Love's Labour's Lost
DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- FERDINAND, King of Navarre
- BEROWNE, Lord attending on the King
- LONGAVILLE, Lord attending on the King
- DUMAINE, Lord attending on the King
- BOYET, Lord attending on the Princess of France
- MARCADE, Lord attending on the Princess of France
- DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard
- SIR NATHANIEL, a Curate
- HOLOFERNES, a Schoolmaster
- DULL, a Constable
- COSTARD, a Clown
- MOTH, Page to Armado
- A FORESTER
- THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE
- ROSALINE, Lady attending on the Princess
- MARIA, Lady attending on the Princess
- KATHARINE, Lady attending on the Princess
- JAQUENETTA, a country wench
- Officers and Others, Attendants on the King and Princess.
- 1 ACT I.
- 2 ACT II.
- 3 ACT III.
- 4 ACT IV.
- 5 ACT V.
[Enter the King, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.]
- Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
- Live regist'red upon our brazen tombs,
- And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
- When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
- The endeavour of this present breath may buy
- That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
- And make us heirs of all eternity.
- Therefore, brave conquerors—for so you are
- That war against your own affections
- And the huge army of the world's desires—
- Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
- Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
- Our court shall be a little academe,
- Still and contemplative in living art.
- You three, Berowne, Dumain, and Longaville,
- Have sworn for three years' term to live with me,
- My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
- That are recorded in this schedule here:
- Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your names,
- That his own hand may strike his honour down
- That violates the smallest branch herein.
- If you are arm'd to do as sworn to do,
- Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
- I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years' fast:
- The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
- Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
- Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
- My loving lord, Dumain is mortified:
- The grosser manner of these world's delights
- He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves;
- To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die,
- With all these living in philosophy.
- I can but say their protestation over;
- So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
- That is, to live and study here three years.
- But there are other strict observances:
- As, not to see a woman in that term,
- Which I hope well is not enrolled there:
- And one day in a week to touch no food,
- And but one meal on every day beside;
- The which I hope is not enrolled there:
- And then to sleep but three hours in the night
- And not be seen to wink of all the day,—
- When I was wont to think no harm all night,
- And make a dark night too of half the day,—
- Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
- O! these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
- Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
- Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
- Let me say no, my liege, an if you please:
- I only swore to study with your Grace,
- And stay here in your court for three years' space.
- You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.
- By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
- What is the end of study? let me know.
- Why, that to know which else we should not know.
- Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?
KING. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.
- Come on, then; I will swear to study so,
- To know the thing I am forbid to know,
- As thus: to study where I well may dine,
- When I to feast expressly am forbid;
- Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
- When mistresses from common sense are hid;
- Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
- Study to break it, and not break my troth.
- If study's gain be thus, and this be so,
- Study knows that which yet it doth not know.
- Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.
- These be the stops that hinder study quite,
- And train our intellects to vain delight.
- Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain
- Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain:
- As painfully to pore upon a book,
- To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
- Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.
- Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile;
- So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
- Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
- Study me how to please the eye indeed,
- By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
- Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
- And give him light that it was blinded by.
- Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
- That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks;
- Small have continual plodders ever won,
- Save base authority from others' books.
- These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
- That give a name to every fixed star
- Have no more profit of their shining nights
- Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
- Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
- And every godfather can give a name.
- How well he's read, to reason against reading!
- Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!
- He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.
- The spring is near, when green geese are a-breeding.
- How follows that?
- Fit in his place and time.
- In reason nothing.
- Something then in rime.
- Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
- That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
- Well, say I am: why should proud summer boast
- Before the birds have any cause to sing?
- Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
- At Christmas I no more desire a rose
- Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
- But like of each thing that in season grows;
- So you, to study now it is too late,
- Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.
- Well, sit out; go home, Berowne; adieu.
- No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you;
- And though I have for barbarism spoke more
- Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
- Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,
- And bide the penance of each three years' day.
- Give me the paper; let me read the same;
- And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.
- How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!
- 'Item. That no woman shall come within a mile of
- my court.'Hath this been proclaimed?
- Four days ago.
- Let's see the penalty. 'On pain of losing her
- tongue.' Who devised this penalty?
- Marry, that did I.
- Sweet lord, and why?
- To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
- A dangerous law against gentility!
- 'Item. If any man be seen to talk with a woman within
- the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the
- rest of the court can possibly devise.'
- This article, my liege, yourself must break;
- For well you know here comes in embassy
- The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak—
- A mild of grace and complete majesty—
- About surrender up of Aquitaine
- To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father:
- Therefore this article is made in vain,
- Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither.
- What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.
- So study evermore is over-shot:
- While it doth study to have what it would,
- It doth forget to do the thing it should;
- And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
- 'Tis won as towns with fire; so won, so lost.
- We must of force dispense with this decree;
- She must lie here on mere necessity.
- Necessity will make us all forsworn
- Three thousand times within this three years' space;
- For every man with his affects is born,
- Not by might master'd, but by special grace.
- If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
- I am forsworn 'on mere necessity.'
- So to the laws at large I write my name; [Subscribes]
- And he that breaks them in the least degree
- Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
- Suggestions are to other as to me;
- But I believe, although I seem so loath,
- I am the last that will last keep his oath.
- But is there no quick recreation granted?
- Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
- With a refined traveller of Spain;
- A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
- That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
- One who the music of his own vain tongue
- Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
- A man of complements, whom right and wrong
- Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
- This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
- For interim to our studies shall relate,
- In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
- From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate.
- How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
- But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,
- And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
- Armado is a most illustrious wight,
- A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
- Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;
- And so to study three years is but short.
[Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD.]
- Which is the duke's own person?
- This, fellow. What wouldst?
- I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his Grace's
- tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
- This is he.
- Signior Arm—Arm—commends you. There's villainy abroad:
- this letter will tell you more.
- Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.
- A letter from the magnificent Armado.
- How long soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
- A high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!
- To hear, or forbear laughing?
- To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or, to
- forbear both.
- Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb
- in the merriness.
- The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.
- The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
- In what manner?
- In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was
- seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with her upon the form,
- and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is in
- manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner,—it is the
- manner of a man to speak to a woman, for the form,—in some form.
- For the following, sir?
- As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!
- Will you hear this letter with attention?
- As we would hear an oracle.
- Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.
- 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent and sole dominator of
- Navarre, my soul's earth's god and body's fostering patron,'
- Not a word of Costard yet.
- 'So it is,'—
- It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling
- true, but so.—
- Be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
- No words!
- Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.
- 'So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I
- did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome
- physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook
- myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts
- most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment
- which is called supper: so much for the time when. Now for the
- ground which; which, I mean, I upon; it is ycleped thy park. Then
- for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene
- and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen
- the ebon-coloured ink which here thou viewest, beholdest,
- surveyest, or seest. But to the place where, it standeth
- north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy
- curious-knotted garden: there did I see that low-spirited swain,
- that base minnow of thy mirth,'—
- 'that unlettered small-knowing soul,'—
- 'that shallow vassal,'—
- Still me.—
- 'which, as I remember, hight Costard,'—
- O me.
- 'sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed
- edict and continent canon, with—with,—O! with but with this I
- passion to say wherewith,'—
- With a wench.
- 'with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or, for thy
- more sweet understanding, a woman. Him, I,—as my ever-esteemed
- duty pricks me on,—have sent to thee, to receive the meed of
- punishment, by thy sweet Grace's officer, Antony Dull, a man of
- good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.'
- Me, an't please you; I am Antony Dull.
- 'For Jaquenetta,—so is the weaker vessel called, which I
- apprehended with the aforesaid swain,—I keep her as a vessel of
- thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice,
- bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and
- heart-burning heat of duty,
- DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.'
- This is not so well as I looked for, but the best that ever I
- Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say you to this?
- Sir, I confess the wench.
- Did you hear the proclamation?
- I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the
- marking of it.
- It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment to be taken with a
- I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damosel.
- Well, it was proclaimed 'damosel'.
- This was no damosel neither, sir; she was a 'virgin'.
- It is so varied too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin'.
- If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.
- This maid not serve your turn, sir.
- This maid will serve my turn, sir.
- Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast a week
- with bran and water.
- I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.
- And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
- My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o'er:
- And go we, lords, to put in practice that
- Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
[Exeunt KING, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.]
- I'll lay my head to any good man's hat
- These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
- Sirrah, come on.
- I suffer for the truth, sir: for true it is I was taken
- with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl; and therefore
- welcome the sour cup of prosperity! Affliction may one day smile
- again; and till then, sit thee down, sorrow!
SCENE II. The park.
[Enter ARMADO and MOTH.]
- Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit grows
- A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
- Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.
- No, no; O Lord, sir, no.
- How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my tender
- By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
- Why tough senior? Why tough senior?
- Why tender juvenal? Why tender juvenal?
- I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton
- appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.
- And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old
- time, which we may name tough.
- Pretty and apt.
- How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or I apt, and
- my saying pretty?
- Thou pretty, because little.
- Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
- And therefore apt, because quick.
- Speak you this in my praise, master?
