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Please it you,
Biron. One word in secret.
Let it not be sweet.
Gall ? bitter.
[They converse apart. Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a
Say you so ? Fair lord, Take that for your fair lady.
[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
Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman ;-- Is not veal
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, 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 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 5, quoth I; my servant straight was mute.
5 A quibble on the French adverb of negation.
Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his
heart; And trow you, what he calld me? Prin.
Qualm, perhaps. Kath. Yes, in good faith. Prin.
Go, sickness as thou art! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statuteBut 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?
Boyet. They will, they will, God knows; And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows; Therefore, change favours 7; and, when they re
pair, Blow like sweet roses in this summer air. Prin. How blow? how blow? speak to be un.
derstood. 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;
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 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
9 Rustic merry-meetings.
A mean' most meanly; and, in ushering,
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
King. Al hail, sweet madam, and fair time of
Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive.
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
Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. King. Rebuke me not for that which you proThe 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.