Page images

Nath. If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear | cludes it. To DULL. Sir, I do invite you too: to love?


you shall not say me nay: pauca verba. Away! the gentles are at their game, and we will to our recreation. Exeunt.

Ah! never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd; Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove; Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bow'd.

[blocks in formation]

Hol. You find not the apostrophas, and so miss the accent let me supervise the canzonet. Here are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius Naso was the man: and why, indeed, Naso, but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari is nothing; so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the tired horse his rider. But, damosella virgin, was this directed to you? 133 Jaq. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one of the strange queen's lords.

Hol. I will overglance the superscript. To the snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady Rosaline. I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for the nomination of the party writing to the person written unto: Your ladyship's in all desired employment, Berowne. Sir Nathaniel, this Berowne is one of the votaries with the king; and here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger queen's, which, accidentally, or by the way of progression, hath miscarried. Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the king; it may concern much. Stay not thy compliment; I forgive thy duty: adieu.

Jaq. Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!


Cost. Have with thee, my girl.

Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA. Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously; and, as a certain Father saith,

[blocks in formation]

SCENE III.-The Same.
Enter BEROWNE, with a paper.

Beroune. The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing myself: they have pitched a toil; defile! a foul word. Well, sit thee down, sorrow! am toiling in a pitch,--pitch that defiles: for so they say the fcol said, and so say I, and I the fool: well proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep: well proved again o' my side! I will not love; if I do, hang me; i faith, I will not. O! but her eye,--by this light, but for her

Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes. in my throat. By heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to rime, and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rime, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets already: the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care a pin if the other three were in. Here comes one with a paper: God give him grace to groan!


Gets up into a tree. Enter the KING, with a paper. King. Ay me!

Berowne. Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid: thou hast thumped him with thy birdbolt under the left pap. In faith, secrets! King.

So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not

To those fresh morning drops upon the rose, As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows: Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright 20

Through the transparent bosom of the deep, As doth thy face through tears of mine give light; Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep: No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;

So ridest thou triumphing in my woe. Do but behold the tears that swell in me,

[blocks in formation]

Beroune. I could put thee in comfort: not by two that I know.

Thou mak'st the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,

The shape of love's Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.

Long. I fear these stubborn lines lack power

to move.

O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
Berowne. O rimes are guards on wanton
Cupid's hose:

Disfigure not his slop.
This same shall go
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?

Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,

Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;

Thy grace, being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me. Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is: Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine, Exhal'st this vapour-vow; in thee it is:


If broken, then it is no fault of mine:
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise?

This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain,
O! would the king, Berowne, and Longaville,
Were lovers too. Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjur'd note;

Berowne. This is the liver-vein, which makes For none offend where all alike do dote.
flesh a deity;

Long. Advancing. Dumaine, thy love is far from charity,

A green goose a goddess; pure, pure idolatry. God amend us, God amend! we are much out o' the way.


Long. By whom shall I send this ?-Company!
Steps aside.
Berowne. All hid, all hid; an old infant play.
Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky,
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye. 80
More sacks to the mill! O heavens! I have my

wish :


Berowne. O most profane coxcomb!
Dum. By heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye!
Berowne. By earth, she is but corporal; there
you lie.

Dum. Her amber hairs for foul have amber

Berowne. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.

Dum. As upright as the cedar.

Berowne. Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.


Dum. On a day, alack the day!
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But alack! my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack! for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom e'en Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiop were;

And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.

Stoop, I say;


Her shoulder is with child.
As fair as day.
Berowne. Ay, as some days; but then no sun
must shine.

Enter DUMAINE, with a paper.

Dumaine transform'd: four woodcocks in a dish! And mark'd you both, and for you both did blush.
Dum. O most divine Kate!
I heard your guilty rimes, observ'd your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion:
Ay me! says one; O Jove! the other cries; 14
One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes:
To LONGAVILLE. You would for paradise break
faith and troth;

Dum. O! that I had my wish.
And I had mine!
King. And I mine too, good Lord!
Berowne. Amen, so I had mine. Is not that
a good word?

Dum. I would forget her; but a fever she
Reigns in my blood, and will remember'd be.
Beroune. A fever in your blood! why, then


Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision! Dum. Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.

