Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

And shape his service wholly to my behests;
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
So portent-like would I o'ersway his state,
That he should be my fool, and I his fate.

Prin. None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,

As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school;
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.
Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such
excess,

As gravity's revolt to wantonness.

Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote; Since all the power thereof it doth apply, To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

Enter Boyet.

Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. Boyet. O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace?

Prin. Thy news, Boyet?
Boyet.
Prepare, madam, prepare!-
Arm, wenches, arm; encounters mounted are
Against your peace: Love doth approach disguis'd,
Arm'd in arguments; you'll be surpris'd:
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence."
Prin. Saint Dennis to saint Cupid! What are
they,

That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore,
I though to close mine eyes some half an hour:
When, lo! to interrupt my purpos'd rest,
Toward that shade I might behold addrest
The king and his companions: warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
And overheard what you shall overhear;
That, by and by, disguis'd they will be here.
Their herald is a pretty knavish page,
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage:
Action, and accent, did they teach him there;
Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear:
And ever and anon they made a doubt,
Presence majestical would put him out:
For, quoth the king, an angel shalt thou see;
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.
The boy replied, An angel is not evil;
I should have fear'd her, had she been a devil.
With that all laugh'd, and clapp'd him on the
shoulder;

Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
One rubb'd his elbow, thus; and fleer'd, and swore,
A better speech was never spoke before:
Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cry'd, Via! we will do't, come what will come :
The third he caper'd, and cried, All goes well:
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparel'd thus,-
Like Muscovites, or Russians: as I guess,
Their purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance:
And every one his love-feat will advance

Unto his several mistress; which they'll know
By favours several which they did bestow.

Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd:

For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.-

Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear;
And then the king will court thee for his dear;
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine;
So shall Birón take me for Rosaline.
And change you favours too; so shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.

Ros. Come on then; wear the favours most in sight.
Kath. But, in this changing, what is your intent?
Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs :
They do it but in mocking merriment;
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their several counsels they unbosom shall
To loves mistook; and so be mock'd withal,
Upon the next occasion that we meet,
With visages display'd, to talk, and greet.

Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't! Prin. No; to the death, we will not move a foot: Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace; But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her face. 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, The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. There's no such sport, as sport by sport o'erthrown; To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own: So shall we stay, mocking intended game; And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame. [Trumpets sound within. Boyet. The trumpet sounds be mask'd, the maskers come. The ladies mask.

Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain, in Russian habits, and masked; Moth, musicians, and attendants.

Moth. All hail! the richest beauties on the earth! Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffeta. Moth. A holy parcel of the fairest dames,

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 favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe

Not to behold

Biron. Once to behold, rogue.

Moth. Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,with your sun-beamed eyes

Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet; You were best call it, daughter-beamed eyes. Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings me out.

Biron. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue.

Ros. What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet:

If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
That some plain man recount their purposes:
Know what they would.

Boyet. What would you with the princess?
Biron. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation.
Ros. What would they, say they?

Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. Ros. Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.

Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be gone. King. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles, To tread a measure with you on this grass. 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

Is in one mile: if they have measur'd many,
The measure then of one is easily told.

Boyet. If, to come hither you have measur'd miles,
And many miles; the princess bids you tell,
How many inches do fill up one mile.

Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.
Boyet. She hears herself.
Ros.

How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,
Are number'd in the travel of one mile?

Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you; Our duty is so rich, so infinite,

That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,
That we, like savages, may worship it.

Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too. King. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do! Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine (Those clouds remov'd,) upon our wat❜ry eyne.

Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter; Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. King. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change:

soon.

Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange. Ros. Play, music, then: nay, you must do it [Music plays. Not yet;-no dance:-thus change I like the moon. King. Will you not dance? How come you thus estrang'd?

Ros. You took the moon at full; but now she's chang'd.

King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it. Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it.

[ocr errors]

King.
But your legs should do it.
Ros. Since you are strangers, and come here by
chance,

We'll not be nice: take hands ;—we will not dance.
King. Why take we hands then?
Ros.
Only to part friends:-
Court'sy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
King. More measure of this measure; be not nice.
Ros. We can afford no more at such a price.
King. Prize you yourselves; What buys your
company?

