Love's Labor's Lost - Entire Play
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In Love’s Labor’s Lost, the comedy centers on four young men who fall in love against their wills. The men, one of them the king of Navarre, pledge to study for three years, avoiding all contact with women. When the Princess of France arrives on a state visit, the king insists she and her ladies camp outside the court. Even so, each young man falls in love with one of the ladies.
Meanwhile, Don Armado, a Spanish soldier, falls for a servant girl, Jacquenetta. Costard, an illiterate local, mixes up two letters he is to deliver, one from Armado to Jacquenetta and the other from Berowne, one of the king’s companions, to Rosaline, one of the French ladies.
The men confess they are in love, and devise a pageant for the ladies, who set a trap for them by exchanging identifying markers. When word comes that the princess’s father is dead, the ladies reject the men’s proposals as rash and impose a year’s delay before any further wooing.
Longaville, and Dumaine.
0001 Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
0002 Live registered upon our brazen tombs,
0003 And then grace us in the disgrace of death,
0004 When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
0005 5 Th’ endeavor of this present breath may buy
0006 That honor which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge
0007 And make us heirs of all eternity.
0008 Therefore, brave conquerors, for so you are
0009 That war against your own affections
0010 10 And the huge army of the world’s desires,
0011 Our late edict shall strongly stand in force.
0012 Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
0013 Our court shall be a little academe,
0014 Still and contemplative in living art.
0015 15 You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville,
0016 Have sworn for three years’ term to live with me,
0017 My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes
0018 That are recorded in this schedule here.
⌜He holds up a scroll.⌝
0019 Your oaths are passed, and now subscribe your
0020 20 names,
0021 That his own hand may strike his honor down
0023 If you are armed to do as sworn to do,
0024 Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
0025 25 I am resolved. ’Tis but a ⟨three⟩ years’ fast.
0026 The mind shall banquet though the body pine.
0027 Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
0028 Make rich the ribs but bankrout quite the wits.
⌜He signs his name.⌝
0029 My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified.
0030 30 The grosser manner of these world’s delights
0031 He throws upon the gross world’s baser slaves.
0032 To love, to wealth, to ⟨pomp⟩ I pine and die,
0033 With all these living in philosophy.
⌜He signs his name.⌝
0034 I can but say their protestation over.
0035 35 So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
0036 That is, to live and study here three years.
0037 But there are other strict observances:
0038 As not to see a woman in that term,
0039 Which I hope well is not enrollèd there;
0040 40 And one day in a week to touch no food,
0041 And but one meal on every day besides,
0042 The which I hope is not enrollèd there;
0043 And then to sleep but three hours in the night,
0044 And not be seen to wink of all the day—
0045 45 When I was wont to think no harm all night,
0046 And make a dark night too of half the day—
0047 Which I hope well is not enrollèd there.
0048 O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
0049 Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
0050 50 Your oath is passed to pass away from these.
0051 Let me say no, my liege, an if you please.
0052 I only swore to study with your Grace
0053 And stay here in your court for three years’ space.
0054 You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.
0055 55 By yea and nay, sir. Then I swore in jest.
0056 What is the end of study, let me know?
0057 Why, that to know which else we should not know.
0058 Things hid and barred, you mean, from common
0060 60 Ay, that is study’s godlike recompense.
0061 Come on, then, I will swear to study so,
0062 To know the thing I am forbid to know:
0063 As thus—to study where I well may dine,
0064 When I to ⌜feast⌝ expressly am forbid;
0065 65 Or study where to meet some mistress fine
0066 When mistresses from common sense are hid;
0067 Or having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
0068 Study to break it, and not break my troth.
0069 If study’s gain be thus, and this be so,
0070 70 Study knows that which yet it doth not know.
0071 Swear me to this, and I will ne’er say no.
0072 These be the stops that hinder study quite,
0073 And train our intellects to vain delight.
0074 Why, all delights are vain, ⟨and⟩ that most vain
0075 75 Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
0076 As painfully to pore upon a book
0077 To seek the light of truth, while truth the while
0079 Light seeking light doth light of light beguile.
0080 80 So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
0081 Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
0082 Study me how to please the eye indeed
0083 By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
0084 Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed
0085 85 And give him light that it was blinded by.
0086 Study is like the heaven’s glorious sun,
0087 That will not be deep-searched with saucy looks.
0088 Small have continual plodders ever won,
0089 Save base authority from others’ books.
0090 90 These earthly godfathers of heaven’s lights,
0091 That give a name to every fixèd star,
0092 Have no more profit of their shining nights
0093 Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
0094 Too much to know is to know naught but fame,
0095 95 And every godfather can give a name.
0096 How well he’s read to reason against reading.
0097 Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding.
0098 He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.
0099 The spring is near when green geese are a-breeding.
0100 100 How follows that?
BEROWNE 0101 Fit in his place and time.
0102 In reason nothing.
BEROWNE 0103 Something then in rhyme.
0104 Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
0105 105 That bites the firstborn infants of the spring.
0106 Well, say I am. Why should proud summer boast
0107 Before the birds have any cause to sing?
0108 Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
0109 At Christmas I no more desire a rose
0110 110 Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled shows,
0111 But like of each thing that in season grows.
0112 So you, to study now it is too late,
0113 Climb o’er the house to unlock the little gate.
0114 Well, sit you out. Go home, Berowne. Adieu.
0115 115 No, my good lord, I have sworn to stay with you.
0116 And though I have for barbarism spoke more
0117 Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
0118 Yet, confident, I’ll keep what I have sworn
0119 And bide the penance of each three years’ day.
0120 120 Give me the paper. Let me read the same,
0121 And to the strictest decrees I’ll write my name.
0122 How well this yielding rescues thee from shame.
BEROWNE ⌜reads⌝ 0123 Item, That no woman shall come within
0124 a mile of my court. Hath this been proclaimed?
LONGAVILLE 0125 125Four days ago.
BEROWNE 0126 Let’s see the penalty. ⌜Reads:⌝ On pain of
0127 losing her tongue. Who devised this penalty?
LONGAVILLE 0128 Marry, that did I.
BEROWNE 0129 Sweet lord, and why?
0130 130 To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
0131 A dangerous law against gentility.
⌜Reads:⌝ 0132 Item, If any man be seen to talk with a
0133 woman within the term of three years, he shall endure
0134 such public shame as the rest of the court can possible
0135 135 devise.
0137 For well you know here comes in embassy
0138 The French king’s daughter with yourself to speak—
0139 A maid of grace and complete majesty—
0140 140 About surrender up of Aquitaine
0141 To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father.
0142 Therefore this article is made in vain,
0143 Or vainly comes th’ admirèd princess hither.
0144 What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.
0145 145 So study evermore is overshot.
0146 While it doth study to have what it would,
0147 It doth forget to do the thing it should.
0148 And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
0149 ’Tis won as towns with fire—so won, so lost.
0150 150 We must of force dispense with this decree.