[ocr errors]


That in love's grief desir'st society:



may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o'erheard and taken napping so.
King. Advancing. Come, sir, you blush; as his
You chide at him, offending twice as much:
your case is such;
You do not love Maria; Longaville
Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
I have been closely shrouded in this bush,

To DUMAINE. And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.

What will Berowne say when that he shall hear
A faith infringed, which such zeal did swear!
How will he scorn! how will he spend his wit!
How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it!
For all the wealth that ever I did see,
I would not have him know so much by me. 150
Berowne. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
Descends from the tree.
Ah! good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me:
Good heart! what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
These worms for loving, that art most in love?
Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
There is no certain princess that appears:
You'll not be perjur'd, 'tis a hateful thing:
Tush! none but minstrels like of sonneting.
But are you not asham'd? nay, are you not,
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot? 160
You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
But I a beam do find in cach of three.

O! what a scene of foolery have I seen,
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen;
O me! with what strict patience have I sat,
To see a king transformed to a gnat ;
To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
Where lies thy grief? O! tell me, good Dumaine,
And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
And where my liege's? all about the breast:
A candle, ho!


Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view?

Berowne. Not you to me, but I betray'd by you:
I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin
To break the vow I am engaged in ;

I am betray'd, by keeping company
With men like you, men of inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rime?
Or groan for Joan? or spend a minute's time
In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
A leg, a limb?-



Soft! Whither away so fast? A true man or a thief that gallops so? Berowne. I post from love; good lover, let me go. Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD.

Jaq. God bless the king! King. What present hast thou there? Cost. Some certain treason. King. What makes treason here? 190 Cost. Nay, it makes nothing, sir. King. If it mar nothing neither, The treason and you go in peace away together. Jaq. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read: Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said. King. Berowne, read it over.

Gives him the paper.

Where hadst thou it?
Jaq. Of Costard.

King. Where hadst thou it?

Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio. Berowne tears the letter. King. How now! what is in you? why dost thou tear it? 200 Berowne. A toy, my liege, a toy your grace needs not fear it.

Long. It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.

Dum. Picking up the pieces. It is Berowne's writing, and here is his name. Beroune. To COSTARD. Ah! you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do me shame. Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess. King. What?

Beroune. That you three fools lack'd me, fool, to make up the mess;

He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I,
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
O! dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
Dum. Now the number is even.
True, true; we are four. 211
Will these turtles be gone?
Hence, sirs; away!
Cost. Walk aside the true folk, and let the
traitors stay.


[blocks in formation]

A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,

And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy.
O! 'tis the sun that maketh all things shine.
King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
Berowne. Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O! who can give an oath? where is a book? 250
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:
No face is fair that is not full so black.
King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the scowl of night;
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.
Berowne. Devils soonest tempt, resembling
spirits of light.

O! if in black my lady's brows be deck'd,

It mourns that painting and usurping hair Should ravish doters with a false aspect;


And therefore is she born to make black fair, Her favour turns the fashion of the days,

For native blood is counted painting now; And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise, Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. Dum. To look like her are chimney sweepers black. Long. And since her time are colliers counted bright.

King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack.

Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.

Beroune. Your mistresses dare never come in rain, For fear their colours should be wash'd away. King. 'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,


I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.

[blocks in formation]

now prove


Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
Dum. Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil.
Long. O! some authority how to proceed;
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
Dum. Some salve for perjury.
"Tis more than need.
Have at you then, affection's men-at-arms:
Consider what you first did swear unto.
To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young,
And abstinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
In that each of you have forsworn his book,
Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of study's excellence 300
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They are the ground, the books, the academes,
From whence doth spring the true Promethean

| A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails :
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in

For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair;
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
O! then his lines would ravish savage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine Ï derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world;
Else none at all in aught proves excellent.
Then fools you were these women to forswear,
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools,
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love,
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men,
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men, 363
Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
It is religion to be thus forsworn;
For charity itself fulfils the law;
And who can sever love from charity?

King, Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the

Berowne. Advance your standards, and upon them, lords!




Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis'd,
In conflict that you get the sun of them.

