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strangling a snake; and I will have an apology | But, Rosaline, you have a favour too : for that purpose.
Who sent it? and what is it ! Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the Ros.
I would you knew : audience hiss, you may cry. Well done, Hercules! An if my face were but as fair as yours, now thou crushest the snake!' that is the way My favour were as great; be witness this. to make an offence gracious, though few have Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne : the grace to do it.
The numbers true ; and, were the numbering too, Árm. For the rest of the Worthies ?
I were the fairest goddess on the ground: Hol. I will play three myself.
I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs. Moth. Thrice-worthy gentleman!
0! he hath drawn my picture in his letter. Arm. Shall I tell you a thing
Prin. Any thing like? Hol. We attend.
Ros. Much in the letters, nothing in the praise. Arm. We will have, if this fadge not, an antick. Prin. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion. 42 I beseech you, follow.
Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book. Hol. Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken Ros. 'Ware pencils, hol let me not die your no word all this while.
debtor, Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir. My red dominical, my golden letter: Hol. Allons ! we will employ thee.
0! that your face were not so full of O's. Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I Prin. A pox of that jest ! and I beshrew all will play
shrows! On the tabor to the Wortbies, and let them But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair dance the hay.
Dumaine? Hol. Most dull, honest Dull. To our sport, Kath. Madam, this glove. away!
Did he not send you twain ! Kath. Yes, madam ; and moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover :
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compild, profound simplicity. Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE,
Mar. This, and these pearls to me sent Longaand MARIA.
ville : Prin. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we The letter is too long by half a mile. depart,
Prin. I think no less. Dost thou not wish in If fairings come thus plentifully in :
heart A lady wall'd about with diamonds !
The chain were longer and the letter short! Look you what I have from the loving king. Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never
Ros. Madam, came nothing else along with that? part. Prin. Nothing but this ! yes; as much love Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so. in rime
Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mockAs would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper,
ing so. Writ o' both sides the leaf, margent and all, That same Berowne I'll torture ere I go. That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name. 0! that I knew he were but in by the week. Ros. That was the way to make his godhead How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek, wax;
10 And wait the season, and observe the times, For he hath been five thousand years a boy. And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rimes,
Kath. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too. And shape his service wholly to my hests,
So perttaunt-like would I o'ersway his state
are catch'd, She might ha' been a grandam ere she died ; As wit turn'd fool : folly, in wisdom batch'd, 70 And so may you, for a light heart lives long. Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse, of And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool. this light word?
Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark. Ros. We need more light to find your mean. As gravity's revolt to wantonness. ing out.
Nar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note Kath. You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff ; As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote; Therefore I 'll darkly end the argument. Since all the power thereof it doth apply Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i' the To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.
dark. kath. So do not you, for you are a light wench.
Enter BOYET. Ros. Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. light.
Boyet. O! I am stabb'à with laughter. Where's kath. You weigh me not? O! that's you her grace ? care not for me.
Prin. Thy news, Bovet? Ros. Great reason; for 'past cure is still past Boyet.
Prepare, madam, prepare! care.'
Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are Prin. Well bandied both ; a set of wit well Against your peace : Love doth approach dis. play'd.
Armed in arguments; you'll be surpris'd:
That charge their breath against us? say, scout,
Boget. Under the cool shade of a sycamore I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour, When, lo! to interrupt my purpos'd rest, Toward that shade I might behold addrest The king and his companions: warily I stole into a neighbour thicket by, And overheard what you shall overhear; That, by and by, disguis'd they will be here. Their herald is a pretty knavish page, That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage: Action and accent did they teach him there: Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear': And ever and anon they made a doubt Presence majestical would put him out; 'For, quoth the king, an angel shalt thou see; Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.' The boy replied, 'An angel is not evil;
I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.' With that all laugh'd and clapp'd him on the shoulder,
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd,
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace; But while 'tis spoke each turn away her face.
Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart,
And quite divorce his memory from his part. 150
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
Ros. It is not so. Ask them how many inches Is in one mile if they have measur'd many, The measure then of one is easily told.
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Boyet. If, to come hither, you have measur'd
And many miles, the princess bids you tell
Berowne. Tell her we measure them by weary
Boyet. She hears herself.
How many weary steps,
Ros. In private then.
I am best pleas'd with that. They converse apart. Berowne. White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.
Berowne. Nay then, two treys, an if you grow
Mar. Name it.
Say you so? Fair lord,
Or ever, but in visors, show their faces?
Prin. Berowne did swear himself out of all suit. Mar. Dumaine was at my service, and his sword: 'No point,' quoth I: my servant straight was mute.
Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his
And trow you what he call'd me?
Kath. Yes, in good faith.
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.
Kath. And Longaville was for my service born.
Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET ; ROSAMar. Dumaine is mine, as sure as bark on tree.
LINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants. Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear. Immediately they will again be here
Berowne. See where it comes ! Behaviour, In their own shapes; for it can never be
what wert thon They will digest this harsh indignity.
Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou Prin. Will they return?
now ? Boyet. They will, they will, God knows; King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of And leap for joy, though they are lame with day! blows:
Prin. Fair'in .all hail' is foul, as I conceive. Therefore change favours; and when they repair, King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
Prin. Then wish me better : I will give you Prin. How blow? how blow? speak to be leave. understood.
King. We came to visit you, and purpose now Boyet. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their To lead you to our court : vouchsafe it then. bud:
Prin. This field shall hold me, and so hold your Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur'd men.
Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
have spoke; Let's mock them still, as well known as dis- For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. guis’d.
301 Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure Let us complain to them what fools were here, As the unsullied lily, I protest, Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless gear ; A world of torments though I should endure, And wonder what they were, and to what end I would not yield to be your house's guest; Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn'd, So much I hate a breaking cause to be And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity. Should be presented at our tent to us.
