,

To weep there.


She never told her love, But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, Feed on her damask cheek; she pin’d in thought; And, with a green and yellow melancholy, She sat like patience on a monument, Smiling at grief.

* Lace-makers.

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This fellow's wise enough to play the fool;
And, to do that well, craves a kind of wit:
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time;
And, like the haggard*, check at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practice,
As full of labour as a wise man's art:
For folly, that he wisely shows, is fit;
But wise men, folly-fallen, quite taint their wit.

Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
By maidhood, honour, truth, and every thing,
I love thee so, that, maugret all thy pride,
Nor wit, nor reason, can my passion hide.
Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,
For, that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause:
But, rather, reason thus with reason fetter:
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.

Two Gentlemen of Verona.



Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud,
The eating canķer dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
And writers say, As the most forward bud

* A hawk not well trained.

+ In spite of.

Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.


Maids, in modesty, say No, to that Which they would have the profferer construe, Aye. Fie, fied how wayward is this foolish love, That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse, And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod!


He cannot be a perfect man,
Not being try’d and tutor'd in the world :
Experience is by industry achiev'd,
And perfected by the swift course of time.

LOVE COMPARED TO AN APRIL DAY. 0, how this spring of love resembleth

The uncertain glory of an April day; Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,

And by and by a cloud takes all away!


HUMOROUS DESCRIPTION OF A MAN IN LOVE. MARRY, by these special marks: First, you have learned, like sir Proteus, to wreath your arms like a male-content; to relish a love-song, like a robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his A, B, C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes diet * ; to watch, like one that fears robbing; to

* Undor a regimen.

speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas*. You were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it was for want of money: and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master.

His years but young, but his experience old;
His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe;
And, in a word (for far behind his worth
Come all the praises that I now bestow),
He is complete in feature, and in mind,
With all good grace to grace a gentleman.


I have done penance for contemning love; Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me With bitter fasts, with penitential groans, With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs; For, in revenge of my contempt of love, Love hath chas'd sleep from my enthralled eyes, And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow. O, gentle Proteus, love's a mighty lord ; And hath so humbled me, as, I confess, There is no woe to his correction, Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth! Now, no discourse, except it be of love; Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep, Upon the very naked name of love.


For now my love is thaw'd; Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a fire, Bears no impression of the thing it was.


LOVE INCREASED BY ATTEMPTS TO SUPPRESS IT. Didst thou but know the inly touch of love, Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow, As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire; But qualify the fire's extreme rage, Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.

Jul. The more thou dam'st* it up, the more it burns; The current that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'st, being stopp’d, impatiently doth rage; But, when his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet music with the enamel'd stoncs, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge He overtaketh in bis pilgrimage; And so by many winding nooks he strays, With willing sport to the wild ocean. Then let me go, and hinder not my course: I'll be as patient as a gentle stream, And make a pastime of each weary step, Till the last step have brought me to my love; And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoilt, A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

A FAITHFUL AND CONSTANT LOVER. His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles; His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart; His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.



Win her with gifts, if she respect not words;
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
More than quick words, do move a woman's mind.

* Closest.

+ Trouble.

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