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That can never be.

Ros. Then cannot we be bought; and so adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you!
King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.
Ros. In private then.

I am best pleased with that. [They converse apart. Biron. White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three. Biron. 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.
Biron. One word in secret.
Biron. Thou griev'st my gall.
Gall? Bitter.

Let it not be sweet.



Therefore meet. [They converse apart. Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word? Mar. Name it.


Fair lady,


Take that for your fair lady.

Say you so? Fair lord,

Please it you,


As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.

[They converse apart. Kath. What, was your visor made without a tongue? Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. Kath. O, for your reason! quickly, sir; I long. Long. You have a double tongue within your mask, And would afford my speechless visor half.

Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman.-Is not veal a calf?
Long. A calf, fair lady?
Long. Let's part the word.

No, a fair lord calf.

No, I'll not be your half. Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.

Long. Look how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks! Will you give horns, chaste lady? Do not so.

Kath. Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.
Long. One word in private with you, ere I die.
Kath. Bleat softly, then; the butcher hears you cry.
[They converse apart.
Boyet. 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.
Ros. Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.
Biron. By Heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!
King. Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.

[Exeunt King, Lords, MOTH, Music, and Attendants. Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites.Are these the breed of wits so wondered at?

Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puffed out. Ros. Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat. Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout! Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night? Or ever, but in visors, show their faces? This pert Birón was out of countenance quite.

Ros. O they were all in lamentable cases! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.

Prin. Birón did swear himself out of all suit. Mar. Dumain was at my service, and his sword. No point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute. Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart; And trow you what he called me?


Qualm, perhaps.

Kath. Yes, in good faith. Prin. Go, sickness, as thou art! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps. But will you hear? The king is my love sworn. Prin. And quick Birón hath plighted faith to me. Kath. And Longaville was for my service born. Mar. Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree. Boyet. 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. Prin. Will they return?

Boyet. They will, they will, God knows; And leap for joy, though they are lame 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, masked, are roses in their bud. Dismasked, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels veiling 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 advised,
Let's mock them still, as well known, as disguised.
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguised like Muscovites, in shapeless gear;
And wonder what they were; and to what end
Their shallow shows, and prologue vilely penned,
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 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 Jove doth please. He is wit's pedler, 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 kissed away his hand in courtesy; This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice In honorable 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.

Biron. See where it comes!-Behavior, what wert thou, Till this man showed thee? and what art thou now? VOL. I.—32


King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!
Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive.
King. Construe my speeches better, if you may.
Prin. Then wish me better; I will give you leave.
King. We came to visit you; and purpose now

To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then. Prin. This field shall hold me; and so hold your vow.

Nor God, nor I, delight in perjured men. King. Rebuke me not for that which you provoke; The virtue of your eye must break my oath. Prin. You nickname virtue; vice you should have spoke; For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. Now, by my maiden honor, 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.
King. O, you have lived in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. 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.

King. How, madam? Russians? Prin. Ay, in truth, my lord; Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state. Ros. 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 here with four In Russian habit. Here they staid an hour, And talked 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.

Biron. 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. Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my eye,— 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.

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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 showed the better face.

King. We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.
Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
Prin. Amazed, my lord? Why looks your highness sad?
Ros. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look you

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 penned,

Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue; Nor never come in visor to my friend;

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song. Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,

Three-piled 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 expressed

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

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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.

Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens to us.
Biron. Our states are forfeit; seek not to undo us.

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