0151 She must lie here on mere necessity.
0152 Necessity will make us all forsworn
0153 Three thousand times within this three years’
0155 155 For every man with his affects is born,
0156 Not by might mastered, but by special grace.
0157 If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
0158 I am forsworn on mere necessity.
0159 So to the laws at large I write my name,
0160 160 And he that breaks them in the least degree
0161 Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
0162 Suggestions are to other as to me,
0163 But I believe, although I seem so loath,
0164 I am the last that will last keep his oath.
⌜He signs his name.⌝
0165 165 But is there no quick recreation granted?
0166 Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
0167 With a refinèd traveler of Spain,
0168 A man in all the world’s new fashion planted,
0169 That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
0170 170 One who the music of his own vain tongue
0171 Doth ravish like enchanting harmony,
0172 A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
0173 Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.
0174 This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
0175 175 For interim to our studies shall relate
0176 In high-born words the worth of many a knight
0177 From tawny Spain lost in the world’s debate.
0178 How you delight, my lords, I know not, I,
0179 But I protest I love to hear him lie,
0180 180 And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
0181 Armado is a most illustrious wight,
0182 A man of fire-new words, fashion’s own knight.
0183 Costard the swain and he shall be our sport,
0184 And so to study three years is but short.
Enter ⌜Dull,⌝ a Constable, with a letter, ⌜and⌝ Costard.
DULL 0185 185Which is the Duke’s own person?
BEROWNE 0186 This, fellow. What wouldst?
DULL 0187 I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his
0188 Grace’s farborough. But I would see his own
0189 person in flesh and blood.
BEROWNE 0190 190This is he.
DULL, ⌜to King⌝ 0191 Signior Arm-, Arm-, commends you.
0192 There’s villainy abroad. This letter will tell you
0193 more.⌜He gives the letter to the King.⌝
COSTARD 0194 Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching
0195 195 me.
KING 0196 A letter from the magnificent Armado.
0198 for high words.
LONGAVILLE 0199 A high hope for a low heaven. God grant
0200 200 us patience!
BEROWNE 0201 To hear, or forbear hearing?
LONGAVILLE 0202 To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately,
0203 or to forbear both.
BEROWNE 0204 Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause
0205 205 to climb in the merriness.
COSTARD 0206 The matter is to me, sir, as concerning
0207 Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with
0208 the manner.
BEROWNE 0209 In what manner?
COSTARD 0210 210In manner and form following, sir, all those
0211 three. I was seen with her in the manor house,
0212 sitting with her upon the form, and taken following
0213 her into the park, which, put together, is “in manner
0214 and form following.” Now, sir, for the manner.
0215 215 It is the manner of a man to speak to a woman. For
0216 the form—in some form.
BEROWNE 0217 For the “following,” sir?
COSTARD 0218 As it shall follow in my correction, and God
0219 defend the right.
KING 0220 220Will you hear this letter with attention?
BEROWNE 0221 As we would hear an oracle.
COSTARD 0222 Such is the sinplicity of man to hearken after
0223 the flesh.
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0224 Great deputy, the welkin’s vicegerent and
0225 225 sole dominator of Navarre, my soul’s earth’s god, and
0226 body’s fost’ring patron—
COSTARD 0227 Not a word of Costard yet.
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0228 So it is—
COSTARD 0229 It may be so, but if he say it is so, he is, in
0230 230 telling true, but so.
KING 0231 Peace.
COSTARD 0232 Be to me, and every man that dares not fight.
COSTARD 0234 Of other men’s secrets, I beseech you.
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0235 235So it is, ⟨besieged⟩ with sable-colored melancholy,
0236 I did commend the black oppressing humor
0237 to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air;
0238 and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The
0239 time when? About the sixth hour, when beasts most
0240 240 graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that
0241 nourishment which is called supper. So much for the
0242 time when. Now for the ground which—which, I
0243 mean, I walked upon. It is yclept thy park. Then for the
0244 place where—where, I mean, I did encounter that
0245 245 obscene and most prepost’rous event that draweth
0246 from my snow-white pen the ebon-colored ink, which
0247 here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But to
0248 the place where. It standeth north-north-east and by
0249 east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted
0250 250 garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain, that
0251 base minnow of thy mirth,—
COSTARD 0252 Me?
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0253 that unlettered, small-knowing soul,—
COSTARD 0254 Me?
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0255 255that shallow vassal,—
COSTARD 0256 Still me?
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0257 which, as I remember, hight Costard,—
COSTARD 0258 O, me!
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0259 sorted and consorted, contrary to thy
0260 260 established proclaimed edict and continent canon,
0261 which with—O with—but with this I passion to say
COSTARD 0263 With a wench.
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0264 with a child of our grandmother Eve, a
0265 265 female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a
0266 woman: him, I, as my ever-esteemed duty pricks
0267 me on, have sent to thee, to receive the meed of
0268 punishment by thy sweet Grace’s officer, Anthony
0270 270 estimation.
DULL 0271 Me, an ’t shall please you. I am Anthony Dull.
KING ⌜reads⌝ 0272 For Jaquenetta—so is the weaker vessel
0273 called which I apprehended with the aforesaid
0274 swain—I keep her as a vessel of thy law’s fury, and
0275 275 shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial.
0276 Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heartburning
0277 heat of duty,
0278 Don Adriano de Armado.
BEROWNE 0279 This is not so well as I looked for, but the
0280 280 best that ever I heard.
KING 0281 Ay, the best, for the worst. ⌜To Costard.⌝ But,
0282 sirrah, what say you to this?
COSTARD 0283 Sir, I confess the wench.
KING 0284 Did you hear the proclamation?
COSTARD 0285 285I do confess much of the hearing it, but little
0286 of the marking of it.
KING 0287 It was proclaimed a year’s imprisonment to be
0288 taken with a wench.
COSTARD 0289 I was taken with none, sir. I was taken with a
0290 290 damsel.
KING 0291 Well, it was proclaimed “damsel.”
COSTARD 0292 This was no damsel neither, sir. She was a
BEROWNE 0294 It is so varied too, for it was proclaimed
0295 295 “virgin.”
COSTARD 0296 If it were, I deny her virginity. I was taken
0297 with a maid.
KING 0298 This “maid” will not serve your turn, sir.
COSTARD 0299 This maid will serve my turn, sir.
KING 0300 300Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall
0301 fast a week with bran and water.
COSTARD 0302 I had rather pray a month with mutton and
0305 305 My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o’er,
0306 And go we, lords, to put in practice that
0307 Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
⌜King, Longaville, and Dumaine exit.⌝
0308 I’ll lay my head to any goodman’s hat,
0309 These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
0310 310 Sirrah, come on.
COSTARD 0311 I suffer for the truth, sir; for true it is I was
0312 taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true
0313 girl. And therefore welcome the sour cup of prosperity.
0314 Affliction may one day smile again, and till
0315 315 then, sit thee down, sorrow.
ARMADO 0316 Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
0317 grows melancholy?
BOY 0318 A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
ARMADO 0319 Why, sadness is one and the selfsame thing,
0320 5 dear imp.
BOY 0321 No, no. O Lord, sir, no!
