Act III, Scene 5

Enter Gerald (a schoolmaster), five Countrymen, one of whom is dressed as a Babion [baboon], five Wenches, and Timothy, a taborer. All are attired as morris dancers.


What tediosity and disinsanity
Is here among ye! Have my rudiments
Been labored so long with ye, milked unto ye,
And, by a figure, even the very plum-broth
And marrow of my understanding laid upon ye?
And do you still cry 'how?' and 'wherefore?'
You most coarse frieze capacities, ye jean judgments,
Have I said, 'thus let be', and 'there let be',
And 'then let be', and no man understand me? ... [III.5.10]
Proh deum, medius fidius -- ye are all dunces.
For why, here stand I. Here the Duke comes. There are you,
Close in the thicket. The Duke appears. I meet him,
And unto him I offer learned things
And many figures. He hears, and nods, and hums,
And then cries, 'Rare!', and I go forward. At length
I fling my cap up -- mark there -- then do you,
As once did Meleager and the boar,
Break comely out before him, like true lovers,
Cast yourselves in a body decently, ... [III.5.20]
And sweetly, by a figure, trace and turn, boys.
1st COUNTRYMAN And sweetly we will do it, master Gerald.
2d COUNTRYMAN Draw up the company. Where's the taborer?
3d COUNTRYMAN Why, Timothy!
TABORER Here, my mad boys, have at ye!
SCHOOLMASTER But I say, where's these women?
4th COUNTRYMAN Here's Friz and Madeline.
2d COUNTRYMAN And little Luce with the white legs, and bounding Barbara.
1st COUNTRYMAN And freckled Nell, that never failed her master.
SCHOOLMASTER Where be your ribbons, maids? Swim with your bodies
And carry it sweetly and deliverly,
And now and then a favor and a frisk
NELL Let us alone, sir.
SCHOOLMASTER Where's the rest o'th' music?
3d COUNTRYMAN Dispersed as you commanded.
SCHOOLMASTER Couple, then,
And see what's wanting. Where's the babion?
[to the Babion.] My friend, carry your tail without offense
Or scandal to the ladies; and be sure
You tumble with audacity and manhood,
And when you bark, do it with judgment
BABION Yes, sir.
SCHOOLMASTER Quousque tandem? Here is a woman wanting!
4th COUNTRYMAN We may go whistle -- all the fat's i' th' fire.
SCHOOLMASTER We have, ... [III.5.40]
As learned authors utter, washed a tile;
We have been fatuous, and labored vainly.
2d COUNTRYMAN This is that scornful piece, that scurvy hilding
That gave her promise faithfully she would be here --
Cicely, the seamstress' daughter.
The next gloves that I give her shall be dog-skin.
Nay, an she fail me once -- you can tell, Arcas,
She swore by wine and bread she would not break.
SCHOOLMASTER An eel and woman,
A learned poet says, unless by th' tail ... [III.5.50]
And with thy teeth thou hold, will either fail --
In manners this was false position.
1st COUNTRYMAN A fire-ill take her! Does she flinch now?
Shall we determine, sir?
Our business is become a nullity,
Yea, and a woeful and a piteous nullity.
4th COUNTRYMAN Now, when the credit of our town lay on it,
Now to be frampold, now to piss o'th' nettle!
Go thy ways -- I'll remember thee, I'll fit thee!
[Enter the Jailer's Daughter.]
DAUGHTER [sings]
The George Alow came from the south, ... [III.5.60]
From the coast of Barbary-a;
And there he met with brave gallants of war,
By one, by two, by three-a.
'Well hailed, well hailed, you jolly gallants,
And whither now are you bound-a?
O let me have your company
Till I come to the sound-a.'
There was three fools fell out about an owlet --
The one he said it was an owl,
The other he said nay, ... [III.5.70]
The third he said it was a hawk,
And her bells were cut away.
3d COUNTRYMAN There's a dainty madwoman, master,
Comes i' th' nick, as mad as a March hare.
If we can get her dance, we are made again.
I warrant her, she'll do the rarest gambols.
1st COUNTRYMAN A madwoman? We are made, boys.
SCHOOLMASTER [to the Jailer's Daughter.] And are you mad, good woman?
DAUGHTER I would be sorry else.
Give me your hand.
DAUGHTER  I can tell your fortune. [She examines his hand.]
You are a fool. Tell ten -- I have posed him. Buzz! ... [III.5.80]
Friend, you must eat no white bread -- if you do,
Your teeth will bleed extremely. Shall we dance, ho?
I know you -- you're a tinker, Sirrah tinker,
Stop no more holes but what you should.
A tinker, damsel?
DAUGHTER Or a conjurer --
Raise me a devil now and let him play
Qui passa o'th' bells and bones.
SCHOOLMASTER Go, take her,
And fluently persuade her to a peace.
Et opus exegi, quod nec lovis ira, hec ignis --
Strike up, and lead her in.
2 COUNTRYMAN Come, lass, let's trip it.
DAUGHTER I'll lead.
SCHOOLMASTER Persuasively and cunningly --
[Wind horns within.] ~~~ away, boys,
I hear the horns. Give me some meditation,
And mark your cue.
[Exeunt all but Gerald the Schoolmaster.] ~~~ Pallas inspire me.
[Enter Theseus, Pirithous, Hippolyta, Emilia, Arcite, and train.]
THESEUS This way the stag took.
SCHOOLMASTER Stay and edify.
THESEUS What have we here?
PIRITHOUS Some country sport, upon my life, sir.
THESEUS [to the Schoolmaster.] Well sir, go forward -- we will edify. [III.5.100]
Ladies, sit down -- we'll stay it.
[They sit, Theseus in a chair, the others on stools.]
SCHOOLMASTER Thou doughty Duke, all hail! All hail, sweet ladies.
THESEUS This is a cold beginning.
SCHOOLMASTER If you but favor, our country pastime made is.
We are a few of those collected here,
That ruder tongues distinguish 'villager';
And to say verity, and not to fable,
We are a merry rout, or else a rabble,
Or company, or by a figure, chorus,
That fore thy dignity will dance a morris. ... [III.5.110]
And I, that am the rectifier of all,
By title, pedagogus, that let fall
The birch upon the breeches of the small ones,
And humble with a ferula the tall ones,
Do here present this machine, or this frame;
And dainty Duke, whose doughty dismal fame
From Dis to Daedalus, from post to pillar,
Is blown abroad, help me, thy poor well-willer,
And with thy twinkling eyes, look right and straight
Upon this mighty 'Moor' -- of mickle weight -- ... [III.5.120]
'Ice' now comes in, which, being glued together,
Makes 'morris', and the cause that we come hither.
The body of our sport, of no small study,
I first appear, though rude, and raw, and muddy,
To speak, before thy noble grace, this tenor
At whose great feet I offer up my penner.
The next, the Lord of May and Lady bright;
The Chambermaid and Serving man, by night
That seek out silent hanging; then mine Host
And his fat Spouse, that welcomes, to their cost, ... [III.5.130]
The galled traveler, and with a beck'ning
Informs the tapster to inflame the reck'ning;
Then the beest-eating Clown; and next, the Fool;
The babion with long tail and eke long tool,
Cum multis alits that make a dance --
Say 'aye', and all shall presently advance.
THESEUS Ay, aye, by any means, dear dominie.
SCHOOLMASTER [Knocks for the dance.]
Intrate filii, come forth and foot it.
[He flings up his cap.] Music.
[The Schoolmaster ushers in May Lord, May Lady, Serving man, Chambermaid, A Country Clown, or Shepherd, Country Wench, An Host, Hostess, A He-Babion, She-Babion, A He-fool, The Jailer's Daughter, as She-fool.]
[All these people appareled to the life, the men issuing out of one door and the wenches from the other. They dance a morris.]

