To Give A Dog

FABIAN. This is to give a dog, and in recompense desire my dog again.

Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

This was a contemporary anecdote recorded in Manninghams diary: ‘Dr. Bullein, the Queen’s kinsman, had a dog which he doted on, so much that the Queen understanding of it requested he would grant her one desire, and he should have whatsoever he should ask. She demanded his dog; he gave it, and, ‘Now, Madam,’ quoth he, ‘you promised to give me my desire.’ ‘I will,’ quoth she. ‘Then I pray you give me my dog again.’

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