ARMADO 0322 How canst thou part sadness and melancholy,
0323 my tender juvenal?
BOY 0324 By a familiar demonstration of the working, my
0325 10 tough signior.
ARMADO 0326 Why “tough signior”? Why “tough signior”?
BOY 0327 Why “tender juvenal”? Why “tender juvenal”?
ARMADO 0328 I spoke it “tender juvenal” as a congruent
0329 epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which
0330 15 we may nominate “tender.”
0332 your old time, which we may name “tough.”
ARMADO 0333 Pretty and apt.
BOY 0334 How mean you, sir? I pretty and my saying apt, or
0335 20 I apt and my saying pretty?
ARMADO 0336 Thou pretty because little.
BOY 0337 Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
ARMADO 0338 And therefore apt, because quick.
BOY 0339 Speak you this in my praise, master?
ARMADO 0340 25In thy condign praise.
BOY 0341 I will praise an eel with the same praise.
ARMADO 0342 What, that an eel is ingenious?
BOY 0343 That an eel is quick.
ARMADO 0344 I do say thou art quick in answers. Thou
0345 30 heat’st my blood.
BOY 0346 I am answered, sir.
ARMADO 0347 I love not to be crossed.
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0348 He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love
0349 not him.
ARMADO 0350 35I have promised to study three years with the
BOY 0352 You may do it in an hour, sir.
ARMADO 0353 Impossible.
BOY 0354 How many is one thrice told?
ARMADO 0355 40I am ill at reckoning. It fitteth the spirit of a
BOY 0357 You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
ARMADO 0358 I confess both. They are both the varnish of a
0359 complete man.
BOY 0360 45Then I am sure you know how much the gross
0361 sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
ARMADO 0362 It doth amount to one more than two.
BOY 0363 Which the base vulgar do call “three.”
ARMADO 0364 True.
BOY 0365 50Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is
0366 “three” studied ere you’ll thrice wink. And how
0368 study “three years” in two words, the dancing horse
0369 will tell you.
ARMADO 0370 55A most fine figure.
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0371 To prove you a cipher.
ARMADO 0372 I will hereupon confess I am in love; and as it
0373 is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a
0374 base wench. If drawing my sword against the
0375 60 humor of affection would deliver me from the
0376 reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner
0377 and ransom him to any French courtier for a
0378 new-devised curtsy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks
0379 I should outswear Cupid. Comfort me, boy. What
0380 65 great men have been in love?
BOY 0381 Hercules, master.
ARMADO 0382 Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear
0383 boy, name more; and, sweet my child, let them be
0384 men of good repute and carriage.
BOY 0385 70Samson, master; he was a man of good carriage,
0386 great carriage, for he carried the town gates on his
0387 back like a porter, and he was in love.
ARMADO 0388 O, well-knit Samson, strong-jointed Samson;
0389 I do excel thee in my rapier as much as thou didst
0390 75 me in carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was
0391 Samson’s love, my dear Mote?
BOY 0392 A woman, master.
ARMADO 0393 Of what complexion?
BOY 0394 Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of
0395 80 the four.
ARMADO 0396 Tell me precisely of what complexion.
BOY 0397 Of the sea-water green, sir.
ARMADO 0398 Is that one of the four complexions?
BOY 0399 As I have read, sir, and the best of them too.
ARMADO 0400 85Green indeed is the color of lovers. But to
0401 have a love of that color, methinks Samson had
0402 small reason for it. He surely affected her for her
ARMADO 0405 90My love is most immaculate white and red.
BOY 0406 Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked
0407 under such colors.
ARMADO 0408 Define, define, well-educated infant.
BOY 0409 My father’s wit and my mother’s tongue, assist
0410 95 me.
ARMADO 0411 Sweet invocation of a child, most pretty and
0413 If she be made of white and red,
0414 Her faults will ne’er be known,
0415 100 For ⌜blushing⌝ cheeks by faults are bred,
0416 And fears by pale white shown.
0417 Then if she fear, or be to blame,
0418 By this you shall not know,
0419 For still her cheeks possess the same
0420 105 Which native she doth owe.
0421 A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
0422 white and red.
ARMADO 0423 Is there not a ballad, boy, of “The King and
0424 the Beggar”?
BOY 0425 110The world was very guilty of such a ballad some
0426 three ages since, but I think now ’tis not to be found;
0427 or if it were, it would neither serve for the writing
0428 nor the tune.
ARMADO 0429 I will have that subject newly writ o’er, that I
0430 115 may example my digression by some mighty precedent.
0431 Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in
0432 the park with the rational hind Costard. She deserves
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0434 To be whipped—and yet a better love than
0435 120 my master.
ARMADO 0436 Sing, boy. My spirit grows heavy in love.
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0437 And that’s great marvel, loving a light
BOY 0440 125Forbear till this company be past.
Enter Clown (⌜Costard,⌝) Constable (⌜Dull,⌝) and Wench
DULL, ⌜to Armado⌝ 0441 Sir, the Duke’s pleasure is that you
0442 keep Costard safe, and you must suffer him to take
0443 no delight, nor no penance, but he must fast three
0444 days a week. For this damsel, I must keep her at the
0445 130 park. She is allowed for the dey-woman. Fare you
ARMADO, ⌜aside⌝ 0447 I do betray myself with blushing.—
JAQUENETTA 0449 Man.
ARMADO 0450 135I will visit thee at the lodge.
JAQUENETTA 0451 That’s hereby.
ARMADO 0452 I know where it is situate.
JAQUENETTA 0453 Lord, how wise you are.
ARMADO 0454 I will tell thee wonders.
JAQUENETTA 0455 140With that face?
ARMADO 0456 I love thee.
JAQUENETTA 0457 So I heard you say.
ARMADO 0458 And so, farewell.
JAQUENETTA 0459 Fair weather after you.
⌜DULL⌝ 0460 145Come, Jaquenetta, away.
⌜Dull and Jaquenetta⌝ exit.
ARMADO, ⌜to Costard⌝ 0461 Villain, thou shalt fast for thy
0462 offenses ere thou be pardoned.
COSTARD 0463 Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on
0464 a full stomach.
ARMADO 0465 150Thou shalt be heavily punished.
COSTARD 0466 I am more bound to you than your fellows,
0467 for they are but lightly rewarded.
ARMADO, ⌜to Boy⌝ 0468 Take away this villain. Shut him up.
BOY 0469 Come, you transgressing slave, away.
0471 fast being loose.
BOY 0472 No, sir, that were fast and loose. Thou shalt to
COSTARD 0474 Well, if ever I do see the merry days of
0475 160 desolation that I have seen, some shall see.
BOY 0476 What shall some see?
COSTARD 0477 Nay, nothing, Master Mote, but what they
0478 look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent in
0479 their words, and therefore I will say nothing. I thank
0480 165 God I have as little patience as another man, and
0481 therefore I can be quiet.
⌜Costard and Boy⌝ exit.
ARMADO 0482 I do affect the very ground (which is base)
0483 where her shoe (which is baser) guided by her foot
0484 (which is basest) doth tread. I shall be forsworn
0485 170 (which is a great argument of falsehood) if I love.