Ladies, if we have been merry,
And have pleased ye with a derry, ... [III.5.140]
And a derry, and a down,
Say the schoolmaster's no clown.
Duke, if we have pleased thee too,
And have done as good boys should do,
Give us but a tree or twain
For a maypole, and again,
Ere another year run out,
We'll make thee laugh, and all this rout.

THESEUS Take twenty, dominie. [to Hippolyta.] How does my sweetheart?
HIPPOLYTA Never so pleased, sir.
EMILIA 'Twas an excellent dance, ... [III.5.150]
And for a preface, I never heard a better.
THESEUS Schoolmaster, I thank you. One see 'em all rewarded.
PIRITHOUS And here's something to paint your pole withal.
[He gives them money.]
THESEUS Now to our sports again.
SCHOOLMASTER May the stag thou hunt'st stand long,
And thy dogs be swift and strong;
May they kill him without lets,
And the ladies eat his dowsets.
[Exit Theseus and train. Wind horns within.]
Come, we are all made. Dii deaeque omnes,
Ye have danced rarely, wenches. [Exeunt.]


To see other scenes from the show: 

Full Text Act III, Scene 3/Act III, Scene 4
Act I, Scene 1 Act III, Scene 5
Act I, Scene 2 Act III, Scene 6
Act I, Scene 3 Act IV, Scene 1
Act I, Scene 4/Act I, Scene 5 Act IV, Scene 2
Act II, Scene 1 Act IV, Scene 3
Act II, Scene 2 Act V, Scene 1
Act II, Scene 3/Act II, Scene 4 Act V, Scene 2/Act V, Scene 3
Act II, Scene 5/Act II, Scene 6 Act V, Scene 4
Act III, Scene 1/Act III, Scene 2 Act V, Scene 5/Act V, Scene 6


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