King. O! you have liv'd in desolation here, Boyet. Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame. hand.
Prin. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear : Prin. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land. We have had pastimes here and pleasant game. Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, A mess of Russians left us but of late.
and MARIA. K’ing. How, madam! Russians ! Re-enter the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and Trim gallants
, full of courtship and of state. Prin.
Ay, in truth, my lord ; DUMAINE, in their proper habits.
Ros. Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord : King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the My lady, to the manner of the days, princess ?
In courtesy gives undeserving praise. Boyet. Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty, We four, indeed, confronted were with four Command me any service to her thither? In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour, King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one and talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord, word.
They did not bless us with one happy word. 370 Boyet. I will ; and so will she, I know, my lord. I dare not call them fools ; but this I think,
Exit. When they are thirsty, fools would fain bavedrink. Berowne. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons Berowne. This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle pease,
sweet, And utters it again when God doth please. Your wit makes wise things foolish : when we He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares
greet, At wakes, and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs; With eyes best seeing, heaven's fiery eye, And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know, By light we lose light : your capacity Have not the grace to grace it with such show. Is of that nature that to your huge store This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve ; 321 Wise things seem foolish and rich things but poor. Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve.
Ros. This proves you wise and rich, for in my A' can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
eye, -That kiss'd away his hand in courtesy ;
Berowne. I am a fool, and full of poverty. 380 This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue. In honourable terms : nay, he can sing
Beroune. O! I am yours, and all that I possess. A mean most meanly, and, in ushering,
Ros. All the fool mine? Mend him who can : the ladies call him sweet ; Beroune.
I cannot give you less. The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet. 330 Ros. Which of the visors was it that you wore? This is the fiower that smiles on every one, Berowne. Where? when ? what visor ? why deTo show his teeth as white as whales-bone;
mand you this! And consciences, that will not die in debt, Ros. There, then, that visor ; that superfluous Paş him the due of honey-tongu'd Boyet. King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my That hid the worse and show'd the better face. heart,
king. We are descried : they 'll mock us now That put Armado's page out of his part !
Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. 390 What did the Russian whisper in your ear ? Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your Ros. Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear highness sad ?
As precious eyesight, and did value me Ros. Help! hold his brows! he'll swoon. Above this world, adding thereto, moreover, Why look you pale ?
That he would wed me, or else die my lover. Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord Berowne. Thus pour the stars down plagues for Most honourably doth uphold his word. perjury.
King. What mean you, madam? by my life, Can any face of brass hold longer out?
my troth, Here stand I, lady ; dart
skill at me;
I never swore this lady such an oath. Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout; Ros. By heaven, you did ; and to confirm it Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance; plain,
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; You gave me this : but take it, sir, again. And I will wish thee never more to dance,
King. My faith and this the princess I did Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
give : 0! never will I trust to speeches penn'd, I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue, Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear ; Nor never come in visor to my friend,
And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear. Nor woo in rime, like a blind harper's song, What, will you have me, or your pearl again? Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Berowne. Neither of either; I remit both twain. Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation, I see the trick on 't: here was a consent, Figures pedantical; these summer-flies
Knowing aforehand of our merriment, Have blown me full of maggot ostentation : To dash it like a Christmas comedy. I do forswear them; and I here protest, 410 Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight By this white glove,-how white the hand, zany, God knows,
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd Dick,
In russet yeas and honest kersey noes : That smiles his cheek in years, and knows the trick And, to begin, wench,--so God help me, la l- To make my lady laugh when she's dispos'd,
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw. Told our intents before ; which once disclos’d, Ros. Sans ' sans,' I pray you.
The ladies did change favours, and then we, Berowne.
Yet I have a trick Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. Of the old rage : bear with me, I am sick; Now, to our perjury to add more terror, I 'll leave it by degrees. Soft! let us see : We are again forsworn, in will and error. Write ‘Lord have mercy on us' on those three; Much upon this it is: To Boyer and might They are infected, in their hearts it lies; They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes : Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue ? These lords are visited; you are not free, Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire, For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.
And laugh upon the apple of her eye? Prin. No, they are free that gave these tokens And stand between her back, sir, and the fire. to us.
Holding a trencher, jesting merrily? Berowne. Our states are forfeit : seek not to You put our page out: go, you are allow'd ; undo us.
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shrond. Ros. It is not so. For how can this be true, You leer upon me, do you? there's an eye That you stand forfeit, being those that sue? Wounds like a leaden sword. Berowne. Peace! for I will not have to do with Bovet.
Full merrily you.
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run. Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Berowne. Lo! he is tilting straight. Peace! Berowne. Speak for yourselves : my wit is at I have done. an end.
Enter COSTARD. King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
Welcome, pure wit! thou part'st a fair fray. Some fair excuse.
Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know, Prin.
The fairest is confession. Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no. Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd ? Berowne. What, are there but three? King. Madam, I was.
No, sir; but it is vara fine, Prin.
And were you well advis'd ? For every one pursents three. King. I was, fair madam.
Berowne. And three times thrice is nine. Prin.
When you then were here, Cost. Not so, sir ; under correction, sir, I hope What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
it is not so. King. That more than all the world I did You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir ; respect her.
we know what we know: Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir, reject her,
Is not nine. King. l'pon mine honour, no.
Cost. Under correction, sir, we know wherePrin.
Peace! peace! forbear : until it doth amount. Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear. Berowne. By Jove, I always took three threes King. Despise me, when I break this oath of for nine. mine.
Cost. O Lord, sir! it were pity you should get Prin. I will; and therefore keep it. Rosaline, / your living by reckoning, sir.