0486 And how can that be true love which is falsely
0487 attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil. There is
0488 no evil angel but love, yet was Samson so tempted,
0489 and he had an excellent strength; yet was Solomon
0490 175 so seduced, and he had a very good wit. Cupid’s
0491 butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules’ club, and therefore
0492 too much odds for a Spaniard’s rapier. The first
0493 and second cause will not serve my turn; the
0494 passado he respects not, the duello he regards not.
0495 180 His disgrace is to be called “boy,” but his glory is to
0496 subdue men. Adieu, valor; rust, rapier; be still,
0497 drum, for your manager is in love. Yea, he loveth.
0498 Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme, for I am
0499 sure I shall turn sonnet. Devise wit, write pen, for I
0500 185 am for whole volumes in folio.
Ladies (⌜Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine), Boyet⌝
and ⌜other⌝ Lords.
0501 Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
0502 Consider who the King your father sends,
0503 To whom he sends, and what’s his embassy.
0504 Yourself, held precious in the world’s esteem,
0505 5 To parley with the sole inheritor
0506 Of all perfections that a man may owe,
0507 Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
0508 Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
0509 Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
0510 10 As nature was in making graces dear
0511 When she did starve the general world besides
0512 And prodigally gave them all to you.
0513 Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
0514 Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
0515 15 Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
0516 Not uttered by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.
0517 I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
0518 Than you much willing to be counted wise
0519 In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
0520 20 But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
0522 Doth noise abroad Navarre hath made a vow,
0523 Till painful study shall outwear three years,
0524 No woman may approach his silent court.
0525 25 Therefore to ’s seemeth it a needful course,
0526 Before we enter his forbidden gates,
0527 To know his pleasure, and in that behalf,
0528 Bold of your worthiness, we single you
0529 As our best-moving fair solicitor.
0530 30 Tell him the daughter of the King of France
0531 On serious business craving quick dispatch,
0532 ⟨Importunes⟩ personal conference with his Grace.
0533 Haste, signify so much, while we attend,
0534 Like ⟨humble-visaged⟩ suitors, his high will.
0535 35 Proud of employment, willingly I go.
0536 All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
0537 Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
0538 That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
0539 ⌜Lord⌝ Longaville is one.
PRINCESS 0540 40 Know you the man?
0541 I know him, madam. At a marriage feast
0542 Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
0543 Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnizèd
0544 In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
0545 45 A man of sovereign ⟨parts⟩ he is esteemed,
0546 Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms.
0547 Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
0548 The only soil of his fair virtue’s gloss,
0549 If virtue’s gloss will stain with any soil,
0550 50 Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will,
0551 Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
0552 It should none spare that come within his power.
0553 Some merry mocking lord, belike. Is ’t so?
0554 They say so most that most his humors know.
0555 55 Such short-lived wits do wither as they grow.
0556 Who are the rest?
0557 The young Dumaine, a well-accomplished youth,
0558 Of all that virtue love for virtue loved.
0559 Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
0560 60 For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
0561 And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
0562 I saw him at the Duke Alanson’s once,
0563 And much too little of that good I saw
0564 Is my report to his great worthiness.
0565 65 Another of these students at that time
0566 Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
0567 Berowne they call him, but a merrier man,
0568 Within the limit of becoming mirth,
0569 I never spent an hour’s talk withal.
0570 70 His eye begets occasion for his wit,
0571 For every object that the one doth catch
0572 The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
0573 Which his fair tongue, conceit’s expositor,
0574 Delivers in such apt and gracious words
0575 75 That agèd ears play truant at his tales,
0576 And younger hearings are quite ravishèd,
0577 So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
0578 God bless my ladies, are they all in love,
0579 That every one her own hath garnishèd
0580 80 With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
0581 Here comes Boyet.
PRINCESS 0582 Now, what admittance, lord?
0583 Navarre had notice of your fair approach,
0584 And he and his competitors in oath
0585 85 Were all addressed to meet you, gentle lady,
0586 Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learned:
0587 He rather means to lodge you in the field,
0588 Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
0589 Than seek a dispensation for his oath
0590 90 To let you enter his ⟨unpeopled⟩ house.
Enter ⌜King of⌝ Navarre, Longaville, Dumaine, and
0591 Here comes Navarre.
KING 0592 Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
PRINCESS 0593 “Fair” I give you back again, and “welcome”
0594 I have not yet. The roof of this court is too
0595 95 high to be yours, and welcome to the wide fields too
0596 base to be mine.
0597 You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
0598 I will be welcome, then. Conduct me thither.
0599 Hear me, dear lady. I have sworn an oath.
0600 100 Our Lady help my lord! He’ll be forsworn.
0601 Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
0602 Why, will shall break it, will and nothing else.
0603 Your Ladyship is ignorant what it is.
0604 Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
0605 105 Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
0606 I hear your Grace hath sworn out housekeeping.
0607 ’Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
0608 And sin to break it.
0609 But pardon me, I am too sudden bold.
0610 110 To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
0611 Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
0612 And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
⌜She gives him a paper.⌝
0613 Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
0614 You will the sooner that I were away,
0615 115 For you’ll prove perjured if you make me stay.
⌜They walk aside while the King reads the paper.⌝
BEROWNE, ⌜to Rosaline⌝
0616 Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
0617 Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
0618 I know you did.
⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0619 How needless was it then
0620 120 To ask the question.
BEROWNE 0621 You must not be so quick.
0622 ’Tis long of you that spur me with such questions.
0623 Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too fast; ’twill tire.
0624 Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
0625 125 What time o’ day?
⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0626 The hour that fools should ask.
BEROWNE 0627 Now fair befall your mask.
BEROWNE 0629 And send you many lovers.
⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0630 130Amen, so you be none.
BEROWNE 0631 Nay, then, will I be gone.
KING, ⌜coming forward with the Princess⌝
0632 Madam, your father here doth intimate
0633 The payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
0634 Being but the one half of an entire sum
0635 135 Disbursèd by my father in his wars.
0636 But say that he or we, as neither have,
0637 Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid
0638 A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which
0639 One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
0640 140 Although not valued to the money’s worth.
0641 If then the King your father will restore
0642 But that one half which is unsatisfied,
0643 We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
0644 And hold fair friendship with his Majesty.
0645 145 But that, it seems, he little purposeth;
0646 For here he doth demand to have repaid
0647 A hundred thousand crowns, and not demands,
0648 On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
0649 To have his title live in Aquitaine—
0650 150 Which we much rather had depart withal,
0651 And have the money by our father lent,
0652 Than Aquitaine, so gelded as it is.
0653 Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
0654 From reason’s yielding, your fair self should make
0655 155 A yielding ’gainst some reason in my breast,
0656 And go well satisfied to France again.
0657 You do the King my father too much wrong,
0658 And wrong the reputation of your name,
0659 In so unseeming to confess receipt
0660 160 Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.