- In thy condign praise.
- I will praise an eel with the same praise.
- What! That an eel is ingenious?
- That an eel is quick.
- I do say thou art quick in answers: thou heat'st my blood.
- I am answered, sir.
- I love not to be crossed.
- [Aside] He speaks the mere contrary: crosses love not him.
- I have promised to study three years with the duke.
- You may do it in an hour, sir.
- How many is one thrice told?
- I am ill at reck'ning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.
- You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
- I confess both: they are both the varnish of a complete man.
- Then I am sure you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace
- amounts to.
- It doth amount to one more than two.
- Which the base vulgar do call three.
- Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here's three
- studied ere ye'll thrice wink; and how easy it is to put 'years'
- to the word 'three,' and study three years in two words, the
- dancing horse will tell you.
- A most fine figure!
- [Aside] To prove you a cipher.
- I will hereupon confess I am in love; and as it is base for
- a soldier to love, so am I in love with a base wench. If drawing
- my sword against the humour of affection would deliver me from
- the reprobate thought of it, I would take Desire prisoner, and
- ransom him to any French courtier for a new-devised curtsy. I
- think scorn to sigh: methinks I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort
- me, boy: what great men have been in love?
- Hercules, master.
- Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name more;
- and, sweet my child, let them be men of good repute and carriage.
- Samson, master: he was a man of good carriage, great
- carriage, for he carried the town gates on his back like a
- porter; and he was in love.
- O well-knit Samson! strong-jointed Samson! I do excel thee
- in my rapier as much as thou didst me in carrying gates. I am in
- love too. Who was Samson's love, my dear Moth?
- A woman, master.
- Of what complexion?
- Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the
- Tell me precisely of what complexion.
- Of the sea-water green, sir.
- Is that one of the four complexions?
- As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
- Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers; but to have a love
- of that colour, methinks Samson had small reason for it. He
- surely affected her for her wit.
- It was so, sir, for she had a green wit.
- My love is most immaculate white and red.
- Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such
- Define, define, well-educated infant.
- My father's wit my mother's tongue assist me!
- Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty, and pathetical!
- If she be made of white and red,
- Her faults will ne'er be known;
- For blushing cheeks by faults are bred,
- And fears by pale white shown.
- Then if she fear, or be to blame,
- By this you shall not know,
- For still her cheeks possess the same
- Which native she doth owe.
- A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.
- Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?
- The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages
- since; but I think now 'tis not to be found; or if it were, it
- would neither serve for the writing nor the tune.
- I will have that subject newly writ o'er, that I may
- example my digression by some mighty precedent. Boy, I do love
- that country girl that I took in the park with the rational hind
- Costard: she deserves well.
- [Aside] To be whipped; and yet a better love than my master.
- Sing, boy: my spirit grows heavy in love.
- And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
- I say, sing.
- Forbear till this company be past.
[Enter DULL, COSTARD, and JAQUENETTA.]
- Sir, the Duke's pleasure is, that you keep Costard safe: and
- you must suffer him to take no delight nor no penance; but a'
- must fast three days a week. For this damsel, I must keep her at
- the park; she is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well.
- I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
- I will visit thee at the lodge.
- That's hereby.
- I know where it is situate.
- Lord, how wise you are!
- I will tell thee wonders.
- With that face?
- I love thee.
- So I heard you say.
- And so, farewell.
- Fair weather after you!
- Come, Jaquenetta, away!
[Exit with JAQUENETTA.]
- Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou be
- Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on a full
- Thou shalt be heavily punished.
- I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but
- lightly rewarded.
- Take away this villain: shut him up.
- Come, you transgressing slave: away!
- Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, being loose.
- No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
- Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I
- have seen, some shall see—
- What shall some see?
- Nay, nothing, Master Moth, but what they look upon. It is
- not for prisoners to be too silent in their words, and therefore
- I will say nothing. I thank God I have as little patience as
- another man, and therefore I can be quiet.
[Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD.]
- I do affect the very ground, which is base, where her shoe,
- which is baser, guided by her foot, which is basest, doth tread.
- I shall be forsworn,—which is a great argument of falsehood,—if
- I love. And how can that be true love which is falsely attempted?
- Love is a familiar; Love is a devil; there is no evil angel but
- Love. Yet was Samson so tempted, and he had an excellent
- strength; yet was Solomon so seduced, and he had a very good wit.
- Cupid's butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules' club, and therefore
- too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier. The first and second cause
- will not serve my turn; the passado he respects not, the duello
- he regards not; his disgrace is to be called boy, but his glory
- is to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust, rapier! be still, drum!
- for your manager is in love; yea, he loveth. Assist me, some
- extemporal god of rime, for I am sure I shall turn sonneter.
- Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.
[Enter the PRINCESS OF FRANCE, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, LORDS, and other Attendants.]
- Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits:
- Consider who the king your father sends,
- To whom he sends, and what's his embassy:
- Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem,
- To parley with the sole inheritor
- Of all perfections that a man may owe,
- Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
- Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
- Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
- As Nature was in making graces dear
- When she did starve the general world beside,
- And prodigally gave them all to you.
- Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
- Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
- Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
- Not utt'red by base sale of chapmen's tongues.
- I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
- Than you much willing to be counted wise
- In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
- But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
- You are not ignorant, all-telling fame
- Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow,
- Till painful study shall outwear three years,
- No woman may approach his silent court:
- Therefore to's seemeth it a needful course,
- Before we enter his forbidden gates,
- To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
- Bold of your worthiness, we single you
- As our best-moving fair solicitor.
- Tell him the daughter of the King of France,
- On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
- Importunes personal conference with his Grace.
- Haste, signify so much; while we attend,
- Like humble-visag'd suitors, his high will.
- Proud of employment, willingly I go.
- All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
- Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
- That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
- Lord Longaville is one.
- Know you the man?
- I know him, madam: at a marriage feast,
- Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
- Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized
- In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
- A man of sovereign parts, he is esteem'd,
- Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms:
- Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
- The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss,—
- If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,—
- Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a will;
- Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
- It should none spare that come within his power.
- Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so?
- They say so most that most his humours know.
- Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow.
- Who are the rest?
- The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd youth,
- Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd;
- Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill,
- For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
- And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
- I saw him at the Duke Alencon's once;
- And much too little of that good I saw
- Is my report to his great worthiness.
- Another of these students at that time
- Was there with him, if I have heard a truth:
- Berowne they call him; but a merrier man,
- Within the limit of becoming mirth,
- I never spent an hour's talk withal.
- His eye begets occasion for his wit,
- For every object that the one doth catch
- The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
- Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor,
- Delivers in such apt and gracious words
- That aged ears play truant at his tales,
- And younger hearings are quite ravished;
- So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
- God bless my ladies! Are they all in love,
- That every one her own hath garnished
- With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
- Here comes Boyet.
- Now, what admittance, lord?
- Navarre had notice of your fair approach,
- And he and his competitors in oath
- Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady,
- Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt;
- He rather means to lodge you in the field,
- Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
- Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
- To let you enter his unpeeled house.
- Here comes Navarre.
[The LADIES mask.]
[Enter KING, LONGAVILLE, DUMAINE, BEROWNE, and ATTENDANTS.]
- Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
- 'Fair' I give you back again; and 'welcome' I have not yet: the
- roof of this court is too high to be yours, and welcome to the
- wide fields too base to be mine.
- You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
- I will be welcome then: conduct me thither.
- Hear me, dear lady; I have sworn an oath.
- Our Lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn.
- Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
- Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing else.
- Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.
- Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
- Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
- I hear your Grace hath sworn out house-keeping:
- 'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
- And sin to break it.
- But pardon me, I am too sudden bold:
- To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
- Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
- And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
[Gives a paper.]
- Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
- You will the sooner that I were away,
- For you'll prove perjur'd if you make me stay.
- Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
- Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
- I know you did.
- How needless was it then
- To ask the question!
- You must not be so quick.
- 'Tis long of you, that spur me with such questions.
- Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.
- Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
- What time o' day?
- The hour that fools should ask.
- Now fair befall your mask!
- Fair fall the face it covers!
- And send you many lovers!
- Amen, so you be none.
- Nay, then will I be gone.
- Madam, your father here doth intimate
- The payment of a hundred thousand crowns;
- Being but the one half of an entire sum
- Disbursed by my father in his wars.
- But say that he or we,—as neither have,—
- Receiv'd that sum, yet there remains unpaid
- A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which,
- One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
- Although not valued to the money's worth.
- If then the King your father will restore
- But that one half which is unsatisfied,
- We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
- And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
- But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
- For here he doth demand to have repaid
- A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
- On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
- To have his title live in Aquitaine;
- Which we much rather had depart withal,
- And have the money by our father lent,
- Than Aquitaine so gelded as it is.
- Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
- From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
- A yielding 'gainst some reason in my breast,
- And go well satisfied to France again.
- You do the king my father too much wrong,
- And wrong the reputation of your name,
- In so unseeming to confess receipt
- Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.
- I do protest I never heard of it;
- And, if you prove it, I'll repay it back
- Or yield up Aquitaine.
- We arrest your word.
