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MERCY.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes :
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His
sceptre

shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above the sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice.

FORTUNE.

For herein fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use,
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty.

ACT V.

MOONLIGHT. How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night, Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica: Look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold; There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,

A small flat dish, used in the administration of the Eucharist.

F

But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young eyed cherubim:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

MUSIC.

Or any

I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive: For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood; If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,

air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest

gaze, By the sweet power of music: Therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods, Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his nature: The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd by concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted.

A GOOD DEED COMPARED. How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

NOTHING GOOD OUT OF SEASON.
The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended; and, I think,

The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection!
Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd!

MOONLIGHT NIGHT.

This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick, It looks a little paler; 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

ACT I.

A FATHER'S AUTHORITY.
To you your father should be as a god;
One that compos'd your

beauties; yea,

and
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure, or disfigure it.

one

Whether,

A RECLUSE LIFE. Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, Know of your youth, examine well your blood,

if

you eld not to your father's choice, You can endure the livery of a nun; For aye* to be in shady cloister mew'd, To live a barren sister all your life, Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood,

Ever.

To undergo such maiden pilgrimage:
But earthlier happy is the rose distillid,
Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.

TRUE LOVE EVER CROSSED.

For aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth:
But, either it was different in blood;
Or else misgraffed, in respect of years;
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends :
Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it;
Making it momentany* as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath

power
to say

-Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.

ASSIGNATION. I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow; By his best arrow with the golden head; By the simplicity of Venus' doves; By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves; And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen, When the false Trojan under sail was seen; By all the vows that ever men have broke, In number more than ever women spoke;In that same place thou hast appointed me, To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.

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THE MOON.

When Phæbe doth behold
Her silver visage in the watry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass.

LOVE.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind;
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste ;
Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguild.
As waggish boys in game* themselves forswear,
So the boy love is perjur'd every where.

am that

ACT II.

PUCK. I

merry

wanderer of the night. I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Neighing in likeness of a silly foal: And sometime lurk I in the gossip's bowl, In very likeness of a roasted crabt; And, when she drink, against her lips I bob, And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale, Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, And tailor cries, and falls into a cough; And then the whole quire hold their hips and loffe; Sport

+ Wild apple.

*

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