0661 I do protest I never heard of it;
0662 And if you prove it, I’ll repay it back
0663 Or yield up Aquitaine.
PRINCESS 0664 We arrest your word.—
0665 165 Boyet, you can produce acquittances
0666 For such a sum from special officers
0667 Of Charles his father.
KING 0668 Satisfy me so.
0669 So please your Grace, the packet is not come
0670 170 Where that and other specialties are bound.
0671 Tomorrow you shall have a sight of them.
0672 It shall suffice me; at which interview
0673 All liberal reason I will yield unto.
0674 Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
0675 175 As honor (without breach of honor) may
0676 Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
0677 You may not come, fair princess, within my gates,
0678 But here without you shall be so received
0679 As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,
0680 180 Though so denied fair harbor in my house.
0681 Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
0682 Tomorrow shall we visit you again.
0683 Sweet health and fair desires consort your Grace.
0684 Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.
He exits ⌜with Dumaine,
Longaville, and Attendants.⌝
BEROWNE, ⌜to Rosaline⌝ 0685 185Lady, I will commend you to
0686 my ⟨own⟩ heart.
ROSALINE 0687 Pray you, do my commendations. I would
0688 be glad to see it.
BEROWNE 0689 I would you heard it groan.
BEROWNE 0691 Sick at the heart.
ROSALINE 0692 Alack, let it blood.
BEROWNE 0693 Would that do it good?
ROSALINE 0694 My physic says “ay.”
BEROWNE 0695 195Will you prick ’t with your eye?
ROSALINE 0696 No point, with my knife.
BEROWNE 0697 Now God save thy life.
ROSALINE 0698 And yours from long living.
BEROWNE 0699 I cannot stay thanksgiving.He exits.
DUMAINE, ⌜to Boyet⌝
0700 200 Sir, I pray you, a word. What lady is that same?
0701 The heir of Alanson, ⌜Katherine⌝ her name.
0702 A gallant lady, monsieur. Fare you well.He exits.
LONGAVILLE, ⌜to Boyet⌝
0703 I beseech you, a word. What is she in the white?
0704 A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.
0705 205 Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
0706 She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a
LONGAVILLE 0708 Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
BOYET 0709 Her mother’s, I have heard.
LONGAVILLE 0710 210God’s blessing on your beard!
BOYET 0711 Good sir, be not offended. She is an heir of
LONGAVILLE 0713 Nay, my choler is ended. She is a most
0714 sweet lady.
BEROWNE, ⌜to Boyet⌝ 0716 What’s her name in the cap?
BOYET 0717 ⌜Rosaline,⌝ by good hap.
BEROWNE 0718 Is she wedded or no?
BOYET 0719 To her will, sir, or so.
BEROWNE 0720 220You are welcome, sir. Adieu.
BOYET 0721 Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
0722 That last is Berowne, the merry madcap lord.
0723 Not a word with him but a jest.
BOYET 0724 And every jest but
0725 225 a word.
0726 It was well done of you to take him at his word.
0727 I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.
0728 Two hot sheeps, marry.
BOYET 0729 And wherefore not ships?
0730 230 No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
0731 You sheep and I pasture. Shall that finish the jest?
0732 So you grant pasture for me.⌜He tries to kiss her.⌝
⌜KATHERINE⌝ 0733 Not so, gentle beast,
0734 My lips are no common, though several they be.
0735 235 Belonging to whom?
⌜KATHERINE⌝ 0736 To my fortunes and me.
0737 Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree,
0738 This civil war of wits were much better used
0739 On Navarre and his bookmen, for here ’tis abused.
0740 240 If my observation, which very seldom lies,
0741 By the heart’s still rhetoric, disclosèd wi’ th’ eyes,
0742 Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
PRINCESS 0743 With what?
0744 With that which we lovers entitle “affected.”
PRINCESS 0745 245Your reason?
0746 Why, all his behaviors did make their retire
0747 To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.
0748 His heart like an agate with your print impressed,
0749 Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed.
0750 250 His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
0751 Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
0752 All senses to that sense did make their repair,
0753 To feel only looking on fairest of fair.
0754 Methought all his senses were locked in his eye,
0755 255 As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy,
0756 Who, tend’ring their own worth from where they
0757 were glassed,
0758 Did point you to buy them along as you passed.
0759 His face’s own margent did quote such amazes
0760 260 That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
0761 I’ll give you Aquitaine, and all that is his,
0762 An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
PRINCESS, ⌜to her Ladies⌝
0763 Come, to our pavilion. Boyet is disposed.
0764 But to speak that in words which his eye hath
0765 265 disclosed.
0766 I only have made a mouth of his eye
0767 By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
0768 Thou art an old lovemonger and speakest skillfully.
0769 He is Cupid’s grandfather, and learns news of him.
0770 270 Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is
0771 but grim.
0772 Do you hear, my mad wenches?
⌜MARIA⌝ 0773 No.
BOYET 0774 What then, do
0775 275 you see?
0776 Ay, our way to be gone.
BOYET 0777 You are too hard for me.
They all exit.
ARMADO 0778 Warble, child, make passionate my sense of
BOY ⌜sings⌝ 0780 Concolinel.
ARMADO 0781 Sweet air. Go, tenderness of years. ⌜He hands
over a key.⌝ 0782 5Take this key, give enlargement to the
0783 swain, bring him festinately hither. I must employ
0784 him in a letter to my love.
BOY 0785 Master, will you win your love with a French
ARMADO 0787 10How meanest thou? Brawling in French?
BOY 0788 No, my complete master, but to jig off a tune at the
0789 tongue’s end, canary to it with your feet, humor it
0790 with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and sing a
0791 note, sometimes through the throat ⌜as⌝ if you
0792 15 swallowed love with singing love, sometimes
0793 through ⌜the⌝ nose as if you snuffed up love by
0794 smelling love; with your hat penthouse-like o’er the
0795 shop of your eyes, with your arms crossed on your
0796 ⟨thin-belly⟩ doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your
0797 20 hands in your pocket like a man after the old
0798 painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a
0799 snip and away. These are compliments, these are
0800 humors; these betray nice wenches that would be
0801 betrayed without these, and make them men of
0803 to these.
ARMADO 0804 How hast thou purchased this experience?
BOY 0805 By my ⌜penny⌝ of observation.
ARMADO 0806 But O— but O—.
BOY 0807 30“The hobby-horse is forgot.”
ARMADO 0808 Call’st thou my love “hobby-horse”?
BOY 0809 No, master. The hobby-horse is but a colt, ⌜aside⌝
0810 and your love perhaps a hackney.—But have you
0811 forgot your love?
ARMADO 0812 35Almost I had.
BOY 0813 Negligent student, learn her by heart.
ARMADO 0814 By heart and in heart, boy.
BOY 0815 And out of heart, master. All those three I will
ARMADO 0817 40What wilt thou prove?
BOY 0818 A man, if I live; and this “by, in, and without,”
0819 upon the instant: “by” heart you love her, because
0820 your heart cannot come by her; “in” heart you love
0821 her, because your heart is in love with her; and
0822 45 “out” of heart you love her, being out of heart that
0823 you cannot enjoy her.
ARMADO 0824 I am all these three.