Ros. Your absence only. King.

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. King.

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.

Biron. Nay then, two treys (an if you grow so nice,)

Metheglin, wort, and malmsey ;-Well run, dice! There's half a dozen sweets.

Prin.

Seventh sweet, adieu! Since you can cog,! I'll play no more with you. Biron. One word in secret. Prin.

Let it not be sweet. Biron. Thou griev'st my gall. Prin.

Biron.

Gall? bitter. Therefore meet. [They converse apart.

Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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?
Kath.
No, a fair lord calf.
Long. Let's part the word.
Kath.

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
[They converse apart.

cry.

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 break off,

things.

Ros. Not one word more, my maids;

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 wonder'd at ? Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd 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 Bírón 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 call'd me?
Prin.

Kath. Yes, in good faith.
Prin.

Qualm, perhaps.

Go, sickness as thou art! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statutecaps.3

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. Mur. Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree. Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear: Immediately they will again be here

(3) Better wits may be found among citizens,

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 favours; and when they repair,
Blow like sweet roses in the 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 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 advis'd,
Let's mock them still, 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
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 whale's 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, usher'd by Boyet; Rosaline,
Maria, Katharine, and attendants.
Biron. See where it comes!-Behaviour, what
wert thou,

Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now?
King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of
day!

Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive.

(1) Features, countenances.

Rustic merry-meetings.

The tenor in music.

(2) Uncouth.

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 perjur'd men. King. Rebuke me not for that which you provoke ;

The virtue of your eye must break my oath. Prin. You nick-name virtue: vice you should have spoke;

For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
Now, by my maiden honour, 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, vow'd with integrity.
King. O, you have liv'd 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 stay'd an hour,
And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.
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

I

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.
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 dc-

mand 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 high-
ness 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 picces with thy keen conceit;

(5) The tooth of the horse-whale.
(6) After the fashion of the times.

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.
Biron.
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.

Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens

to us.

[blocks in formation]

her.

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. (1) Mistress.

(2) Make no difficulty.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

[To Boyet,

Forestal 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 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
done.

[blocks in formation]

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.

some care.

Cost. We will turn it fincly off, sir; we will tako [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

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Boyet. Your nose says, no, you are not; for it stands too right.

That sport best pleases, that doth least know how: | My 'scutcheon plain declares, that I am Alisander.
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.

Enter Armado.

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?

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

Prin. The conqueror is dismay'd: Proceed, good Alexander.

Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the world's commander ;

Boyet. Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Ali-
sander.

Biron. Pompey the great,-
Cost.
Your servant, and Costárd.
Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away
Alisander.

Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making. Arm. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey Alisander the conqueror? You will be scraped out Cost. O, sir, [To Nath.] you have overthrown monarch: for, I protest, the school-master is excecding fantastical; too, too vain; too, too vain : of the painted cloth for this: your lion, that holds But we will put it, as they say, to fortuna della his poll-ax sitting on a close-stool, will be given to guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal A-jax, he will be the ninth worthy. A conqueror, couplement ! [Exit Armado. and afeard to speak! run away for shame, AlisanKing. Here is like to be a good presence of wor- der. [Nath. retires.] There, an't shall please you; thies: He presents Hector of Troy; the swain, a foolish mild man; an honest man, look you, and Pompey the great; the parish curate, Alexander; soon dash'd! He is a marvellous good neighbour, Armado's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas 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.

Machabæus.

And if these four worthies in their first show thrive,
These four will change habits, and present the

other five.

[blocks in formation]

Cost. I Pompey am,-
Boyet.

Cost. I Pompey am,
Boyet.

Enter Costard

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 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;

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 arm'd, for Alexander. Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the world's commander;

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

[blocks in formation]

Prin. Stand aside, good Pompey.

Enter Holofernes arm'd, for Judas, and Moth
arm'd, for Hercules.

Hol. Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »