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For aught that ever I could read,

Could ever hear, by tale or history,

The course of true love never did run smooth.

Act 1. Scene 1.

BOTTOM. 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.

QUINCE. 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.

BOTTOм. 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. Scene 2.

Act 1.

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


That very time I saw (but thou couldst not),
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west; *

* A graceful compliment to Queen Elizabeth is in

tended in these beautiful lines.

And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts :
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watʼry moon;
And the imperial vot'ress passed on,

In maiden meditation, fancy free.

Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell :

It fell upon a little western flower

Before, milk-white; now, purple with love's wound—

And maidens call it Love-in-idleness.

Act 11.

Scene 2.

I'll put a girdle round about the earth,

In forty minutes.


I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,*
Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.


A lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing.
Act III. Scene 1.

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;

* "Whereon the wild thyme blows," is the reading in some editions. The line is often incorrectly quoted thus, "Whereon the wild thyme grows."

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.

Act v. Scene I.

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.



I have no other but a woman's reason;

I think him so, because I think him so.

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Fire, that is closest kept, burns most of all.


Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow, As seek to quench the fire of love with words. Act II. Scene 7.

Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces; Though ne'er so black, say, they have angels' faces ; That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,

If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.

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Are you content to be our general ?

To make a virtue of necessity,*

And live, as we do, in this wilderness?

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How use doth breed a habit in a man!

Act v.

Scene I.


A merrier man,

Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal.

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They have been at a great feast of languages, and

stolen the scraps.

A jest's prosperity lies in the ear

Act v. Scene 1.

Of him that hears it; never in the tongue

Of him that makes it.

Act v. Scene 2.

When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,

Do paint the meadows with delight.


"Than I made vertue of necessitee."
Chaucer's Squier's Tale, Part 2.


I am Sir Oracle,

And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.

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Ships are but boards, sailors but men; there be landrats, and water-rats, water-thieves and land-thieves; I mean pirates; and then there is the perils of waters, winds, and rocks.

Act 1.

Scene 3.

He rails,

Even there where merchants most do congregate,

On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest.


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!


Sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.


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

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