BOY 0825 And three times as much more, ⌜aside⌝ and yet
0826 nothing at all.
ARMADO 0827 50Fetch hither the swain. He must carry me a
BOY 0829 A message well sympathized—a horse to be ambassador
0830 for an ass.
ARMADO 0831 Ha? Ha? What sayest thou?
BOY 0832 55Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,
0833 for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
ARMADO 0834 The way is but short. Away!
BOY 0835 As swift as lead, sir.
ARMADO 0836 ⟨Thy⟩ meaning, pretty ingenious?
0837 60 Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?
0838 Minime, honest master, or rather, master, no.
0839 I say lead is slow.
BOY 0840 You are too swift, sir, to say so.
0841 Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
ARMADO 0842 65Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
0843 He reputes me a cannon, and the bullet, that’s
0845 I shoot thee at the swain.
BOY 0846 Thump, then, and I flee.
0847 70 A most acute juvenal, voluble and free of grace.
0848 By thy favor, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face.
0849 Most rude melancholy, valor gives thee place.
0850 My herald is returned.
Enter ⌜Boy⌝ and Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
BOY 0851 A wonder, master!
0852 75 Here’s a costard broken in a shin.
0853 Some enigma, some riddle. Come, thy l’envoi begin.
COSTARD 0854 No egma, no riddle, no l’envoi, no salve in
0855 the mail, sir. O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! No
0856 l’envoi, no l’envoi, no salve, sir, but a plantain.
ARMADO 0857 80By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly
0858 thought, my spleen. The heaving of my lungs
0859 provokes me to ridiculous smiling. O pardon me,
0860 my stars! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for
0861 l’envoi, and the word l’envoi for a salve?
0862 85 Do the wise think them other? Is not l’envoi a salve?
0863 No, page, it is an epilogue or discourse to make plain
0865 I will example it:
0866 The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
0867 90 Were still at odds, being but three.
0868 There’s the moral. Now the l’envoi.
BOY 0869 I will add the l’envoi. Say the moral again.
0870 The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
0871 Were still at odds, being but three.
0872 95 Until the goose came out of door
0873 And stayed the odds by adding four.
0874 Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
0875 my l’envoi.
0876 The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
0877 100 Were still at odds, being but three.
0878 Until the goose came out of door,
0879 Staying the odds by adding four.
BOY 0880 A good l’envoi, ending in the goose. Would you
0881 desire more?
0882 105 The boy hath sold him a bargain—a goose, that’s
0884 Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
0885 To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and
0887 110 Let me see: a fat l’envoi—ay, that’s a fat goose.
0888 Come hither, come hither. How did this argument
0890 By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
0891 Then called you for the l’envoi.
0893 argument in. Then the boy’s fat l’envoi, the goose
0894 that you bought; and he ended the market.
ARMADO 0895 But tell me, how was there a costard broken
0896 in a shin?
BOY 0897 120I will tell you sensibly.
COSTARD 0898 Thou hast no feeling of it, Mote. I will speak
0899 that l’envoi.
0900 I, Costard, running out, that was safely within,
0901 Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
ARMADO 0902 125We will talk no more of this matter.
COSTARD 0903 Till there be more matter in the shin.
ARMADO 0904 Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.
COSTARD 0905 O, marry me to one Frances! I smell some
0906 l’envoi, some goose, in this.
ARMADO 0907 130By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee at
0908 liberty, enfreedoming thy person. Thou wert immured,
0909 restrained, captivated, bound.
COSTARD 0910 True, true; and now you will be my purgation,
0911 and let me loose.
ARMADO 0912 135I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance,
0913 and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but
0914 this: bear this significant to the country maid
0915 Jaquenetta. (⌜He gives him a paper.⌝) There is remuneration
0916 (⌜giving him a coin,⌝) for the best ward of
0917 140 mine honor is rewarding my dependents.—Mote,
0918 follow.⌜He exits.⌝
BOY 0919 Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
0920 My sweet ounce of man’s flesh, my incony Jew!
0921 Now will I look to his remuneration. ⌜He looks at the
coin.⌝ 0922 145“Remuneration”! O, that’s the Latin word for
0923 three farthings. Three farthings—remuneration.
0925 I’ll give you a remuneration.” Why, it carries it!
0926 Remuneration. Why, it is a fairer name than “French
0927 150 crown.” I will never buy and sell out of this word.
BEROWNE 0928 My good knave Costard, exceedingly well
COSTARD 0930 Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon
0931 may a man buy for a remuneration?
BEROWNE 0932 155What is a remuneration?
COSTARD 0933 Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
BEROWNE 0934 Why then, three farthing worth of silk.
COSTARD 0935 I thank your Worship. God be wi’ you.
⌜He begins to exit.⌝
BEROWNE 0936 Stay, slave, I must employ thee.
0937 160 As thou wilt win my favor, good my knave,
0938 Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
COSTARD 0939 When would you have it done, sir?
BEROWNE 0940 This afternoon.
COSTARD 0941 Well, I will do it, sir. Fare you well.
BEROWNE 0942 165Thou knowest not what it is.
COSTARD 0943 I shall know, sir, when I have done it.
BEROWNE 0944 Why, villain, thou must know first.
COSTARD 0945 I will come to your Worship tomorrow
BEROWNE 0947 170It must be done this afternoon. Hark, slave,
0948 it is but this:
0949 The Princess comes to hunt here in the park,
0950 And in her train there is a gentle lady.
0951 When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her
0952 175 name,
0953 And Rosaline they call her. Ask for her,
0954 And to her white hand see thou do commend
gives him money.⌝ 0956 Go.
COSTARD 0957 180Gardon. ⌜He looks at the money.⌝ O sweet
0958 gardon! Better than remuneration, a ’levenpence
0959 farthing better! Most sweet gardon. I will do it, sir,
0960 in print. Gardon! Remuneration!He exits.
0961 And I forsooth in love! I that have been love’s whip,
0962 185 A very beadle to a humorous sigh,
0963 A critic, nay, a nightwatch constable,
0964 A domineering pedant o’er the boy,
0965 Than whom no mortal so magnificent.
0966 This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
0967 190 This Signior Junior, giant dwarf, Dan Cupid,
0968 Regent of love rhymes, lord of folded arms,
0969 Th’ anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
0970 Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
0971 Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
0972 195 Sole imperator and great general
0973 Of trotting paritors—O my little heart!
0974 And I to be a corporal of his field
0975 And wear his colors like a tumbler’s hoop!
0976 What? I love, I sue, I seek a wife?
0977 200 A woman, that is like a German ⌜clock,⌝
0978 Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
0979 And never going aright, being a watch,
0980 But being watched that it may still go right.
0981 Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all.
0982 205 And, among three, to love the worst of all,
0983 A whitely wanton with a velvet brow,
0984 With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes.
0985 Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
0986 Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard.
0987 210 And I to sigh for her, to watch for her,
0988 To pray for her! Go to. It is a plague
0990 Of his almighty dreadful little might.
0991 Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, groan.
0992 215 Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.
her ⌜other⌝ Lords.