- Boyet, you can produce acquittances
- For such a sum from special officers
- Of Charles his father.
- Satisfy me so.
- So please your Grace, the packet is not come,
- Where that and other specialties are bound:
- To-morrow you shall have a sight of them.
- It shall suffice me; at which interview
- All liberal reason I will yield unto.
- Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
- As honour, without breach of honour, may
- Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
- You may not come, fair Princess, in my gates;
- But here without you shall be so receiv'd
- As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart,
- Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
- Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell:
- To-morrow shall we visit you again.
- Sweet health and fair desires consort your Grace!
- Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.
[Exeunt KING and his Train.]
- Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.
- Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.
- I would you heard it groan.
- Is the fool sick?
- Sick at the heart.
- Alack! let it blood.
- Would that do it good?
- My physic says 'ay.'
- Will you prick't with your eye?
- No point, with my knife.
- Now, God save thy life!
- And yours from long living!
- I cannot stay thanksgiving.
- Sir, I pray you, a word: what lady is that same?
- The heir of Alencon, Katharine her name.
- A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well.
- I beseech you a word: what is she in the white?
- A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.
- Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
- She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a shame.
- Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
- Her mother's, I have heard.
- God's blessing on your beard!
- Good sir, be not offended.
- She is an heir of Falconbridge.
- Nay, my choler is ended.
- She is a most sweet lady.
- Not unlike, sir; that may be.
- What's her name in the cap?
- Rosaline, by good hap.
- Is she wedded or no?
- To her will, sir, or so.
- You are welcome, sir. Adieu!
- Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
[Exit BEROWNE.—LADIES unmask.]
- That last is Berowne, the merry mad-cap lord;
- Not a word with him but a jest.
- And every jest but a word.
- It was well done of you to take him at his word.
- I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.
- Two hot sheeps, marry!
- And wherefore not ships?
- No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
- You sheep and I pasture: shall that finish the jest?
- So you grant pasture for me.
[Offering to kiss her.]
- Not so, gentle beast.
- My lips are no common, though several they be.
- Belonging to whom?
- To my fortunes and me.
- Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree;
- This civil war of wits were much better us'd
- On Navarre and his book-men, for here 'tis abus'd.
- If my observation,—which very seldom lies,
- By the heart's still rhetoric disclosed with eyes,
- Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
- With what?
- With that which we lovers entitle affected.
- Your reason.
- Why, all his behaviours did make their retire
- To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire;
- His heart, like an agate, with your print impress'd,
- Proud with his form, in his eye pride express'd;
- His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
- Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
- All senses to that sense did make their repair,
- To feel only looking on fairest of fair.
- Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
- As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
- Who, tend'ring their own worth from where they were glass'd,
- Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd.
- His face's own margent did quote such amazes
- That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
- I'll give you Aquitaine, and all that is his,
- An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
- Come, to our pavilion: Boyet is dispos'd.
- But to speak that in words which his eye hath disclos'd.
- I only have made a mouth of his eye,
- By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
- Thou art an old love-monger, and speak'st skilfully.
- He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns news of him.
- Then was Venus like her mother; for her father is but grim.
- Do you hear, my mad wenches?
- What, then, do you see?
- Ay, our way to be gone.
- You are too hard for me.
[Enter ARMADO and MOTH.]
- Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.
- Sweet air! Go, tenderness of years; take this key, give
- enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately hither; I must
- employ him in a letter to my love.
- Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?
- How meanest thou? brawling in French?
- No, my complete master; but to jig off a tune at the tongue's
- end, canary to it with your feet, humour it with turning up your
- eyelids, sigh a note and sing a note, sometime through the
- throat, as if you swallowed love with singing love, sometime
- through the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling love;
- with your hat penthouse-like o'er the shop of your eyes, with
- your arms crossed on your thin-belly doublet, like a rabbit on a
- spit; or your hands in your pocket, like a man after the old
- painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away.
- These are complements, these are humours; these betray nice
- wenches, that would be betrayed without these; and make them men
- of note,—do you note me?—that most are affected to these.
- How hast thou purchased this experience?
- By my penny of observation.
- But O—but O,—
- 'The hobby-horse is forgot.'
- Call'st thou my love 'hobby-horse'?
- No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your love
- perhaps, a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
- Almost I had.
- Negligent student! learn her by heart.
- By heart and in heart, boy.
- And out of heart, master: all those three I will prove.
- What wilt thou prove?
- A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, upon the
- instant: by heart you love her, because your heart cannot come by
- her; in heart you love her, because your heart is in love with
- her; and out of heart you love her, being out of heart that you
- cannot enjoy her.
- I am all these three.
- And three times as much more, and yet nothing at all.
- Fetch hither the swain: he must carry me a letter.
- A message well sympathized; a horse to be ambassador for an
- Ha, ha! what sayest thou?
- Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse, for he is
- very slow-gaited. But I go.
- The way is but short: away!
- As swift as lead, sir.
- The meaning, pretty ingenious?
- Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?
- Minime, honest master; or rather, master, no.
- I say lead is slow.
- You are too swift, sir, to say so:
- Is that lead slow which is fir'd from a gun?
- Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
- He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he;
- I shoot thee at the swain.
- Thump then, and I flee.
- A most acute juvenal; volable and free of grace!
- By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face:
- Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place.
- My herald is return'd.
[Re-enter MOTH with COSTARD.]
- A wonder, master! here's a costard broken in a shin.
- Some enigma, some riddle: come, thy l'envoy; begin.
- No egma, no riddle, no l'envoy; no salve in the mail, sir.
- O! sir, plantain, a plain plantain; no l'envoy, no l'envoy; no
- salve, sir, but a plantain.
- By virtue thou enforcest laughter; thy silly thought, my
- spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes me to ridiculous
- smiling: O! pardon me, my stars. Doth the inconsiderate take
- salve for l'envoy, and the word l'envoy for a salve?
- Do the wise think them other? Is not l'envoy a salve?
- No, page: it is an epilogue or discourse to make plain
- Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
- I will example it:
- The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
- Were still at odds, being but three.
- There's the moral. Now the l'envoy.
- I will add the l'envoy. Say the moral again.
- The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
- Were still at odds, being but three.
- Until the goose came out of door,
- And stay'd the odds by adding four.
- Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with my l'envoy.
- The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
- Were still at odds, being but three.
- Until the goose came out of door,
- Staying the odds by adding four.
- A good l'envoy, ending in the goose; would you desire more?
- The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that's flat.
- Sir, your pennyworth is good an your goose be fat.
- To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and loose:
- Let me see: a fat l'envoy; ay, that's a fat goose.
- Come hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?
- By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
- Then call'd you for the l'envoy.
- True, and I for a plantain: thus came your argument in;
- Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought;
- And he ended the market.
- But tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?
- I will tell you sensibly.
- Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth: I will speak that
- I, Costard, running out, that was safely within,
- Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
- We will talk no more of this matter.
- Till there be more matter in the shin.
- Sirrah Costard. I will enfranchise thee.
- O! marry me to one Frances: I smell some l'envoy, some
- goose, in this.
- By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,
- enfreedoming thy person: thou wert immured, restrained,
- captivated, bound.
- True, true; and now you will be my purgation, and let me
- I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and, in
- lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this:—[Giving a
- letter.] Bear this significant to the country maid Jaquenetta.
- [Giving money.] there is remuneration; for the best ward of mine
- honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.
- Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
- My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony Jew!
- Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration! O! that's the
- Latin word for three farthings: three farthings, remuneration.
- 'What's the price of this inkle?' 'One penny.' 'No, I'll give
- you a remuneration.' Why, it carries it. Remuneration! Why, it is
- a fairer name than French crown. I will never buy and sell out of
- this word.
- O! My good knave Costard, exceedingly well met.
- Pray you, sir, how much carnation riband may a man buy for
- a remuneration?
- What is a remuneration?
- Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
- Why, then, three-farthing worth of silk.
- I thank your worship. God be wi' you!
- Stay, slave; I must employ thee:
- As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave,
- Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
- When would you have it done, sir?
- O, this afternoon.
- Well, I will do it, sir! fare you well.
- O, thou knowest not what it is.
- I shall know, sir, when I have done it.
- Why, villain, thou must know first.
- I will come to your worship to-morrow morning.
- It must be done this afternoon. Hark, slave, it is but this:
- The princess comes to hunt here in the park,
- And in her train there is a gentle lady;
- When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
- And Rosaline they call her: ask for her
- And to her white hand see thou do commend
- This seal'd-up counsel.
[Gives him a shilling.]
- There's thy guerdon: go.
- Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration; a
- 'leven-pence farthing better; most sweet gardon! I will do it,
- sir, in print. Gardon- remuneration!
- And I,—
- Forsooth, in love; I, that have been love's whip;
- A very beadle to a humorous sigh;
- A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;
- A domineering pedant o'er the boy,
- Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
- This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
- This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
- Regent of love-rimes, lord of folded arms,
- The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
- Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
- Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
- Sole imperator, and great general
- Of trotting 'paritors: O my little heart!
