Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare, Euseby Treen, Joseph Carnaby, and Silas Gough, Clerk eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare, Euseby Treen, Joseph Carnaby, and Silas Gough, Clerk.

Sir Thomas.

“Well spoken, for two thieves; albeit I miss the meaning of the most part.  Did they prevail with the scapegrace and stop him?”

Joseph Carnaby.

“The last who had spoken did slap him on the shoulder, saying, ’Jump into the punt, lad, and across.’  Thereupon did Will Shakspeare jump into said punt, and begin to sing a song about a mermaid.”

William Shakspeare.

“Sir! is this credible?  I will be sworn I never saw one; and verily do believe that scarcely one in a hundred years doth venture so far up the Avon.”

Sir Thomas.

“There is something in this.  Thou mayest have sung about one, nevertheless.  Young poets take great liberties with all female kind; not that mermaids are such very unlawful game for them, and there be songs even about worse and staler fish.  Mind ye that!  Thou hast written songs, and hast sung them, and lewd enough they be, God wot!”

William Shakspeare.

“Pardon me, your worship! they were not mine then.  Peradventure the song about the mermaid may have been that ancient one which every boy in most parishes has been singing for many years, and, perhaps, his father before him; and somebody was singing it then, mayhap, to keep up his courage in the night.”

Sir Thomas.

“I never heard it.”

William Shakspeare.

“Nobody would dare to sing in the presence of your worship, unless commanded,—­not even the mermaid herself.”

Sir Thomas.

“Canst thou sing it?

William Shakspeare.

“Verily, I can sing nothing.”

Sir Thomas.

“Canst thou repeat it from memory?”

William Shakspeare.

“It is so long since I have thought about it, that I may fail in the attempt.”

Sir Thomas.

“Try, however.”

William Shakspeare.

“’The mermaid sat upon the rocks
   All day long,
Admiring her beauty and combing her locks,
   And singing a mermaid song.’”

SIR THOMAS

“What was it? what was it?  I thought as much.  There thou standest, like a woodpecker, chattering and chattering, breaking the bark with thy beak, and leaving the grub where it was.  This is enough to put a saint out of patience.”

William Shakspeare.

“The wishes of your worship possess a mysterious influence,—­I now remember all.

“’And hear the mermaid’s song you may,
   As sure as sure can be,
If you will but follow the sun all day,
   And souse with him into the sea.’”

Sir Thomas.

“It must be an idle fellow who would take that trouble; besides, unless he nicked the time he might miss the monster.  There be many who are slow to believe that the mermaid singeth.”

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Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare, Euseby Treen, Joseph Carnaby, and Silas Gough, Clerk from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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