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O, who can give an oath! where is a book?
No face is fair, that is not full so black.
O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt,
it mourns, that painting, and usurping hair,
For native blood is counted painting now;
Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted
King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack.
Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is
Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain.
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.
King. No devil will fright thee then so much as
Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread! Dum. O vile! then as she goes, what upward lies
The street should see as she walk'd over head. King. But what of this? Are we not all in love? Biron. Nothing so sure; and thereby all torsworn. King. Then leave this chat: and, good Biron, now prove
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
Dum. Ay, marry, there, some flattery for this Let us once lose our oaths, to find ourselves,
Long. O, some authority how to proceed;
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
And where that you have vow d to study, lords,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths:
And who can sever love from charity?
King. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!
Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them,
Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis'd,
Long. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
Then, homeward, every man attach the hand
SCENE I-A Street.
Enter HOLOFERNES, Sir NATHANIEL, and DULL.
Nuth. 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.
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.
Hot. O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.
Arm. Arts-man, præambula; we will be singled
Arm. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
Arm. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and aflection, to congratulate the princess at her pavilion, in the posteriors of this day; which the
rude multitude call the afternoon.
Hol. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the afternoon: the word is well cull'd, chose; sweet and apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.
Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humor is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gate niajestical, and his general behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it. Nath. A most singular and choice epithet. [Takes out his table-book. Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasins, such insociable and point-de-familiar, I do assure you, very good friend:-For vise 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 clepetti a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbor, vocatur, nebour, neigh abbreviated, ne: This is abhominable, (which he would call abominable,) it insinuateth me of insaine; Ne intelligis domine? to make frantic, lunatic.
Nath. Laus deo, bone intelligo.
Arin. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman; and my what is inward between us, let it pass:-1 do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy;-1 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.
Hol. Bone?-bone, for bene: Priscian a little By the world, I recount no fable; some certain
scratch'd; 'twill serve.
Enter ARMADO, MOTH, and COSTARD.
Hol. Quare Chirra, not sirrah?
Arm. Men of peace, well encounter'd.
special honors 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, [To MOTH. Sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antic, or fire- work. Now, understanding that the curate and your sweet self, are good at such eruptions, and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you Withal, to the end to crave your assistance.
Moth. They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps. [TO COSTARD aside. Cost. O, they have lived long in the alms-basket of words! I marvel, thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as -honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.3
Moth. Peace; the peal begins.
Arm. Monsieur, [To HoL.] are you not letter'd? Moth. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the horn-book: -What is a, b, spelt backward with a horn on his head?
Hol. Ba pueritia, with a horn added.
Moth. Ba, most silly sheep, with a horn:-You hear his learning.
Hol. Quis, quis, thou consonant?
Hol. 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.
Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?
Hol. Joshua, yourself; myself, or this gallant gentleman, Judas Maccabæus; this swain, because of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the great; the
page, Arm. Pardon, sir, error: he is not quantity enough Moth. The third of the five vowels, if you repeat for that worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the them; or the fifth, if I.
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, i.—
Moth. The sheep; the other two concludes it;
Arm. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit: snip, snap, quick and home; it rejoiceth my intellect:
Moth. Offer'd by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.
Hol. What is the figure? what is the figure?
Hol. Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.
Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about your infamy circum circa; A gig of a cuckold's horn!
Cost. 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
end of his club.
Hot. Shall I have audience? he shall present Hurcules in minority: his enter and exit shall be strangling a snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.
Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the audience hiss, you may cry, Well done, Hurcules! now thou crushest the snake! that is the way to make an offence gracious; though few have the grace to do it.
Arm. For the rest of the worthies?
Arm. We will have, if this fadges not, an antic.
Hol. Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.
Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir.
Dull. 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.
Hol. Most dull, honest Dull to our sport, away. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-Before the Princess's Pavilion. Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE, and
Prin. None are so surely caught, when they are
As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
Prin. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;
Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note,
A lady wall'd about with dimonds!-
Ros. Madam, come nothing else along with that?
As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper,
Ros. That was the way to make his god-head
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
Kath. He made her melancholy, sad, and, heavy;
Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark.
Ros. We need more light to find your meaning out. Kath. You'll mar the light, by taking it in snuff'; Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument.
Ros. Look what you do, you do it still i' the
Kath. So do not you; for you are a light wench.
not for me.
Ros. Great reason; for, past cure is still past care.
Ros. Much, in the letters: nothing, in the praise.
Ros. 'Ware pencils! How! let me not die your
My red dominical, my golden letter:
Kath. A pox of that jest! and beshrew all shrews!
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compil'd' profound simplicity.
Since all the power thereof it doth apply,
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
Prin. Thy news, Boyet?
Prin. Samt Denis to saint Cupid! What are they,
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour:
I should have fear'd her, had she been a devil.
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
Like Muscovites, or Russians: as I guess,
Prin. And will they so! the gallants shall be
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Lon- Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.—
The letter is too long by half a mile.
Prin. I think no less: Dost thou not wish in heart,
Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
Hold, Rosaline, this favor thou shalt wear!
Ros. Come on then; wear the favors most in sight.
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart,
And quite divorce his memory from his part.
Prin. Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt
Ros. Since you are strangers and come here by
We'll not be nice: take hands:-we will not dance.
Enter the KING, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DU-Twic
Moth. All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!
[The Ladies turn their backs to him. That ever turn'd their-backs -to mortal views! Biron. Their eyes, villain, their eyes.
Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views! Out
Boyet. True; out, indeed.
Moth. Out of your favors, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe,
Not to behold
Biron. Once to behold, rogue.
Moth. Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,
Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet;
Biron. Is this your perfectness? begone, you rogue.
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
Boyet. What would you with the princess?
Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation.
Boyet. They say that they have measur'd many a mile,
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
Ros. It is not so: ask them how many inches
Boyet. If to come hither you have measur'd miles,
How many weary steps,
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Ros. You took the moon at full; but now she's
King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
But your legs should do it.
I am best pleas'd with that. They converse apart. .Biron. White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.
Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey ;-Well run, dice.
Seventh sweet, adicu!
Biron. Thou griev`st my gall.
Let it not be sweet.
Therefore meet. [They converse apart.
Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a
Say you so? Fair lord,-
As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
They converse apart. Kath. What, was your visor inade without a tongue!
Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask.
Will you give horns, chaste lady do not so.
As is the razor's edge invisible,
Above the sense of sense: so sensible
Ros. Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Kath. Yes, in good faith. Prin.
Go, sickness as thou art! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statutecaps.
Bit will you hear the king is my love sworn.
In their own shapes; for it can never be,
Boyet. They will, they will, God knows; And leap for joy, though they are laine with blows: Therefore, change favors; and when they repair, Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
Prin. How blow how blow? speak to be understood.
Boyet. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their bud: Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do, If they return in their own shapes to woo?
Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd, Let's mock them stili, 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.
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
Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.
At wakes and wassels, meetings, markets, fairs;
That put Armado's page out of his part!
Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now?
Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur`d men.
For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
A world of torments though I should endure,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Ay, in truth, my lord; Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state. Ros. Madain, 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 here 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 fam have drink. Biron. This jest is dry to me-Fair, gentle, sweet, Your wit makes wise things toolish; 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 Ros. This proves you wise and rich: for in my
Can any face of brass hold longer out ?Here stand 1, lady; dart thy skill at me;
Bruise me with scorni, confound me with a
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue; Nor never come in visor to my friend;
Nor woo in rhyme, like a bid harper's song; Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise, Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce alfectation, 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. Biron. Yet I have a trick Of the old rage :-bear with me, I am sick;
• After the fashion of the times.