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Cost. Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast, being loose.

Moth. No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.

Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I have seen, some shall see.

Moth. What shall some see?

Cost. Nay nothing, master Moth, but what they look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words; and, therefore, I will say nothing: I thank God, I have as little patience as another man; and, therefore, I can be quiet.

[Exeunt Moth and COSTARD. Arm. I do affect the very ground, which is base, where her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, which is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, (which is a great argument of falsehood,) if I love: And how can that be true love, which is falsely attempted ? Love is a familiar; love is a devil : there is no evil angel but love. Yet Sampson was so tempted ; and he had an excellent strength: yet was Solomon so seduced ; and he had a very good wit. Cupid's butt-shaft' is too hard for Hercules' club, and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier. The first and second cause will not serve my turn; the passado he respects not, the duello he regards not: his disgrace is to be called boy; but his glory is, to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust, rapier! be still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea, he loveth.

Assist me some extemporal god of rhyme, for, I am sure, I shall turn sonneteer. Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.

[Exit.

[merged small][ocr errors]

affect — ] i. e. love.
butt-shaft -] i. e. an arrow to shoot at butts with.

5

ACT II.

SCENE I.-Another Part of the same. A Pavilion

and Tents at a Distance.

Enter the Princess of France, ROSALINE, MARIA,

KATHARINE, Boyer, Lords, and other Attendants.

Boyet. Now, madam, summon up your dearest spiritso : Consider who the king your father sends; To whom he sends; and what's his embassy ; Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem; To parley with the sole inheritor Of all perfections that a man may owe, Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight Than Aquitain ; a dowry for a queen. Be now as prodigal of all dear grace, As nature was in making graces dear, When she did starve the general world beside, And prodigally gave them all to you.

Prin. Good lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean, Needs not the painted flourish of your praise ; Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues : I am less proud to hear you tell my worth, Than you much willing to be counted wise In spending your wit in the praise of mine. But now to task the tasker,-Good Boyet, You are not ignorant, all-telling fame Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow, Till painful study shall out-wear three years, No woman may approach his silent court :

your dearest spirits :] Dear, in our author's language, has many shades of meaning. In the present instance and the next, it appears to signify-best, most powerful. Steevens.

Therefore to us seemeth it a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure ; and in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness', we single you
As our best-moving fair solicitor:
Tell him, the daughter of the king of France,
On serious business, craving quick despatch,
Impórtunes personal conference with his grace.
Haste, signify so much ; while we attend,
Like humbly-visag'd suitors, his high will.
Boyet. Proud of employment, willingly I go.

[Erit.
Prin. All pride is willing pride, and your's is so.-
Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke ?

1 Lord. Longaville is one.
Prin.

Know you the man?
Mar. I know him, madam ; at a marriage feast,
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Falconbridge solémnized,
In Normandy saw I this Longaville :
A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd ;
Well fitted in the arts, glorious in arms:
Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well.
The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss,
(If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,)
Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a will ;
Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
It should none spare that come within his power.

Prin. Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so ?
Mar. They say so most, that most his humours know.

Prin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow. Who are the rest ?

Kath. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd youth, Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd : Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill ; For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,

7. Bold of your worthiness,] i. e. confident of it.

And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
I saw him at the duke Alençon's once ;
And much too little of that good I saw,
Is my report, to his great worthiness.

Ros. Another of these students at that time
Was there with him: if I have heard a truth,
Biron they call him ; but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal :
His eye begets occasion for his wit;
For every object that the one doth catch,
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ;
Which his fair tongue, (conceit's expositor,)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravish'd ;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.

Prin. God bless my ladies! are they all in love,
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise ?

Mar. Here comes Boyet.

Re-enter BoYET.

Prin.

Now, what admittance, lord ? Boyet. Navarre had notice of your fair approach ; And he, and his competitors in oath', Were all address'd' to meet you, gentle lady, Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt, He rather means to lodge you in the field, (Like one that comes here to besiege his court,) Than seek a dispensation for his oath To let you enter his unpeopled house. Here comes Navarre,

[The ladies mask.

8 And much too little, &c.] i.e. and my report of the good I saw is much too little compared to his great worthiness.

competitors in oath,] i. e. confederates. I Were all address'd — ]

To address is to prepare.

9

Enter King, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BIRON, and

Attendants.

King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.

Prin. Fair, I give you back again ; and, welcome I have not yet : the roof of this court is too high to be yours: and welcome to the wild fields too base to be mine.

King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
Prin. I will be welcome then ; conduct me thither.
King. Hear me, dear lady, I have sworn an oath.
Prin. Our lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn.
King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
Prin. Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing else.
King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.

Prin. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
Where' now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
I hear, your grace hath sworn-out house-keeping:
'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
And sin to break it:
But pardon me, I am too sudden-bold;
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
And suddenly resolve me in my suit. [Gives a paper.

King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.

Prin. You will the sooner, that I were away;
For you'll prove perjur'd, if you make me stay.

Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ?
Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Biron. I know, you did.
Ros.

How needless was it then
To ask the question !
Biron.

You must not be so quick. Ros. 'Tis ʼlong of you that spur me with such

questions.

2 Where -]

Where is here used for whereas.

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