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strangling a snake; and I will have an apology | But, Rosaline, you have a favour too :
for that purpose.
Who sent it? and what is it?
Ros.

Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the audience hiss, you may cry Well done, Hercules! now thou crushest the snake!' that is the way to make an offence gracious, though few have the grace to do it.

Arm. For the rest of the Worthies?
Hol. I will play three myself.
Moth. Thrice-worthy gentleman!
Arm. Shall I tell you a thing
Hol. We attend.

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Arm. We will have, if this fadge not, an antick. I beseech you, follow.

Hol. Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.

Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir.
Hol. Allons! we will employ thee.

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Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play On the tabor to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay. Hol. Most dull, honest Dull. To our sport, away! Exeunt.

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I would you knew:
An if my face were but as fair as yours,
My favour were as great; be witness this.
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne :
The numbers true; and, were the numbering too,
I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs.
O! he hath drawn my picture in his letter.
Prin. Any thing like?

Ros. Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
Prin. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion. 41
Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book.

Ros. 'Ware pencils, ho! let me not die your
debtor,

My red dominical, my golden letter:
O! that your face were not so full of O's.
Prin. A pox of that jest! and I beshrew all
shrows!

But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair
Dumaine?

Kath. Madam, this glove.

Prin.

Did he not send you twain?
Kath. Yes, madam; and moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover : 50
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compil'd, profound simplicity.

Mar. This, and these pearls to me sent Longa-
ville:

The letter is too long by half a mile.

Prin. I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart

The chain were longer and the letter short? Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never part.

Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so. Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.

That same Berowne I'll torture ere I go.
O! that I knew he were but in by the week.
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek,
And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rimes,
And shape his service wholly to my hests,
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
So perttaunt-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,

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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 Bovet, 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 dis-

guis'd,

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Armed 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 Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they

That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.

91

Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore I thought 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;

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I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.' With that all laugh'd and clapp'd him on the shoulder,

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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 apparell'd
thus,

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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, 130
And then the king will court thee for his dear:
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine,
So shall Berowne 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.

140

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. 150
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 Blackamoors with music; MOTH; the KING,
BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE, in
Russian habits, and masked.

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

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The Ladies turn their backs to him.

That ever turn'd their-backs-to mortal views! Berowne. 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

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Berowne. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue! Exit MOTH.

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? Berowne. Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

180

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 her 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.

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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.

Berowne. Tell her we measure them by weary

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Ros. In private then.
King.

I am best pleas'd with that. They converse apart. Berowne. White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.

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Berowne. 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. Berowne. One word in secret. Prin. Let it not be sweet. Berowne. Thou griev'st my gall. Prin. Gall! bitter.

Berowne.

Mar. Name it.

Dum.
Mar.

Therefore meet. They converse apart. Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change

a word?

Fair lady.

Take that for your fair lady.
Dum.
Please it you, 240
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,

Say you so? Fair lord,

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Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout! Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?

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Or ever, but in visors, show their faces? This pert Berowne was out of countenance quite. Ros. O they were all in lamentable cases. The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.

Prin. Berowne did swear himself out of all suit. Mar. Dumaine was at my service, and his sword: 'No point,' quoth I: my servant straight was mute.

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Kath. And Longaville was for my service born.
Mar. Dumaine 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:

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Therefore change favours; and when they repair,
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. 301

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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.

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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 were 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. 370
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
Berowne. This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle

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Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.
Exit.

Berowne. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons
pease,

And utters it again when God doth please.
He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares
At wakes, and wassails, 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; 321
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve.
A' 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. 330
This is the flower that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whales-bone;
And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongu'd Boyet.

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King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my That hid the worse and show'd the better face. heart, King. We are descried: they mock us now downright.

That put Armado's page out of his part!

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,-
Berowne. I am a fool, and full of poverty. 380
Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
Berowne. O! I am yours, and all that I possess.
Ros. All the fool mine?
Berowne.
I cannot give you less.
Ros. Which of the visors was it that you wore?
Berowne. Where? when? what visor? why de-
mand you this?

Ros. There, then, that visor; that superfluous

Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. 390 | What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your
highness sad?

Ros. Help! hold his brows! he'll swoon.
Why look you pale?

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

Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Berowne. Thus pour the stars down plagues for Most honourably doth uphold his word.
perjury.

Can any face of brass hold longer out? Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me;

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Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout;
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
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 rime, like a blind harper's song,
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,

Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation, Figures pedantical; these summer-flies

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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.
Berowne.
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.

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And were you well advis'd?

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 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,

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King. What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,

I never swore this lady such an oath.

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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 Berowne, I thank him, is my dear. What, will you have me, or your pearl again?

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Berowne. 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

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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 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.

480

Boyet.
Full merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.
Berowne. Lo! he is tilting straight. Peace!
I have done.

Enter COSTARD.

Welcome, pure wit! thou part'st a fair fray.
Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know,
Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.
Berowne. What, are there but three?
Cost.

No, sir; but it is vara fine,

For every one pursents three.

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