0993 Was that the King that spurred his horse so hard
0994 Against the steep uprising of the hill?
0995 I know not, but I think it was not he.
0996 Whoe’er he was, he showed a mounting mind.—
0997 5 Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch.
0998 Or Saturday we will return to France.—
0999 Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
1000 That we must stand and play the murderer in?
1001 Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice,
1002 10 A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
1003 I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
1004 And thereupon thou speakst “the fairest shoot.”
1005 Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
1006 What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
1007 15 O short-lived pride. Not fair? Alack, for woe!
1008 Yes, madam, fair.
PRINCESS 1009 Nay, never paint me now.
1010 Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
1011 Here, good my glass, take this for telling true.
⌜She gives him money.⌝
1012 20 Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
1013 Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
1014 See, see, my beauty will be saved by merit.
1015 O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
1016 A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
1017 25 But come, the bow. ⌜He hands her a bow.⌝ Now
1018 mercy goes to kill,
1019 And shooting well is then accounted ill.
1020 Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
1021 Not wounding, pity would not let me do ’t;
1022 30 If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
1023 That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
1024 And out of question so it is sometimes:
1025 Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
1026 When for fame’s sake, for praise, an outward part,
1027 35 We bend to that the working of the heart;
1028 As I for praise alone now seek to spill
1029 The poor deer’s blood, that my heart means no ill.
1030 Do not curst wives hold that self sovereignty
1031 Only for praise’ sake when they strive to be
1032 40 Lords o’er their lords?
1033 Only for praise; and praise we may afford
1034 To any lady that subdues a lord.
Enter Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
1035 Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
COSTARD 1036 God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the
1037 45 head lady?
PRINCESS 1038 Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that
1039 have no heads.
COSTARD 1040 Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
PRINCESS 1041 The thickest and the tallest.
1042 50 The thickest and the tallest: it is so, truth is
1044 An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
1045 One o’ these maids’ girdles for your waist should be
1047 55 Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest
PRINCESS 1049 What’s your will, sir? What’s your will?
COSTARD 1050 I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to
1051 one Lady Rosaline.
1052 60 O, thy letter, thy letter! He’s a good friend of mine.
1053 Stand aside, good bearer.—Boyet, you can carve.
1054 Break up this capon.
BOYET, ⌜taking the letter⌝ 1055 I am bound to serve.
1056 This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
1057 65 It is writ to Jaquenetta.
PRINCESS 1058 We will read it, I swear.
1059 Break the neck of the wax, and everyone give ear.
BOYET reads. 1060 By heaven, that thou art fair is most
1061 infallible, true that thou art beauteous, truth itself
1062 70 that thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
1063 than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiseration
1064 on thy heroical vassal. The magnanimous and
1065 most illustrate King Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious
1066 and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it
1067 75 was that might rightly say “Veni, vidi, vici,” which to
1069 videlicet, “He came, see, and overcame”: He
1070 came, one; see, two; overcame, three. Who came? The
1071 King. Why did he come? To see. Why did he see? To
1072 80 overcome. To whom came he? To the beggar. What
1073 saw he? The beggar. Who overcame he? The beggar.
1074 The conclusion is victory. On whose side? The
1075 ⌜King’s.⌝ The captive is enriched. On whose side? The
1076 beggar’s. The catastrophe is a nuptial. On whose side?
1077 85 The King’s—no, on both in one, or one in both. I am
1078 the King, for so stands the comparison; thou the
1079 beggar, for so witnesseth thy lowliness. Shall I command
1080 thy love? I may. Shall I enforce thy love? I could.
1081 Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou
1082 90 exchange for rags? Robes. For tittles? Titles. For thyself?
1083 Me. Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy
1084 foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every
1086 Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
1087 95 Don Adriano de Armado.
1088 Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
1089 ’Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
1090 Submissive fall his princely feet before,
1091 And he from forage will incline to play.
1092 100 But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
1093 Food for his rage, repasture for his den.
1094 What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
1095 What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear
1097 105 I am much deceived but I remember the style.
1098 Else your memory is bad, going o’er it erewhile.
1099 This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court,
1102 110 To the Prince and his bookmates.
PRINCESS, ⌜to Costard⌝ 1103 Thou, fellow, a word.
1104 Who gave thee this letter?
COSTARD 1105 I told you: my lord.
1106 To whom shouldst thou give it?
COSTARD 1107 115 From my lord to my
PRINCESS 1109 From which lord to which lady?
1110 From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
1111 To a lady of France that he called Rosaline.
1112 120 Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
1113 ⌜To Rosaline.⌝ Here, sweet, put up this; ’twill be
1114 thine another day.
⌜The Princess, Katherine, Lords, and
Forester exit. Boyet, Rosaline, Maria,
and Costard remain.⌝
1115 Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?
ROSALINE 1116 Shall I
1117 125 teach you to know?
1118 Ay, my continent of beauty.
ROSALINE 1119 Why, she that bears the bow.
1120 Finely put off.
1121 My lady goes to kill horns, but if thou marry,
1122 130 Hang me by the neck if horns that year miscarry.
1123 Finely put on.
1124 Well, then, I am the shooter.
BOYET 1125 And who is your deer?
1126 If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
1127 135 Finely put on, indeed.
1128 You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at
1129 the brow.
1130 But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?
ROSALINE 1131 Shall I come upon thee with an old saying,
1132 140 that was a man when King Pippen of France was a
1133 little boy, as touching the hit it?
BOYET 1134 So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
1135 woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
1136 wench, as touching the hit it.
1137 145 Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
1138 Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
1139 An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
1140 An I cannot, another can.
1141 By my troth, most pleasant. How both did fit it!
1142 150 A mark marvelous well shot, for they both did hit
1144 A mark! O, mark but that mark. “A mark,” says my
1146 Let the mark have a prick in ’t to mete at, if it may
1147 155 be.
1148 Wide o’ the bow hand! I’ faith, your hand is out.
1149 Indeed, he must shoot nearer, or he’ll ne’er hit the
1151 An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
1152 160 Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the ⌜pin.⌝
1153 Come, come, you talk greasily. Your lips grow foul.
COSTARD, ⌜to Boyet⌝
1154 She’s too hard for you at pricks, sir. Challenge her
1155 to bowl.
1156 I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
⌜Boyet and Maria exit.⌝
1157 165 By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown.
1158 Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him
1160 O’ my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar
1162 170 When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
1163 were, so fit.
1164 Armado ⌜o’ th’ one⌝ side, O, a most dainty man!
1165 To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan.
1166 To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly he
1167 175 will swear.
1168 And his page o’ t’ other side, that handful of wit!
1169 Ah heavens, it is ⌜a⌝ most pathetical nit.
1170 Sola, sola!
Nathaniel ⌜the Curate.⌝
NATHANIEL 1171 Very reverend sport, truly, and done in the
1172 testimony of a good conscience.
1174 blood, ripe as the pomewater, who now hangeth
1175 5 like a jewel in the ear of caelo, the sky, the welkin,
1176 the heaven, and anon falleth like a crab on the face
1177 of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.