- And I to be a corporal of his field,
- And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!
- What! I love! I sue, I seek a wife!
- A woman, that is like a German clock,
- Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
- And never going aright, being a watch,
- But being watch'd that it may still go right!
- Nay, to be perjur'd, which is worst of all;
- And, among three, to love the worst of all,
- A wightly wanton with a velvet brow,
- With two pitch balls stuck in her face for eyes;
- Ay, and, by heaven, one that will do the deed,
- Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard:
- And I to sigh for her! to watch for her!
- To pray for her! Go to; it is a plague
- That Cupid will impose for my neglect
- Of his almighty dreadful little might.
- Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, and groan:
- Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.
[Enter the PRINCESS, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, LORDS, ATTENDANTS, and a FORESTER.
- Was that the King that spurr'd his horse so hard
- Against the steep uprising of the hill?
- I know not; but I think it was not he.
- Whoe'er a' was, a' show'd a mounting mind.
- Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch;
- On Saturday we will return to France.
- Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
- That we must stand and play the murderer in?
- Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
- A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
- I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
- And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot.
- Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
- What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
- O short-liv'd pride! Not fair? Alack for woe!
- Yes, madam, fair.
- Nay, never paint me now;
- Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
- Here, good my glass [Gives money]:—take this for telling true:
Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
- Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
- See, see! my beauty will be sav'd by merit.
- O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
- A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
- But come, the bow: now mercy goes to kill,
- And shooting well is then accounted ill.
- Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
- Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
- If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
- That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
- And out of question so it is sometimes,
- Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
- When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
- We bend to that the working of the heart;
- As I for praise alone now seek to spill
- The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.
- Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
- Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be
- Lords o'er their lords?
- Only for praise; and praise we may afford
- To any lady that subdues a lord.
- Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
- God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?
- Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.
- Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
- The thickest and the tallest.
- The thickest and the tallest! It is so; truth is truth.
- An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
- One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
- Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest here.
- What's your will, sir? What's your will?
- I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one Lady Rosaline.
- O! thy letter, thy letter; he's a good friend of mine.
- Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve;
- Break up this capon.
- I am bound to serve.
- This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
- It is writ to Jaquenetta.
- We will read it, I swear.
- Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.
- 'By heaven, that thou art fair is most infallible;
- true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that thou art
- lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer
- than truth itself, have commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The
- magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set eye upon the
- pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon, and he it was that
- might rightly say, Veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize in
- the vulgar— O base and obscure vulgar!—videlicet, he came, saw,
- and overcame: he came, one; saw, two; overcame, three. Who came?
- the king: Why did he come? to see: Why did he see? to overcome:
- To whom came he? to the beggar: What saw he? the beggar. Who
- overcame he? the beggar. The conclusion is victory; on whose
- side? the king's; the captive is enriched: on whose side? the
- beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial: on whose side? the
- king's, no, on both in one, or one in both. I am the king, for so
- stands the comparison; thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy
- lowliness. Shall I command thy love? I may: Shall I enforce thy
- love? I could: Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou
- exchange for rags? robes; for tittles? titles; for thyself?
- -me. Thus, expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot, my
- eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every part.
- Thine in the dearest design of industry,
- DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.
- 'Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
- 'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey;
- Submissive fall his princely feet before,
- And he from forage will incline to play.
- But if thou strive, poor soul, what are thou then?
- Food for his rage, repasture for his den.'
- What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
- What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?
- I am much deceiv'd but I remember the style.
- Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.
- This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
- A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
- To the Prince and his book-mates.
- Thou fellow, a word.
- Who gave thee this letter?
- I told you; my lord.
- To whom shouldst thou give it?
- From my lord to my lady.
- From which lord to which lady?
- From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
- To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.
- Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
- Here, sweet, put up this: 'twill be thine another day.
[Exeunt PRINCESS and TRAIN.]
- Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?
- Shall I teach you to know?
- Ay, my continent of beauty.
- Why, she that bears the bow.
- Finely put off!
- My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
- Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
- Finely put on!
- Well then, I am the shooter.
- And who is your deer?
- If we choose by the horns, yourself: come not near.
- Finely put on indeed!
- You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the
- But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?
- Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man
- when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit
- So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when
- Queen Guinever of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit
- Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
- Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
- An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
- An I cannot, another can.
[Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE.]
- By my troth, most pleasant: how both did fit it!
- A mark marvellous well shot; for they both did hit it.
- A mark! O! mark but that mark; A mark, says my lady!
- Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.
- Wide o' the bow-hand! I' faith, your hand is out.
- Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.
- An' if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
- Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.
- Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.
- She's too hard for you at pricks, sir; challenge her to bowl.
- I fear too much rubbing. Good-night, my good owl.
[Exeunt BOYET and MARIA.]
- By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown!
- Lord, Lord! how the ladies and I have put him down!
- O' my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit!
- When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were, so fit.
- Armado, o' the one side, O! a most dainty man!
- To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
- To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a' will swear!
- And his page o' t'other side, that handful of wit!
- Ah! heavens, it is a most pathetical nit.
- [Shouting within.] Sola, sola!
SCENE II. The same.
Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL.
- Very reverent sport, truly; and done in the testimony of
- a good conscience.
- The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in blood; ripe as
- the pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of caelo,
- the sky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth like a crab on
- the face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.
- Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly
- varied, like a scholar at the least: but, sir, I assure ye it was
- a buck of the first head.
- Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
- Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.
- Most barbarous intimation! yet a kind of insinuation,
- as it were, in via, in way, of explication; facere, as it were,
- replication, or rather, ostentare, to show, as it were, his
- inclination,—after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated,
- unpruned, untrained, or rather, unlettered, or ratherest,
- unconfirmed fashion,—to insert again my haud credo for a deer.
- I sthe deer was not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.
- Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus!
- O! thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!
- Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred of a book;
- he hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk ink: his
- intellect is not replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible
- in the duller parts:
- And such barren plants are set before us that we thankful should
- Which we of taste and feeling are, for those parts that do
- fructify in us more than he;
- For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool,
- So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school.
- But, omne bene, say I; being of an old Father's mind:
- Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
- You two are book-men: can you tell me by your wit,
- What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not five weeks old
- as yet?
- Dictynna, goodman Dull; Dictynna, goodman Dull.
- What is Dictynna?
- A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
- The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
- And raught not to five weeks when he came to five-score.
- The allusion holds in the exchange.
- 'Tis true, indeed; the collusion holds in the exchange.
- God comfort thy capacity! I say, the allusion holds in
- the exchange.
- And I say the pollusion holds in the exchange, for the moon is
- never but a month old; and I say beside that 'twas a pricket
- that the Princess killed.
- Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death
- of the deer? And, to humour the ignorant, I have call'd the deer
- the Princess killed, a pricket.
- Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge; so it shall please
- you to abrogate scurrility.
- I will something affect the letter; for it argues facility.
- The preyful Princess pierc'd and prick'd a pretty pleasing
- Some say a sore; but not a sore till now made sore with
- The dogs did yell; put L to sore, then sorel jumps from thicket-
- Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
- If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores one sorel!
- Of one sore I an hundred make, by adding but one more L.
- A rare talent!
- [Aside] If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a
- This is a gift that I have, simple, simple; a foolish
- extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, shapes, objects,
- ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions: these are begot in
- the ventricle of memory, nourished in the womb of pia mater, and
- delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But the gift is good in
- those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful for it.
- Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may my parishioners; for
- their sons are well tutored by you, and their daughters profit
- very greatly under you: you are a good member of the
- Mehercle! if their sons be ingenious, they shall want no
- instruction; if their daughters be capable, I will put it to
- them; but, vir sapit qui pauca loquitur. A soul feminine saluteth
[Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD.]
- God give you good morrow, Master parson.
- Master parson, quasi pers-on. And if one should be
- pierced, which is the one?
- Marry, Master schoolmaster, he that is likest to a hogshead.
- Piercing a hogshead! A good lustre or conceit in a turf
- of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough for a swine; 'tis
- pretty; it is well.
- Good Master parson [Giving a letter to NATHANIEL.], be so good as
- read me this letter: it was given me by Costard, and sent me from
- Don Armado: I beseech you read it.
- 'Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra Ruminat,'
- and so forth. Ah! good old Mantuan. I may speak of thee as
- the traveller doth of Venice:
- —Venetia, Venetia,
- Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.
- Old Mantuan! old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not,
- loves thee not. Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa. Under pardon, sir, what
- are the contents? or rather as Horace says in his— What, my
- soul, verses?
- Ay, sir, and very learned.
- Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.
- If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
- 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 bowed.
- Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes,
- Where all those pleasures live that art would comprehend:
- If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice.
- Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend;
- All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
- Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire.
- Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
- Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
- Celestial as thou art, O! pardon love this wrong,
- That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.
- 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?
- Ay, sir; from one Monsieur Berowne, one of the strange
- queen's lords.
- 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.
- Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!
- Have with thee, my girl.
[Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA.]
- Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously;
- and, as a certain Father saith—
- Sir, tell not me of the Father; I do fear colourable colours. But
- to return to the verses: did they please you, Sir Nathaniel?
- Marvellous well for the pen.
- I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupil of
- mine; where, if, before repast, it shall please you to gratify
- the table with a grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the
- parents of the foresaid child or pupil, undertake your ben
- venuto; where I will prove those verses to be very unlearned,
- neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention. I beseech your
- And thank you too; for society,—saith the text,—is the
- happiness of life.
- And certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.
- [To DULL] Sir, I do invite you too; you shall not say me nay:
- pauca verba. Away! the gentles are at their game, and we will to
- our recreation.
SCENE III. The same.
[Enter BEROWNE, with a paper.]
- The king he is hunting the deer: I am coursing myself: they have
- pitched a toil: I am tolling in a pitch,—pitch that defiles:
- defile! a foul word! Well, sit thee down, sorrow! for
- so they say the fool said, and so say I, and I am 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 eye, I would not love her; yes,
- for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and
- lie 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 rhyme, 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.]
- Ay me!
- Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid; thou hast thumped
- him with thy bird-bolt under the left pap. In faith, secrets!
- 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
- 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,
- And they thy glory through my grief will show:
- But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
- My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
- O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel
- No thought can think nor tongue of mortal tell.
How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper:
- Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
- [Steps aside.]
- What, Longaville! and reading! Listen, ear.
- [Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper.]
- Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
- Ay me! I am forsworn.
- Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.
- In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!
- One drunkard loves another of the name.
- Am I the first that have been perjur'd so?
- I could put thee in comfort: not by two that I know;
- Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
- The shape of love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.
- 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.
- 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 is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity;
- A green goose a goddess; pure, pure idolatry.
- God amend us, God amend! We are much out o' the way.
- By whom shall I send this?—Company! Stay.
- All hid, all hid; an old infant play.
- Like a demigod here sit I in the sky,
- And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye.
- More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish.
[Enter DUMAINE, with a paper.]
- Dumain transformed: four woodcocks in a dish!
- O most divine Kate!
- O most profane coxcomb!
- By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!
- By earth, she is but corporal; there you lie.
- Her amber hairs for foul hath amber quoted.
- An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.
- As upright as the cedar.
- Stoop, I say;
- Her shoulder is with child.
- As fair as day.
- Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.
- O! that I had my wish.
- And I had mine!
- And I mine too, good Lord!
- Amen, so I had mine. Is not that a good word?
- I would forget her; but a fever she
- Reigns in my blood, and will remember'd be.
- A fever in your blood! Why, then incision
- Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision!
- Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.
- Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.
- 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 Ethiope were;
- And deny himself for Jove,
- Turning mortal for thy love.
- 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;
- For none offend where all alike do dote.
- [Advancing.] Dumain, thy love is far from charity,
- That in love's grief desir'st society;
- You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
- To be o'erheard and taken napping so.
- [Advancing.] Come, sir, you blush; as his, your case is such.
- You chide at him, offending twice as much:
- 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,
- And mark'd you both, and for you both did blush.
- 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;
- One, her hairs were gold; crystal the other's eyes:
- [To LONGAVILLE] You would for paradise break faith and troth;
- [To DUMAIN] And Jove, for your love would infringe an oath.
- What will Berowne say when that he shall hear
- 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.
- 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?
- You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
- But I a beam do find in each 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 caudle, ho!
- Too bitter is thy jest.
- Are we betrayed thus to thy over-view?
- Not you by 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 betrayed by keeping company
- With men like men, 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?
- I post from love; good lover, let me go.
[Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD.]
- God bless the king!
- What present hast thou there?
- Some certain treason.
- What makes treason here?
- Nay, it makes nothing, sir.
- If it mar nothing neither,
- The treason and you go in peace away together.
- I beseech your Grace, let this letter be read;
- Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.
- Berowne, read it over.
[Giving the letter to him.]
- Where hadst thou it?
- Of Costard.
- Where hadst thou it?
- Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
[BEROWNE tears the letter.]
- How now! What is in you? Why dost thou tear it?
- A toy, my liege, a toy: your Grace needs not fear it.
- It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.
- [Picking up the pieces.]
- It is Berowne's writing, and here is his name.
- [To COSTARD.] Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born
- to do me shame.
- Guilty, my lord, guilty; I confess, I confess.
- 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.
- Now the number is even.
- True, true, we are four.
- Will these turtles be gone?
- Hence, sirs; away!
- Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
[Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA.]
- Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O! let us embrace!
- As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
- The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
- Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
- We cannot cross the cause why we were born,
- Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
- What! did these rent lines show some love of thine?
- 'Did they?' quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline
- That, like a rude and savage man of Inde
- At the first op'ning of the gorgeous east,
- Bows not his vassal head and, strucken blind,
- Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
- What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
- Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
- That is not blinded by her majesty?
- What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee now?
- My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
- She, an attending star, scarce seen a light.
- My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
- O! but for my love, day would turn to night.
- Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty
- Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek,
- Where several worthies make one dignity,
- Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
- Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,—
- Fie, painted rhetoric! O! she needs it not:
- To things of sale a seller's praise belongs;
- She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
- 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!
- By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
- Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
- A wife of such wood were felicity.
- O! who can give an oath? Where is a book?
- 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.
- O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
- The hue of dungeons, and the school of night;
- And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.
- 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.
- To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.
- And since her time are colliers counted bright.
- And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.
- Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
- Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
- For fear their colours should be wash'd away.
- 'Twere good yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
- I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.
- I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.
- No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
- I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
- Look, here's thy love:
[Showing his shoe.]
- my foot and her face see.
- O! if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
- Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.
- O vile! Then, as she goes, what upward lies
- The street should see as she walk'd over head.
- But what of this? Are we not all in love?
- Nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn.
- Then leave this chat; and, good Berowne, now prove
- Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
- Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil.
- O! some authority how to proceed;
- Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
- Some salve for perjury.
- O, '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 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
- 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 fire.
- Why, universal plodding poisons 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 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
- 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;
- 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 taste.
- 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 I 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,
- 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?
- Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!
- Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;
- Pell-mell, down with them! be first advis'd,
- In conflict that you get the sun of them.
- Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
- Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
- And win them too; therefore let us devise
- Some entertainment for them in their tents.
- 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.
- Away, away! No time shall be omitted,
- That will betime, and may by us be fitted.
- Allons! allons! Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;
- And justice always whirls in equal measure:
- Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
- If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
[Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL.]
- Satis quod sufficit.
- I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner have
- been sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty
- without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without
- opinion, and strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam
- day with a companion of the king's who is intituled, nominated,
- or called, Don Adriano de Armado.
- Novi hominem tanquam te: his humour is lofty, his
- discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his
- gait majestical and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and
- thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd,
- as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.
- A most singular and choice epithet.
[Draws out his table-book.]
- 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.
- Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
- Bone? bone for bene: Priscian a little scratch'd; 'twill serve.
[Enter ARMADO, MOTH, and COSTARD.]
- Videsne quis venit?
- Video, et gaudeo.
- [To MOTH] Chirrah!
- Quare chirrah, not sirrah?
- Men of peace, well encountered.
- Most military sir, salutation.
- [Aside to COSTARD.] They have been at a great feast of
- languages and stolen the scraps.
- O! they have lived long on the alms-basket of words. I
- marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word, for thou are
- not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus; thou art
- easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.
- Peace! the peal begins.
- [To HOLOFERNES.] Monsieur, are you not lettered?
- Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a, b, spelt
- backward with the horn on his head?
- Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
- Ba! most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his learning.
- Quis, quis, thou consonant?
- The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the
- fifth, if I.
- I will repeat them,—a, e, i,—
- The sheep; the other two concludes it,—o, u.
- Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch,
- a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick and home! It rejoiceth my
- intellect: true wit!
- Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.
- What is the figure? What is the figure?
- Thou disputes like an infant; go, whip thy gig.
- Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about your
- infamy circum circa. A gig of a cuckold's horn.
- An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it
- to buy gingerbread. Hold, there is the very remuneration I had
- of thy master, thou half-penny 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 wouldst thou make me. Go to;
- thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they say.
- O, I smell false Latin! 'dunghill' for unguem.
- Arts-man, praeambula; we will be singled from the barbarous. Do
- you not educate youth at the charge-house on the top of the
- Or mons, the hill.
- At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
- I do, sans question.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 courtsy; 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 antic, or firework. 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.
- Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies. Sir
- Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some
- show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by our
- assistance, 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.
- Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?
- Joshua, yourself; myself, Alexander; this gallant
- gentleman, Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
- limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the page, Hercules,—
- Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for that
- Worthy's thumb; he is not so big as the end of his club.
- Shall I have audience? He shall present Hercules in minority: his
- enter and exit shall be strangling a snake; and I will have an
- apology for that purpose.
- An excellent device! So, if any of the audience hiss, you may
- cry 'Well done, Hercules; now thou crushest the snake!' That is
- the way to make an offence gracious, though few have the grace to
- do it.
- For the rest of the Worthies?—
- I will play three myself.
- Thrice-worthy gentleman!
- Shall I tell you a thing?
- We attend.
