« PreviousContinue »
Boyet. Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at hand. Prin. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land. [Exeunt Princess, Ros. Kath, and Maria. Enter the KING, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in their proper habits. King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the princess?
Boyet. Gone to her tent: Please it your majesty, Command me any service to her thither?
King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.
Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord. [Exit. Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas; And utters it again, when God doth please: He is wit's pedlar; and retails his wares At wakes, and wassels, 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 away his hand 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.
King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart, That put Armado's page out of his part! Enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET; ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think, When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
Biron. This jest is dry to me.-Fair, gentle sweet,
Your wit makes wise things foolish; when we greet
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor.
Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.
Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue. Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess. Ros. All the fool mine? Biron. I cannot give you less. Ros. Which of the visors was it that you wore? Biron. Where? when? what visor? why demand you this?
Ros. There, then, that visor; that superfluous case, That hid the worse, and show'd the better face. King. We are descried: they'll mock us now downright.
Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your highness sad?
Ros. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon? Why look you pale?— Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. Biron. 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 rhyme, like a blind harper's song: Taffata 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. Ros. 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.
King. I was, fair madam. Prin. When you then were here, What did you whisper in your lady's ear? King. That more than all the world I did respect
Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.
King. Upon mine honour, no. Prin. Peace, peace, forbear; Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear. King. Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.
Prin. I will; and therefore keep it:-Rosaline, What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
Ros. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear As precious eye-sight; and did value me Above this world: adding thereto, moreover, That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord Most honourably doth uphold his word.
King. What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.
Ros. By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.
King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear; And lord Birón, I thank him, is my dear :What; will you have me, or your pearl again?
Biron. 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
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.
Boyet. Full merrily Hath this brave manage, this career, been run. Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have
Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.
No, sir; but it is vara fine,
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we know what we know:
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,—
Is not nine. Cost. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount. [nine. Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for Cost. O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your living by reckoning, sir.
Biron. How much is it?
Cost. O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for my own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one man,-e'en one poor man; Pompion the great, sir.
Biron. Art thou one of the worthies?
Cost. 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.
Biron. Go, bid them prepare.
Cost. We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take [Exit Costard. King. Birón, they will shame us, let them not approach. Biron. We are shame-proof, my lord: and 'tis some policy
To have one show worse than the king's and his
King. I say, they shall not come.
Prin. Nay, my good lord, let me o'er-rule you That sport best pleases, that doth least know how: Where zeal strives to content, and the contents Die in the zeal of them which it presents, Their form confounded makes most form in mirth; When great things labouring perish in their birth. Biron. A right description of our sport, my lord,
Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expence of thy royal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of words. (Armado converses with the King, and delivers him a paper.)
Prin. Doth this man serve God?
Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making. Arm. That's 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 della guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement! [Exit Armado. King. 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 Ma
And if these four worthies in their first show thrive, These four will change habits, and present the other five.
Biron. There is five in the first show.
Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedgepriest, the fool, and the boy :Abate a throw at noyum; and the whole world again, [vein. Cannot prick out five such, take each one in his King. The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.
(Seats brought for the King, Princess, &c.)
Pageant of the Nine Worthies.
Enter COSTARD arm'd, for Pompey.
Cost. I Pompey am,—
You lie, you are not he.
Cost. I Pompey amBoyet. With libbard's head on knee. Biron. Well said, old mocker; I must needs be friends with thee.
Cost. I Pompey am, Pompey surnam'd the big ;— Dum. The great.
Cost. It is great, sir;-Pompey surnam'd the great;
That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my foe to sweat: And travelling along this coast, I here am come by chance;
Boyet. Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Alisander.
Biron. Pompey the great,—
Your servant,and Costárd. Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.
Cost. O, sir, (to Nath.) you have overthrown Alisander the conqueror! You will be scraped out of the painted cloth for this: your lion, that holds his poll-ax sitting on a close-stool, will be given to A-jax he will be the ninth worthy. A conqueror, and afeard to speak! run away for shame, Alisander. (Nath.retires.) There, an't shall please you; a foolish mild man; an honest man, fook you, and soon dash'd! He is a marvellous good neighbour, in sooth; 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 sort.
