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Biron. One word in secret.

Let it not be sweet.

Gall? bitter.

Therefore meet.

[They converse apart.

Biron. Thou griev'st my gall.



Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a

[blocks in formation]

Please it you,

Take that for your fair lady.

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?


No, a fair lord calf.

No, I'll not be your half:

Long. Let's part the word.


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.


Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as


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


Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter


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, MoтH, Musick, 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 tonight?

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


5 A quibble on the French adverb of negation

Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his


And trow you, what he call'd me?


Qualm, perhaps.

Kath. Yes, in good faith.
Go, sickness as thou art!
Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute-
caps, 6

But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.
Prin. And quick Birón hath plighted faith to


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?


They will, they will, God knows; And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows; Therefore, change favours 7; and, when they re


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 still, as well known, as disguis'd, Let us complain to them what fools were here,

6 Better wits may be found among citizens.
7 Features, countenances.

Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless 8 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.

[Exit. Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas; And utters it again when God doth please: He is wit's pedler; and retails his wares At wakes, and wassals 9, 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

8 Uncouth.

9 Rustic merry-meetings.

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: 2
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. King. Construe my speeches better if you may. Prin. Then wish me better, I will give you


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


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.

1 The tenor in musick.

2 The tooth of the horse-whale.

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