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Ros. It is not so; for how can this be true, That you stand forfeit, being those that sue? Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with you. Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.

Biron. Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end. King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression, Some fair excuse.


The fairest is confession. Were you not here, but even now, disguised? King. Madam, I was.


And were you well advised?

When you then were here,

King. I was, fair madam.

What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

King. That more than all the world I did respect her. Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will reject her. King. Upon mine honor, no,

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 eyesight; 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 honorably 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.

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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 jeers, and knows the trick
To make my lady laugh, when she's disposed,-
Told our intents before; which once disclosed,

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The ladies did change favors; and then we,
Following the signs, wooed 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. 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 allowed;
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 manège, this career, been run.

Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have done.


Welcome, pure wit! Thou partest a fair fray.
Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know,

Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no.
Biron. What, are there but three?


For every one pursents three.

No, sir; but it is vara fine,

And three times thrice is nine.

Cost. 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 know.

I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,—


Is not nine.

Cost. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth


Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for nine. 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 some [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 company. King. I say, they shall not come.

Prin. 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 them which it presents,

Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
When great things laboring perish in their birth.
Biron. A right description of our sport, my lord.

Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expense 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?

Biron. Why ask you?

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 Machabæus.

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.

King. You are deceived, 'tis not so.

Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the fool, and the boy,

A bare throw at novum; and the whole world again, Cannot prick out five such, take each one in his vein. 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 armed, for Pompey.

Cost. I Pompey am,—


Cost. I Pompey am,


You lie; you are not he.

With libbard's head on knee.

Biron. Well said, old mocker; I must needs be friends

with thee.

Cost. I Pompey am, Pompey, surnamed the Big,Dum. The Great.

Cost. It is Great, sir;-Pompey, surnamed 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, And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France. If your ladyship would say, Thanks, Pompey, I had done. Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey.

Cost. 'Tis not so much worth; but, I hope, I was perfect. I made a little fault in Great.

Biron. My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best worthy.

Enter NATHANIEL armed, for Alexander.

Nath. When in the world I lived, I was the world's com


By east, west, north, and south, I spread my conquering might;

My 'scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander. Boyet. Your nose says, no, you are not; for it stands too right.

Biron. Your nose smells, no, in this, most tender-smelling knight.

Prin. The conqueror is dismayed. Proceed, good Alex


Nath. When in the world I lived, I was the world's com


Boyet. Most true; 'tis right; you were so, Alisander. Biron. Pompey the Great,

Cost. Your servant, and Costard. 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-axe sitting on a closestool, 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, look you, and soon dashed! He is a marvellous good neighbor, 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.

Enter HOLOFERNES armed, for Judas, and MoтH armed for Hercules.

Hol. Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
Whose club killed Cerberus, that three-headed canus.
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. [Exit MoтH. Hol. Judas I am,—

Dum. A Judas!

Hol. Not Iscariot, sir.

Judas I am, ycleped Machabæus.

Dum. Judas Machabæus clipped is plain Judas.
Biron. A kissing traitor!-How art thou proved Judas?
Hol. Judas I am,-

Dum. The more shame for you, Judas.

Hol. What mean you, sir?

Boyet. To make Judas hang himself.

Hol. Begin, sir; you are my elder.

Biron. Well followed. Judas was hanged on an elder.

Hol. I will not be put out of countenance.

Biron. Because thou hast no face.

Hol. What is this?

Boyet. A cittern head.

Dum. The head of a bodkin.

Biron. A death's face in a ring.

Long. The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen. Boyet. The pommel of Cæsar's falchion.

Dum. The carved-bone face on a flask.

Biron. St. George's half-cheek in a brooch.

Dum. Ay, and in a brooch of lead.

Biron. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.

And now, forward; for we have put thee in countenance.
Hol. You have put me out of countenance.
Biron. False; we have given thee faces.

Hol. But you have outfaced 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?

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