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Still Music

HYм. Then is there mirth in heaven,
When earthly things made even
Atone together.

Good Duke, receive thy daughter:
Hymen from heaven brought her,
Yea, brought her hither,

That thou mightst join her hand with his
Whose heart within his bosom is.

Ros. To you I give myself, for I am yours.

To you I give myself, for I am yours.

DUKE S. If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.

ORL. If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind. PHE. If sight and shape be true,

Why then, my love adieu!

Ros. I'll have no father, if you be not he:

I'll have no husband, if you be not he:

Nor ne'er wed woman, if you be not she.
HYм. Peace, ho! I bar confusion:

"T is I must make conclusion
Of these most strange events:
Here's eight that must take hands
To join in Hymen's bands,

If truth holds true contents.

108 her hand] This is the reading of the Third and Fourth Folios. The First and Second Folios read his hand, obviously in error.



You and you no cross shall part:
You and you are heart in heart:
You to his love must accord,
Or have a woman to your lord:
You and you are sure together,
As the winter to foul weather.
Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
Feed yourselves with questioning;
That reason wonder may diminish,
How thus we met, and these things finish.


Wedding is great Juno's crown:

O blessed bond of board and bed!
"Tis Hymen peoples every town;
High wedlock then be honoured:
Honour, high honour and renown,
To Hymen, god of every town!

DUKE S. O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!
Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree.

PHE. I will not eat my word, now thou art mine; Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.


JAQ. DE B. Let me have audience for a word or two:
I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,

That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day

145 Jaques de Boys] See note on I, i, 4.



Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
Address'd a mighty power; which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take

His brother here and put him to the sword:
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;
Where meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprise and from the world;
His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother,
And all their lands restored to them again
That were with him exiled. This to be true,
I do engage my life.

Welcome, young man;
Thou offer'st fairly to thy brothers' wedding:
To one his lands withheld; and to the other
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest let us do those ends

That here were well begun and well begot:
And after, every of this happy number,

That have endured shrewd days and nights with us,
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.

Meantime, forget this new-fallen dignity,
And fall into our rustic revelry.

Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap'd in joy, to the measures fall.

JAQ. Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,


158 them] This is Rowe's correction of the original reading him. 167 shrewd] evil, disastrous. Cf. Merch. of Ven., III, ii, 246: “There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper."



The Duke hath put on a religious life

And thrown into neglect the pompous court?
JAQ. DE B. He hath.

JAQ. To him will I: out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.

[To Duke S.] You to your former honour I bequeath; 180 Your patience and your virtue well deserves it:

[To Orl.] You to a love, that your true faith doth merit: [To Oli.] You to your land, and love, and great allies: [To Sil.] You to a long and well-deserved bed:

[To Touch.] And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage

Is but for two months victuall'd. So, to your pleasures: I am for other than for dancing measures.

DUKE S. Stay, Jaques, stay.

JAQ. To see no pastime I: what you would have

I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.

[Exit. 190 DUKE S. Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites, As we do trust they 'll end, in true delights.

[A dance.


Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 't is true that a good play needs no epilogue: yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me: my way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you: and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, - as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hates them, that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards or good faces or sweet breaths will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell. [Exeunt. 3 bush] It was customary for tavern-keepers and vintners to hang a bush of holly or ivy outside their houses, usually attached to the signboard.

15 If I were a woman] The part of Rosalind, according to the practice of the Elizabethan stage, was played by a boy.


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