- We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. I beseech you,
- Via, goodman Dull! Thou has spoken no word all this while.
- Nor understood none neither, sir.
- Allons! we will employ thee.
- I'll make one in a dance, or so, or I will play on the tabor to
- the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.
- Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away.
SCENE II. The same. Before the Princess's pavilion.
[Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE and MARIA.]
- Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
- If fairings come thus plentifully in.
- A lady wall'd about with diamonds!
- Look you what I have from the loving king.
- Madam, came nothing else along with that?
- Nothing but this! Yes, as much love in rime
- As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper
- Writ o' both sides the leaf, margent and all,
- That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.
- That was the way to make his godhead wax;
- For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
- Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.
- You'll ne'er be friends with him: a' kill'd your sister.
- He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy;
- And so she died: had she been light, like you,
- Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
- She might ha' been a grandam ere she died;
- And so may you, for a light heart lives long.
- What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?
- A light condition in a beauty dark.
- We need more light to find your meaning out.
- You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
- Therefore I'll darkly end the argument.
- Look what you do, you do it still i' the dark.
- So do not you; for you are a light wench.
- Indeed, I weigh not you; and therefore light.
- You weigh me not? O! that's you care not for me.
- Great reason; for 'past cure is still past care.'
- Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd.
- But, Rosaline, you have a favour too:
- Who sent it? and what is it?
- I would you knew.
- An if my face were but as fair as yours,
- My favour were as great: be witness this.
- Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne;
- The numbers true, and, were the numbering too,
- I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
- I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs.
- O! he hath drawn my picture in his letter.
- Anything like?
- Much in the letters; nothing in the praise.
- Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.
- Fair as a text B in a copy-book.
- 'Ware pencils! how! let me not die your debtor,
- My red dominical, my golden letter:
- O, that your face were not so full of O's!
- A pox of that jest! and beshrew all shrows!
- But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumaine?
- Madam, this glove.
- Did he not send you twain?
- Yes, madam; and, moreover,
- Some thousand verses of a faithful lover;
- A huge translation of hypocrisy,
- Vilely compil'd, profound simplicity.
- This, and these pearl, to me sent Longaville;
- The letter is too long by half a mile.
- I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart
- The chain were longer and the letter short?
- Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
- We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
- They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
- That same Berowne I'll torture ere I go.
- O that I knew he were but in by th' week!
- How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek,
- And wait the season, and observe the times,
- And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rimes,
- And shape his service wholly to my hests,
- And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
- So perttaunt-like would I o'ersway his state
- That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
- None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,
- As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
- Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school
- And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.
- The blood of youth burns not with such excess
- As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
- Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
- As fool'ry in the wise when wit doth dote;
- Since all the power thereof it doth apply
- To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.
- Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
- O! I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her Grace?
- Thy news, Boyet?
- Prepare, madam, prepare!—
- Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are
- Against your peace: Love doth approach disguis'd,
- Armed in arguments; you'll be surpris'd:
- Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
- Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.
- Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they
- That charge their breath against us? Say, scout, say.
- 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.
- One rubb'd his elbow, thus, and fleer'd, and swore
- A better speech was never spoke before.
- Another with his finger and his thumb
- Cried 'Via! we will do't, come what will come.'
- The third he caper'd, and cried 'All goes well.'
- The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
- With that they all did tumble on the ground,
- With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
- That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
- To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.
- But what, but what, come they to visit us?
- They do, they do, and are apparell'd thus,
- Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
- Their purpose is to parley, court, and dance;
- And every one his love-feat will advance
- Unto his several mistress; which they'll know
- By favours several which they did bestow.
- And will they so? The gallants shall be task'd:
- For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
- And not a man of them shall have the grace,
- Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.
- Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
- And then the king will court thee for his dear;
- Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine,
- So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline.
- And change you favours too; so shall your loves
- Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.
- Come on, then, wear the favours most in sight.
- But, in this changing, what is your intent?
- The effect of my intent is to cross theirs;
- They do it but in mocking merriment;
- And mock for mock is only my intent.
- Their several counsels they unbosom shall
- To loves mistook, and so be mock'd withal
- Upon the next occasion that we meet
- With visages display'd to talk and greet.
- But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
- No, to the death, we will not move a foot,
- Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace;
- But while 'tis spoke each turn away her face.
- Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart,
- And quite divorce his memory from his part.
- Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt
- The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out.
- There's no such sport as sport by sport o'erthrown,
- To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own:
- So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
- And they well mock'd, depart away with shame.
[Trumpet sounds within.]
- The trumpet sounds: be mask'd; the maskers come.
[The LADIES mask.]
[Enter BLACKAMOORS with music; MOTH, the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE in Russian habits, and masked.]
- 'All hail, the richest heauties on the earth!'
- Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.
- 'A holy parcel of the fairest dames
[The LADIES turn their backs to him.]
- That ever turn'd their—backs—to mortal views!
- 'Their eyes,' villain, 'their eyes.'
- 'That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!
- True; 'out,' indeed.
- 'Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
- Not to behold'—
- 'Once to behold,' rogue.
- 'Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes—with your
- sun-beamed eyes'—
- They will not answer to that epithet;
- You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.'
- They do not mark me, and that brings me out.
- Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue.
- What would these strangers? Know their minds, Boyet.
- If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
- That some plain man recount their purposes:
- Know what they would.
- What would you with the princess?
- Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
- What would they, say they?
- Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
- Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.
- She says you have it, and you may be gone.
- Say to her we have measur'd many miles
- To tread a measure with her on this grass.
- They say that they have measur'd many a mile
- To tread a measure with you on this grass.
- It is not so. Ask them how many inches
- Is in one mile? If they have measured many,
- The measure then of one is easily told.
- If to come hither you have measur'd miles,
- And many miles, the Princess bids you tell
- How many inches doth fill up one mile.
- Tell her we measure them by weary steps.
- She hears herself.
- How many weary steps
- Of many weary miles you have o'ergone
- Are number'd in the travel of one mile?
- We number nothing that we spend for you;
- Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
- That we may do it still without accompt.
- Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,
- That we, like savages, may worship it.
- My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
- Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
- Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
- Those clouds remov'd, upon our watery eyne.
- O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
- Thou now requests'st but moonshine in the water.
- Then in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
- Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange.
- Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.
- Not yet! No dance! thus change I like the moon.
- Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?
- You took the moon at full; but now she's chang'd.
- Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
- The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.
- Our ears vouchsafe it.
- But your legs should do it.
- Since you are strangers, and come here by chance,
- We'll not be nice: take hands; we will not dance.
- Why take we hands then?
- Only to part friends.
- Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
- More measure of this measure: be not nice.
- We can afford no more at such a price.
- Price you yourselves? what buys your company?
- Your absence only.
- That can never be.
- Then cannot we be bought: and so adieu;
- Twice to your visor, and half once to you!
- If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.
- In private then.
- I am best pleas'd with that.
[They converse apart.]
- White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.
- Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.
- Nay, then, two treys, an if you grow so nice,
- Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
- There's half a dozen sweets.
- Seventh sweet, adieu:
- Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.
- One word in secret.
- Let it not be sweet.
- Thou griev'st my gall.
- Gall! bitter.
- Therefore meet.
[They converse apart.]
- Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?
- Name it.
- Fair lady,—
- Say you so? Fair lord,
- Take that for your fair lady.
- Please it you,
- As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
[They converse apart.]
- What, was your visord made without a tongue?
- I know the reason, lady, why you ask.
- O! for your reason! quickly, sir; I long.
- You have a double tongue within your mask,
- And would afford my speechless visor half.
- 'Veal' quoth the Dutchman. Is not 'veal' a calf?
- A calf, fair lady!
- No, a fair lord calf.
- Let's part the word.
- No, I'll not be your half.
- Take all and wean it; it may prove an ox.
- Look how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks!
- Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.
- Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.
- One word in private with you ere I die.
- Bleat softly, then; the butcher hears you cry.
[They converse apart.]
- The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
- As is the razor's edge invisible,
- Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen,
- Above the sense of sense; so sensible
- Seemeth their conference; their conceits have wings,
- Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.
- Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.
- By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!
- Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.
- Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.
[Exeunt KING, LORDS, Music, and Attendants.]
- Are these the breed of wits so wondered at?
- Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out.
- Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.
- O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
- Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night?
- Or ever, but in vizors, show their faces?
- This pert Berowne was out of countenance quite.
- O! They were all in lamentable cases!
- The King was weeping-ripe for a good word.
- Berowne did swear himself out of all suit.
- Dumaine was at my service, and his sword:
- 'No point' quoth I; my servant straight was mute.
- Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart;
- And trow you what he call'd me?
- Qualm, perhaps.
- Yes, in good faith.
- Go, sickness as thou art!
- Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.
- But will you hear? The king is my love sworn.
- And quick Berowne hath plighted faith to me.
- And Longaville was for my service born.
- Dumaine is mine, as sure as bark on tree.
- Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear:
- Immediately they will again be here
- In their own shapes; for it can never be
- They will digest this harsh indignity.
- Will they return?
- They will, they will, God knows,
- And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows;
- Therefore, change favours; and, when they repair,
- Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
- How blow? how blow? Speak to be understood.
- Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud:
- Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
- Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
- Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do
- If they return in their own shapes to woo?
- Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd,
- Let's mock them still, as well known as disguis'd.
- Let us complain to them what fools were here,
- Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless gear;
- And wonder what they were, and to what end
- Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn'd,
- And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
- Should be presented at our tent to us.
- Ladies, withdraw: the gallants are at hand.
- Whip to our tents, as roes run over land.
[Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, and MARIA.]
[Re-enter the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE in their proper habits.]
- Fair sir, God save you! Where's the princess?
- Gone to her tent. Please it your Majesty
- Command me any service to her thither?
- That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.
- I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.
- This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease,
- And utters it again when God doth please:
- He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares
- At wakes, and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
- And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
- Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
- This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
- Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve:
- He can carve too, and lisp: why this is he
- That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy;
- This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
- That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
- In honourable terms; nay, he can sing
- A mean most meanly; and in ushering
- Mend him who can: the ladies call him sweet;
- The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
- This is the flower that smiles on every one,
- To show his teeth as white as whales-bone;
- And consciences that will not die in debt
- Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.
- A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
- That put Armado's page out of his part!
[Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET; ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants.]
- See where it comes! Behaviour, what wert thou,
- Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now?
- All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!
- 'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive.
- Construe my speeches better, if you may.
- Then wish me better: I will give you leave.
- We came to visit you, and purpose now
- To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.
- This field shall hold me, and so hold your vow:
- Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur'd men.
- Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:
- The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
- You nickname virtue: vice you should have spoke;
- For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
- Now by my maiden honour, yet as pure
- As the unsullied lily, I protest,
- A world of torments though I should endure,
- I would not yield to be your house's guest;
- So much I hate a breaking cause to be
- Of heavenly oaths, vowed with integrity.
- O! you have liv'd in desolation here,
- Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
- Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
- We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game.
- A mess of Russians left us but of late.
- How, madam! Russians?
- Ay, in truth, my lord;
- Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.
- Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord:
- My lady, to the manner of the days,
- In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
- We four indeed confronted were with four
- In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour,
- And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
- They did not bless us with one happy word.
- I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
- When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
- This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle sweet,
- Your wit makes wise things foolish:when we greet,
- With eyes best seeing, heaven's fiery eye,
- By light we lose light: your capacity
- Is of that nature that to your huge store
- Wise things seem foolish and rich things but poor.
- This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye-
- I am a fool, and full of poverty.
- But that you take what doth to you belong,
- It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
- O! am yours, and all that I possess.
- All the fool mine?
- I cannot give you less.
- Which of the visors was it that you wore?
- Where? when? what visor? why demand you this?
- There, then, that visor; that superfluous case
- That hid the worse,and show'd the better face.
- We are descried: they'll mock us now downright.
- Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
- Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your Highness sad?
- Help! hold his brows! he'll swound. Why look you pale?
- Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
- Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.
- Can any face of brass hold longer out?—
- Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me;
- Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout;
- Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
- Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
- And I will wish thee never more to dance,
- Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
- O! never will I trust to speeches penn'd,
- Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue,
- Nor never come in visor to my friend,
- Nor woo in rime, like a blind harper's song.
- Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
- Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation,
- Figures pedantical; these summer-flies
- Have blown me full of maggot ostentation:
- I do forswear them; and I here protest,
- By this white glove,—how white the hand, God knows!—
- Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd
- In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes;
- And, to begin, wench,—so God help me, la!—
- My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.
- Sans 'sans,' I pray you.
- Yet I have a trick
- Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick;
- I'll leave it by degrees. Soft! let us see:
- Write 'Lord have mercy on us' on those three;
- They are infected; in their hearts it lies;
- They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes:
- These lords are visited; you are not free,
- For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.
- No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.
- Our states are forfeit; seek not to undo us.
- It is not so. For how can this be true,
- That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
- Peace! for I will not have to do with you.
- Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
- Speak for yourselves: my wit is at an end.
- Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
- Some fair excuse.
- The fairest is confession.
- Were not you here but even now, disguis'd?
- Madam, I was.
- And were you well advis'd?
- I was, fair madam.
- When you then were here,
- What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
- That more than all the world I did respect her.
- When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.
- Upon mine honour, no.
- Peace! peace! forbear;
- Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
- Despise me when I break this oath of mine.
- I will; and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
- What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
- Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
- As precious eyesight, and did value me
- Above this world; adding thereto, moreover,
- That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
- God give thee joy of him! The noble lord
- Most honourably doth uphold his word.
- What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
- I never swore this lady such an oath.
- By heaven, you did; and, to confirm it plain,
- You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.
- My faith and this the princess I did give;
- I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
- Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
- And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear.
- What, will you have me, or your pearl again?
- Neither of either; I remit both twain.
- I see the trick on't: here was a consent,
- Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
- To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
- Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
- Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick,
- That smiles his cheek in years, and knows the trick
- To make my lady laugh when she's dispos'd,
- Told our intents before; which once disclos'd,
- The ladies did change favours, and then we,
- Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she.
- Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
- We are again forsworn, in will and error.
- Much upon this it is: [To BOYET.] and might not you
- Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
- Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire,
- And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
- And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
- Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
- You put our page out: go, you are allow'd;
- Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
- You leer upon me, do you? There's an eye
- Wounds like a leaden sword.
- Full merrily
- Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.
- Lo! he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.
- Welcome, pure wit! thou part'st a fair fray.
- O Lord, sir, they would know
- Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no?
BEROWNE. What, are there but three?
- No, sir; but it is vara fine,
- For every one pursents three.
- And three times thrice is nine.
- Not so, sir; under correction, sir,
- I hope it is not so.
- You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we know what we
- I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,—
- Is not nine.
- Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount.
- By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.
- O Lord, sir! it were pity you should get your living by
- reckoning, sir.
- How much is it?
- O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors, sir, will
- show whereuntil it doth amount: for mine own part, I am, as they
- say, but to parfect one man in one poor man, Pompion the Great,
- Art thou one of the Worthies?
- It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion the Great;
- for mine own part, I know not the degree of the Worthy; but I am
- to stand for him.
- Go, bid them prepare.
- We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take some care.
- Berowne, they will shame us; let them not approach.
- We are shame-proof, my lord, and 'tis some policy
- To have one show worse than the king's and his company.
- I say they shall not come.
- Nay, my good lord, let me o'errule you now.
- That sport best pleases that doth least know how;
- Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
- Die in the zeal of those which it presents;
- Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
- When great things labouring perish in their birth.
- A right description of our sport, my lord.
- Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal sweet
- breath as will utter a brace of words.
[Converses apart with the KING, and delivers a paper to him.]
- Doth this man serve God?
- Why ask you?
- He speaks not like a man of God his making.
- That is all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch; for, I
- protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical; too-too vain,
- too-too vain: but we will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la
- guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement!
- Here is like to be a good presence of Worthies. He presents
- Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the Great; the parish curate,
- Alexander; Armado's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas
- And if these four Worthies in their first show thrive,
- These four will change habits and present the other five.
- There is five in the first show.
- You are deceived, 'tis not so.
- The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the fool, and
- the boy:—
- Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
- Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.
- The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.
[Enter COSTARD, armed for POMPEY.]
- 'I Pompey am'—
- You lie, you are not he.
- 'I Pompey am'—
- With libbard's head on knee.
- Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friends with thee.
- 'I Pompey am, Pompey surnam'd the Big'—
- 'The Great.'
- It is 'Great,' sir; 'Pompey surnam'd the Great,
- That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my foe to
- And travelling along this coast, I here am come by chance,
- And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France.
- If your ladyship would say 'Thanks, Pompey,' I had done.
- Great thanks, great Pompey.
- 'Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect.
- I made a little fault in 'Great.'
- My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy.
[Enter SIR NATHANIEL armed, for ALEXANDER.]
- 'When in the world I liv'd, I was the world's commander;
- By east, west, north, and south, I spread my conquering might:
- My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander'—
- Your nose says, no, you are not; for it stands to right.
- Your nose smells 'no' in this, most tender-smelling knight.
- The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed, good Alexander.
- 'When in the world I liv'd, I was the world's commander;'—
- Most true; 'tis right, you were so, Alisander.
- Pompey the Great,—
- Your servant, and Costard.
- Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.
- [To Sir Nathaniel.] O! sir, you have overthrown Alisander
- the conqueror! You will be scraped out of the painted cloth for
- this; your lion, that holds his poll-axe sitting on a
- close-stool, will be given to Ajax: he will be the ninth Worthy.
- A conqueror, and afeard to speak! Run away for shame, Alisander.
- [Nathaniel retires.] There, an't shall please you: a foolish mild
- man; an honest man, look you, and soon dashed! He is a marvellous
- good neighbour, faith, and a very good bowler; but for
- Alisander,—alas! you see how 'tis—a little o'erparted. But
- there are Worthies a-coming will speak their mind in some other
- Stand aside, good Pompey.
[Enter HOLOFERNES armed, for JUDAS; and MOTH armed, for HERCULES.]
