Page images

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 mask. [The ludies mask

ers come.

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

Moth. All hail! the richest beauties on the earth! Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffata. 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


Biron. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you


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.

Boyct. 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.


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:

Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange. Ros. Play, musick, then: nay, you must do it soon. [Musick plays. Not yet;-no dance :—thus change I like the moon. King. Will you not dance? How come you tkus 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 musick plays; vouchsafe some motion to it. Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it.

[ocr errors]


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


[ocr errors]

Ros. Your absence only.

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.

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.


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

Let it not be sweet.


Biron. Thou griev'st my gall.



Gall? bitter.

Therefore meet. [They converse apart. Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?

Mar. Name it.



Fair lady,

Say you so? Fair lord,

Take that for your fair lady.

As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.

Please it you,

[They converse apart. Kath. What, was your visor made without a tongue?

Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. Kuth. O, for your reason! quickly, sir; I long. Long. You have a double tongue within your mask, And would afford my speechless visor half.

Long. A calf, fair lady?

Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman;-Is not veal a calf?

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


Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.

Falsify dice, lye.

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 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,
Eleeter 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

[ocr errors]


[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 breathis 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, 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?

[ocr errors]


Qualm, perhaps.

Kath. Yes, in good faith.

Go, sickness as thou art!

* A quibble on the French adverb of negation.

« PreviousContinue »