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Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps*. 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. 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 favourst; 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 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, 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 Princers, Ros. Kath. and Maria.

Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain, in their proper habits.

King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the prin


Better wits may be found among citizens.

+ Features, countenances.


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 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 meant most meanly; and, in ushering, Mend bim 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 bonet: 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?

Rustic merry-mectings,

↑ The tenor in musick.

The tooth of the horse-whale.

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 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 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?


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.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.

* After the fashion of the times.

Biron. This jest is dry to me-Fair, gentle 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?


I cannot give you less. Ros. Which of the visors was it, that you wore? Biron. Where? when? what visor? why demand you this?

Ros. There, then, thatvisor; 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 highness 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 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*;

* Mistress.

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

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.

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.
Biron. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo us.
Ros. It is not so; For how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with you.
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an end.
King, Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude trans-

Some fair excuse.


The fairest is confession.

Were you not here, but even, now, disguis'd?

King. Madam, I was.


And were you well advis'd?

When you then were here,

King. I was, fair madam.

What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

King. That more than all the world I did respect


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