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Del. A company of rural fellows, faced" Like lovers of your laws, beg to be graced Before your highness, to present their sport. Spring. What is't?
Del. A morrice.
Spring. Give them our court.—
Stay, these dull birds may make thee stop thine
Take thou my lightning, none but laurel here Shall scape thy blasting: whom thou wilt con
Smite; let those stand, who in thy choice sit crown'd.
Ray. Let these then, I may surfeit else on
Sound sleeps do not still lie in princes' sheets. Spring. Beckon the rurals in; the country-gray Seldom ploughs treason: should'st thou be stol'n away
By great ones,-that's my fear.
Ray. Fear it not, lady;
Should all the world's black sorceries be laid
Enter the MORRICE-DANCERS.
To blow me hence, I move not.
7 A company of rural fellows, faced
Like lovers of your laws.] i. e. with youthful, ruddy, cheerful
Spring. I am made
In that word the Earth's empress.
Are not these sports too rustic?
Spring. My youngest girl, the violet-breathing
Being told by Flora that my love dwelt here,
Spring. On then,
and bid my rosy-finger'd May
Rob hills and dales, with sweets to strew his
[Exit, followed by YOUTH and HEALTH.
Enter FOLLY, and whispers RAYbright. Ray. An empress, say'st thou, fall'n in love with me?
Fol. She's a great woman, and all great women love to be empresses; her name, the lady Humour. Ray. Strange name! I never saw her, knew her not;
What kind of creature is she?
Fol. Creature! of a skin soft as pomatum, sleek as jelly, white as blanched almonds; no mercer's wife ever handled yard with a prettier [hand]; breath, sweet as a monkey's; lips of cherries, teeth of pearl, eyes of diamond, foot and leg
Ray. And what's thy name?
Fol. "Tis but a folly to tell it; my name is Folly. Ray. Humour and Folly! To my listening ear The lady's praises often have been sung; Thy trumpet, sounding forth her graceful beauties, Kindles high flames within me to behold her. Fol. She's as hot as you for your heart.
Ray. This lady, called the Spring, is an odd trifle. Fol. A green-sickness thing. I came by the way of a hobby-horse letter-of-attorney, sent by my lady as a spy to you. Spring, a hot lady! a few fields and gardens lass.
sallads and tansies? eat like
Can you feed upon
an ass upon grass
every day? At my lady's comes to you now a goose, now a woodcock; nothing but fowl; fowl pies, platters all covered with fowl, and is not fowl very good fare?
Ray. Yea, marry is't, sir; the fowl being kept clean.
My admiration wastes itself in longings
To see this rare piece: I'll see her; what are kings,
And what's thy name?] Raybright has but a short memory; he had been informed of this in a former scene : see p. 336; but perhaps Folly had changed his dress with his service; for he first enters in rags. This, however, will not account for his forgetfulness of the lady Humour, of whom he has just declared his utter ignorance, though it now appears that he was familiar with her praises. In the preceding speech, I have inserted hand, at a guess; and, in that which follows, have transposed the words thy. and thee, at the commencement of the respective lines.
9 Platters, all covered with fowl.] The author seems fearful that his witticisms should escape the reader, for he has judiciously printed foul, in one place, for fowl. This scene savours strongly of Decker, whose inveterate and wearisome propensity to playing on words is everywhere discoverable.
Were not their pleasures varied? shall not mine,,
Should day last ever, 'twould be loath'd as night;
Fol. The way is windy and narrow; for, look you, I do but wind this cornet, and if another answer it, she comes.
Ray. Be quick then!
[FOLLY winds his cornet, and is answered from without.
Enter HUMOUR, followed by a Soldier, a Spaniard, an Italian dancer, and a French tailor.
Hum. Is this that flower the Spring so dotes upon?
Fol. This is that honeysuckle she sticks in her ruff.
Hum. A bedfellow for a fairy!
Ray. Admired perfection,
You set my praises to so high a tune,
My merits cannot reach them.
Hum. My heart-strings shall then,
As mine eye gives that sentence on thy person,
That judge to save thee would condemn a world,
Whole choirs of singers to her every morn,
With all her amorous fires, can heat thy blood As I can with one kiss.
Ray. The rose-lipp'd dawning
Is not so melting, so delicious:
Turn me into a bird, that I may sit
Still singing in such boughs.
Hum. What bird?
Fol. A ring-tail.
Hum. Thou shalt be turn'd to nothing but to mine,
My Mine of pleasures, which no hand shall rifle But this, which in warm nectar bathes the palm. Invent some other tires! Music!-stay,-none!Fol. Heyday!
Hunt. New gowns, fresh fashions! I'm not brave enough
To make thee wonder at me.
Ray. Not the moon,
Riding at midnight in her crystal chariot,
Is half so glorious.
Hum. This feather was a bird of Paradise; Shall it be your's?
Ray. No kingdom buys it from me.
Fol. Being in fool's paradise he must not lose
Ray. I am wrapt
Fol. In your mother's smock.
Ray. I am wrapt above man's being, in being sphered