Prin. Stand aside, good Pompey.
Biron. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer : And now, forward; for we have put thee in coun
Hol. You have put me out of countenance. Biron. False; we have given thee faces. Hol. But you have outfac'd them all. Biron. An thou wert a lion, we would do so. Boyet. Therefore, as he is, an ass, let him go. And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay? Dum. For the latter end of his name.
Biron. For the ass to the Jude; give it him:Jud-as, away.
Hol. This is not generous, not gentle, not humble. Boyet. A light for monsieur Judas: it grows dark, he may stumble. [baited! Prin. Alas, poor Machabæus, how hath he been
Enter ARMADO arm'd, for Hector.
Biron. Hide thy head, Achilles; here comes Hector in arms.
Dum. Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.
King. Hector was but a Trojan in respect of this.
Dum. I think, Hector was not so clean timbered.
Boyet. No; he is best endued in the small. Biron. This cannot be Hector.
Dum. He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces. Arm. The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty, Gave Hector a gift.
Dum, A gilt nutmeg.
Long. Stuck with cloves.
Dum. No, cloven.
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
That columbine. Arm. Sweet lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. Long. I must rather give it the rein; for it runs against Hector.
Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.
Arm. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried? when he breath'd, he was a man-But I will forward with my device: Sweet royalty, (to the Princess.) bestow on me the sense of hearing. (Biron whispers Costard.) Prin. Speak, brave Hector; we are much delighted.
Arm. I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper.
Dum. He may not by the yard.
Arm. This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,— Cost. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way.
Arm. What meanest thou?
Cost. Faith, unless you play the honest Trojan, the poor wench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in her belly already; 'tis yours.
Arm. Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shalt die.
Cost. Then shall Hector be whipp'd for Jaquenetta that is quick by him; and hang'd, for Pompey that is dead by him.
Dum. Most rare Pompey!
Boyet. Renowned Pompey!
Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! Pompey the huge!
Dum. Hector trembles.
Biron. Pompey is mov'd:-More Ates, more Ates; stir them on! stir them on!
Dum. Hector will challenge him.
Biron. Ay, if he have no more man's blood in's belly than will sup a flea.
Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee. Cost. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man; I'll flash; I'll do it by the sword:-I pray let me borrow my arms again. Dum. Room for the incensed worthies. Cost. I'll do it in my shirt.
Dum. Most resolate Pompey! Moth. Master, let me take you a button-hole lower. Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean you? you will lose your reputation.
Arm. Gentlemen, and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.
Dum. You may not deny it; Pompey hath made the challenge.
Arm. Sweet bloeds, I both may and will. Biron. What reason have you for't? Arm. The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.
Boyet. True, and it was enjoin'd 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.
Mer. God save you, madam !
Prin. Welcome, Mercade;
But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.
Mer. Even so; my tale is told. Biron. Worthies, away; the scene begins to Arm. 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. [Exeunt Worthies. King. How fares your majesty? Prin. Boyet, prepare; I will away to-night. King. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay. Prin. Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,
For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,
King. The extreme parts of time extremely form
The holy suit, which fain it would convince;
Prin. I understand you not; my griefs are double. [grief;Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear of 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,
Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms,
Prin. We have receiv'd your letters, full of Your favours, the embassadors 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. Dum. Our letters, madam, show' than jest.
Long. So did our looks. Ros. We did not quote them so. King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour, Grant us your loves.
Hath much deformed us, fashioning our humours
Come challenge, challenge me by these deserts,
King. 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. Biron. And what to me, my love, and what to me?
Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rank; 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.
Dum. But what to me, my love? but what to me? Kath. A wife!-A beard, fair health, and honesty;
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
At the twelvemonth's end, I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.
Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young. Biron. 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.
Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón, 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. Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befall what will I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
Prin. Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave. (To the King.) King. No, madam: we will bring you on your way. Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play; Jack bath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy Might well have made our sport a comedy. [day, King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a And then 'twill end.
That's too long for a play.