Long. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
King And win them too: therefore let us


Why, universal plodding prisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries,
As motion and long-during action tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes,
And study too, the causer of your vow;
For where is any author in the world
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself,
And where we are our learning likewise is :
Then when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
Do we not likewise see our learning there?
O! we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forsworn our books
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out 321
Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
Of beauty's tutors have enrich'd you with?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain,
And therefore, finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil;
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain,
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;


SCENE I.-The King of Navarre's Park.



Some entertainment for them in their tents. Berowne. First, from the park let us conduct them thither;

Then homeward every man attach the hand
Of his fair mistress in the afternoon
We will with some strange pastime solace them,
Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours,
Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.

King. Away, away! no time shall be omittel,
That will betime, and may by us be fitted.
Beroune. Allons! Allons! Sow'd cockle reap'd


If so, our copper buys no better treasure.

no corn;

And justice always whirls in equal measure: Light wenches may prove plagues to men for


Hol. Satis quod sufficit.

Nath. I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious; plea sant without scurrility, witty without affection,

[blocks in formation]

Nuth. A most singular and choice epithet. Draws out his table-book. Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and point-devise companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak dout, fine, when he should say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt, d, e, b, t, not d, e, t; he clepeth a calf, cauf: half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebour; neigh abbreviated ne. This is abhominable, which he would call abominable, it insinuateth me of insanie: anne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.

Nath. Laus Deo, bone intelligo.


Hol. Bone? bone for bene: Priscian a little scratched; 'twill serve.


Nath. Videsne quis venit?

Hol. Video, et gaudeo.

Arm. To MOTH. Chirrah!

Hol. Quare chirrah, not sirrah? Arm. Men of peace, well encountered. Hol. Most military sir, salutation. Moth. They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps. 40

Cost. O they have lived long on the almsbasket of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.

Moth. Peace! the peal begins.

Arm. To HOLOFERNES. Monsieur, are you not lettered?

Moth. Yes, yes, he teaches boys the horn-book. What is a, b, spelt backward with the horn on his head?



Hol. Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.

Moth. Ba! most silly sheep with a horn. hear his learning.

Hol. I will repeat them; a, e, i,-
Moth. The sheep: the other two concludes it;

o, u.


Hol. What is the figure? what is the figure?
Moth. Horns.


I will whip about your infamy circum circa. gig of a cuckold's horn!

Cost. An I had but one penny in the world, thou should'st have it to buy gingerbread. Hold, there is the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O an the heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my bastard, what a joyful father would'st thou make me. Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they say.


Hol. O! I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.

Arm. Arts-man, præambula: we will be singuled from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the charge-house on the top of the mountain ? Hol. Or mons, the hill.

Hol. Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig. Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and


Arm. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
Hol. I do, sans question.

Arm. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and affection to congratulate the princess at her pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the rude multitude call the afternoon.


Hol. Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies. Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some show in the posterior

Hol. Quis, quis, thou consonant?

Moth. The third of the five vowels, if you of this day, to be rendered by our assistance, repeat them; or the fifth, if I.

at the king's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman; before the princess, I say, none so fit as to present the Nine Worthies.


Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?

Arm. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit! | snip, snap, quick and home! it rejoiceth my intellect; true wit!

Moth. Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.


Hol. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the afternoon : the word is well culled, chose, sweet and apt, I do assure you, sir; I do assure.

Arm. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my familiar, I do assure ye, very good friend. For what is inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ; I beseech thee, apparel thy head; and among other importunate and most serious designs, and of great import indeed, too, but let that pass; for I must tell thee, it will please his grace, by the world, sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder, and with his royal finger, thus, dally with my excrement, with my mustachio: but, sweet heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no fable: some certain special honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen the world: but let that pass. The very all of all is, but, sweet heart, I do implore secrecy, that the king would have me present the princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antick, or fire-work. Now, understanding that the curate and your sweet self are good at such eruptions and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to crave your assistance.

Hol. Joshua, yourself; myself, or this gallant gentleman, Judas Maccabæus; this swain, because of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the page, Hercules

Arm. Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for that Worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.


Hol. Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules in minority: his enter and exit shall be


« PreviousContinue »