- 'Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
- Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed canis;
- And when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,
- Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.
- Quoniam he seemeth in minority,
- Ergo I come with this apology.'
- Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.—[MOTH retires.]
- 'Judas I am.'—
- A Judas!
- Not Iscariot, sir.
- 'Judas I am, ycliped Maccabaeus.'
- Judas Maccabaeus clipt is plain Judas.
- A kissing traitor. How art thou prov'd Judas?
- 'Judas I am.'—
- The more shame for you, Judas.
- What mean you, sir?
- To make Judas hang himself.
- Begin, sir; you are my elder.
- Well follow'd: Judas was hanged on an elder.
- I will not be put out of countenance.
- Because thou hast no face.
- What is this?
- A cittern-head.
- The head of a bodkin.
- A death's face in a ring.
- The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen.
- The pommel of Caesar's falchion.
- The carved-bone face on a flask.
- Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch.
- Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
- Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.
- And now, forward; for we have put thee in countenance.
- You have put me out of countenance.
- False: we have given thee faces.
- But you have outfaced them all.
- An thou wert a lion we would do so.
- Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.
- And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay?
- For the latter end of his name.
- For the ass to the Jude? give it him:—Jud-as, away!
- This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.
- A light for Monsieur Judas! It grows dark, he may stumble.
- Alas! poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited.
[Enter ARMADO armed, for HECTOR.]
- Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes Hector in arms.
- Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.
- Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.
- But is this Hector?
- I think Hector was not so clean-timber'd.
- His leg is too big for Hector's.
- More calf, certain.
- No; he is best indued in the small.
- This cannot be Hector.
- He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces.
- 'The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
- Gave Hector a gift,'—
- A gilt nutmeg.
- A lemon.
- Stuck with cloves.
- No, cloven.
- 'The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
- Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion;
- A man so breath'd that certain he would fight ye,
- From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
- I am that flower,'—
- That mint.
- That columbine.
- Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.
- I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.
- Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.
- The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks, beat
- not the bones of the buried; when he breathed, he was a man. But
- I will forward with my device. [To the PRINCESS.] Sweet royalty,
- bestow on me the sense of hearing.
- Speak, brave Hector; we are much delighted.
- I do adore thy sweet Grace's slipper.
- [Aside to DUMAIN.] Loves her by the foot.
- [Aside to BOYET.] He may not by the yard.
- 'This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,'—
- The party is gone; fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two
- months on her way.
- What meanest thou?
- Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the poor wench
- is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in her belly already;
- 'tis yours.
- Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? Thou shalt die.
- Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is quick by
- him, and hanged for Pompey that is dead by him.
- Most rare Pompey!
- Renowned Pompey!
- Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! Pompey the
- Hector trembles.
- Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! Stir them on! stir
- them on!
- Hector will challenge him.
- Ay, if a' have no more man's blood in his belly than will
- sup a flea.
- By the north pole, I do challenge thee.
- I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man: I'll
- slash; I'll do it by the sword. I bepray you, let me borrow my
- arms again.
- Room for the incensed Worthies!
- I'll do it in my shirt.
- Most resolute Pompey!
- Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. Do you not see
- Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean you? You will lose
- your reputation.
- Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.
- You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.
- Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
- What reason have you for 't?
- The naked truth of it is: I have no shirt; I go woolward
- for penance.
- True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linen;
- since when, I'll be sworn, he wore none but a dish-clout of
- Jaquenetta's, and that a' wears next his heart for a favour.
[Enter MONSIEUR MARCADE, a messenger.]
- God save you, madam!
- Welcome, Marcade;
- But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.
- I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring
- Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father—
- Dead, for my life!
- Even so: my tale is told.
- Worthies away! the scene begins to cloud.
- For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I have seen the
- day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, and I will
- right myself like a soldier.
- How fares your Majesty?
- Boyet, prepare: I will away to-night.
- Madam, not so: I do beseech you stay.
- Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,
- For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,
- Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
- In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide
- The liberal opposition of our spirits,
- If over-boldly we have borne ourselves
- In the converse of breath; your gentleness
- Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord!
- A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue.
- Excuse me so, coming so short of thanks
- For my great suit so easily obtain'd.
- The extreme parts of time extremely forms
- All causes to the purpose of his speed,
- And often at his very loose decides
- That which long process could not arbitrate:
- And though the mourning brow of progeny
- Forbid the smiling courtesy of love
- The holy suit which fain it would convince;
- Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,
- Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
- From what it purpos'd; since, to wail friends lost
- Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
- As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
- I understand you not: my griefs are double.
- Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief;
- And by these badges understand the king.
- For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
- Play'd foul play with our oaths. Your beauty, ladies,
- Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours
- Even to the opposed end of our intents;
- And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,—
- As love is full of unbefitting strains;
- All wanton as a child, skipping and vain;
- Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye,
- Full of strange shapes, of habits and of forms,
- Varying in subjects, as the eye doth roll
- To every varied object in his glance:
- Which parti-coated presence of loose love
- Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
- Have misbecom'd our oaths and gravities,
- Those heavenly eyes that look into these faults
- Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
- Our love being yours, the error that love makes
- Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false,
- By being once false for ever to be true
- To those that make us both,—fair ladies, you:
- And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
- Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.
- We have receiv'd your letters, full of love;
- Your favours, the ambassadors of love;
- And, in our maiden council, rated them
- At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
- As bombast and as lining to the time;
- But more devout than this in our respects
- Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
- In their own fashion, like a merriment.
- Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.
- So did our looks.
- We did not quote them so.
- Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
- Grant us your loves.
- A time, methinks, too short
- To make a world-without-end bargain in.
- No, no, my lord, your Grace is perjur'd much,
- Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this:
- If for my love,—as there is no such cause,—
- You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
- Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
- To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
- Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
- There stay until the twelve celestial signs
- Have brought about the annual reckoning.
- If this austere insociable life
- Change not your offer made in heat of blood,
- If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds,
- Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
- But that it bear this trial, and last love,
- Then, at the expiration of the year,
- Come, challenge me, challenge me by these deserts;
- And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine,
- I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut
- My woeful self up in a mournful house,
- Raining the tears of lamentation
- For the remembrance of my father's death.
- If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
- Neither intitled in the other's heart.
- If this, or more than this, I would deny,
- To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
- The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
- Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.
- And what to me, my love? and what to me?
- You must he purged too, your sins are rack'd;
- You are attaint with faults and perjury;
- Therefore, if you my favour mean to get,
- A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
- But seek the weary beds of people sick.
- But what to me, my love? but what to me?
- A wife! A beard, fair health, and honesty;
- With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
- O! shall I say I thank you, gentle wife?
- No so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a day
- I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say.
- Come when the King doth to my lady come;
- Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.
- I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
- Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again.
- What says Maria?
- At the twelvemonth's end
- I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
- I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.
- The liker you; few taller are so young.
- Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;
- Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
- What humble suit attends thy answer there.
- Impose some service on me for thy love.
- Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Berowne,
- Before I saw you; and the world's large tongue
- Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks;
- Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
- Which you on all estates will execute
- That lie within the mercy of your wit:
- To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
- And therewithal to win me, if you please,—
- Without the which I am not to be won,—
- You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to day,
- Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
- With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
- With all the fierce endeavour of your wit
- To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
- To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
- It cannot be; it is impossible:
- Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
- Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
- Whose influence is begot of that loose grace
- Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools.
- A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
- Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
- Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
- Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans,
- Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
- And I will have you and that fault withal;
- But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
- And I shall find you empty of that fault,
- Right joyful of your reformation.
- A twelvemonth! well, befall what will befall,
- I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
- [To the King.] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.
- No, madam; we will bring you on your way.
- Our wooing doth not end like an old play:
- Jack hath not Jill; these ladies' courtesy
- Might well have made our sport a comedy.
- Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
- And then 'twill end.
- That's too long for a play.
- Sweet Majesty, vouchsafe me,—
- Was not that not Hector?
- The worthy knight of Troy.
- I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a
- votary: I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her
- sweet love three yeasr. But, most esteemed greatness, will you
- hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in
- praise of the owl and the cuckoo? It should have followed in the
- end of our show.
- Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
- Holla! approach.
[Enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and others.]
- This side is Hiems, Winter; this Ver, the Spring; the one
- maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.
- When daisies pied and violets blue
- And lady-smocks all silver-white
- And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
- Do paint the meadows with delight,
- The cuckoo then on every tree
- Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
- Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
- Unpleasing to a married ear!
- When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
- And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
- When turtles tread, and rooks and daws,
- And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
- The cuckoo then, on every tree,
- Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
- Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
- Unpleasing to a married ear!
- When icicles hang by the wall,
- And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
- And Tom bears logs into the hall,
- And milk comes frozen home in pail,
- When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
- Then nightly sings the staring owl:
- Tu-whit, tu-who—a merry note,
- While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
- When all aloud the wind doth blow,
- And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
- And birds sit brooding in the snow,
- And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
- When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
- Then nightly sings the staring owl:
- Tu-whit, to-who—a merry note,
- While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
- The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.
- You that way: we this way.