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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.
And were you well advised?
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 her. Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will reject her. King. Upon mine honor, no,
Ros. Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
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.
Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain.-
The ladies did change favors; and then we,
Hath this brave manège, this career, been run.
Welcome, pure wit! Thou partest a fair fray.
Biron. What, are there but three?
No, sir; but it is vara fine,
For every one pursents three.
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we know what
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;
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,-
Biron. Well said, old
You lie; you are not he.
With libbard's head on knee. mocker; I must needs be friends
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 commander;
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 commander; 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 MOTH 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 MOTH. 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,
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.
Biron. St. George's half-cheek in a brooch.
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?