No, seriously. I’m talking about the 1980’s sitcom, Cheers, set in Boston’s Bull & Finch Pub. When I’m bored and need sound in the background I’ll often turn on Netflix to stream old sitcoms like this, and earlier today we heard the Cheers theme song on the radio.
Anyway, I’m watching the pilot when Diane (eventually the love interest) comes in with her current fiance, Professor Sumner Sloan, and they are discussing how they got engaged. Sumner paraphrases whatever he might have said and Diane corrects him, saying, “Actually, what he said was ‘Come with me and be my love, and we will some new pleasure prove.'”
“Ooo! Shakespeare!” said I.
“Donne,” said Diane.
“WTF?” quoth I.
“I kinda figured you were done when you stopped talking,” says Sam the bartender (or some other pun on the word Donne, I stopped paying attention after the Shakespeare drive-by).
I wondered for a moment if they said Donne just for the joke. I know this is Shakespeare, I have a CD ( When Love Speaks
) with Annie Lennox singing it. To the Google!
The line definitely appears in The Passionate Shepherd To His Love, which is credited to Marlowe. And it’s most definitely in John Donne’s The Bait (both available at the link above). Slight textual variation, Donne’s line is in fact “some pleasure” while Marlowe went with “all the pleasures”. Marlowe actually came first, but Diane is quoting Donne’s version.
But what of Shakespeare?
This line comes from the fifth verse of Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, most of which (such as this entry) are incorrectly attributed to Shakespeare.