NATHANIEL 1178 Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are
1179 sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least. But, sir, I
1180 10 assure you, it was a buck of the first head.
HOLOFERNES 1181 Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
DULL 1182 ’Twas not a haud credo, ’twas a pricket.
HOLOFERNES 1183 Most barbarous intimation! Yet a kind of
1184 insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication;
1185 15 facere, as it were, replication, or rather, ostentare, to
1186 show, as it were, his inclination, after his undressed,
1187 unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or
1188 rather unlettered, or ratherest, unconfirmed fashion,
1189 to insert again my haud credo for a deer.
DULL 1190 20I said the deer was not a haud credo, ’twas a
HOLOFERNES 1192 Twice-sod simplicity, bis coctus!
1193 O thou monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou
1195 25 Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred
1196 in a book.
1197 He hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk
1198 ink. His intellect is not replenished. He is only an
1199 animal, only sensible in the duller parts.
1200 30 And such barren plants are set before us that we
1201 thankful should be—
1202 Which we ⌜of⌝ taste and feeling are—for those parts
1203 that do fructify in us more than he.
1204 For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet,
1205 35 or a fool,
1206 So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in
1207 a school.
1209 Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
1210 40 You two are bookmen. Can you tell me by your wit
1211 What was a month old at Cain’s birth that’s not
1212 five weeks old as yet?
HOLOFERNES 1213 Dictynna, goodman Dull, Dictynna,
1214 goodman Dull.
DULL 1215 45What is “dictima”?
1216 A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
1217 The moon was a month old when Adam was no
1219 And raught not to five weeks when he came to
1220 50 fivescore.
1221 Th’ allusion holds in the exchange.
DULL 1222 ’Tis true indeed. The collusion holds in the
HOLOFERNES 1224 God comfort thy capacity! I say, th’ allusion
1225 55 holds in the exchange.
DULL 1226 And I say the pollution holds in the exchange, for
1227 the moon is never but a month old. And I say besides
1228 that, ’twas a pricket that the Princess killed.
HOLOFERNES 1229 Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal
1230 60 epitaph on the death of the deer? And, to humor
1231 the ⌜ignorant, call I⌝ the deer the Princess killed a
NATHANIEL 1233 Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it
1234 shall please you to abrogate scurrility.
HOLOFERNES 1235 65I will something affect the letter, for it
1236 argues facility.
1237 The preyful princess pierced and pricked
1238 a pretty pleasing pricket,
1239 Some say a sore, but not a sore till now made
1240 70 sore with shooting.
1242 jumps from thicket,
1243 Or pricket sore, or else sorel. The people fall
1245 75 If sore be sore, then “L” to “sore” makes fifty
1246 sores o’ sorel.
1247 Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one
1248 more “L.”
NATHANIEL 1249 A rare talent.
DULL, ⌜aside⌝ 1250 80If a talent be a claw, look how he claws
1251 him with a talent.
⌜HOLOFERNES⌝ 1252 This is a gift that I have, simple, simple—
1253 a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms,
1254 figures, shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions,
1255 85 revolutions. These are begot in the ventricle
1256 of memory, nourished in the womb of ⌜pia mater,⌝
1257 and delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But
1258 the gift is good in those ⟨in⟩ whom it is acute, and I
1259 am thankful for it.
⌜NATHANIEL⌝ 1260 90Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may
1261 my parishioners, for their sons are well tutored by
1262 you, and their daughters profit very greatly under
1263 you. You are a good member of the
⌜HOLOFERNES⌝ 1265 95Mehercle, if their sons be ⌜ingenious,⌝
1266 they shall want no instruction; if their daughters be
1267 capable, I will put it to them. But Vir sapis qui pauca
1268 loquitur. A soul feminine saluteth us.
Enter Jaquenetta and the Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
JAQUENETTA, ⌜to Nathaniel⌝ 1269 God give you good morrow,
1270 100 Master Person.
⌜HOLOFERNES⌝ 1271 Master Person, quasi ⌜pierce one.⌝ And
1272 if one should be pierced, which is the one?
COSTARD 1273 Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likeliest
1274 to a hogshead.
1276 of conceit in a turf of earth; fire enough for a flint,
1277 pearl enough for a swine. ’Tis pretty, it is well.
JAQUENETTA, ⌜to Nathaniel⌝ 1278 Good Master Parson, be so
1279 good as read me this letter. It was given me by
1280 110 Costard, and sent me from Don Armado. I beseech
1281 you, read it.
⌜She hands Nathaniel a paper, which he looks at.⌝
1282 Facile precor gelida quando peccas omnia sub umbra.
1284 and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of
1285 115 thee as the traveler doth of Venice:
1286 Venetia, Venetia,
1287 Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.
1288 Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth
1289 thee not, loves thee not. (⌜He sings.⌝) Ut, re, sol, la,
1290 120 mi, fa. (⌜To Nathaniel.⌝) Under pardon, sir, what are
1291 the contents? Or rather, as Horace says in his—
1292 (⌜Looking at the letter.⌝) What, my soul, verses?
⌜NATHANIEL⌝ 1293 Ay, sir, and very learned.
⌜HOLOFERNES⌝ 1294 Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse,
1295 125 Lege, domine.
1296 If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
1297 Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed!
1298 Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll faithful prove.
1299 Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers
1300 130 bowed.
1301 Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
1302 Where all those pleasures live that art would
1304 If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice.
1305 135 Well-learnèd is that tongue that well can thee
1308 Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire.
1309 Thy eye Jove’s lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful
1310 140 thunder,
1311 Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
1312 Celestial as thou art, O, pardon love this wrong,
1313 That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.
HOLOFERNES 1314 You find not the apostrophus, and so
1315 145 miss the accent. Let me supervise the ⌜canzonet.⌝
1316 ⌜He takes the paper.⌝ Here are only numbers ratified,
1317 but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of
1318 poesy—caret. Ovidius Naso was the man. And why
1319 indeed “Naso,” but for smelling out the odoriferous
1320 150 flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari is
1321 nothing: so doth the hound his master, the ape his
1322 keeper, the tired horse his rider.—But damosella
1323 virgin, was this directed to you?
JAQUENETTA 1324 Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one
1325 155 of the strange queen’s lords.
⌜HOLOFERNES⌝ 1326 I will overglance the superscript: “To
1327 the snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady
1328 Rosaline.” I will look again on the intellect of the
1329 letter for the nomination of the party ⌜writing⌝ to
1330 160 the person written unto: “Your Ladyship’s in all
1331 desired employment, Berowne.” Sir ⌜Nathaniel,⌝ this
1332 Berowne is one of the votaries with the King, and
1333 here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the
1334 stranger queen’s: which accidentally, or by the way
1335 165 of progression, hath miscarried. ⌜To Jaquenetta.⌝
1336 Trip and go, my sweet. Deliver this paper into the
1337 royal hand of the King. It may concern much. Stay
1338 not thy compliment. I forgive thy duty. Adieu.
JAQUENETTA 1339 Good Costard, go with me.—Sir, God
1340 170 save your life.
COSTARD 1341 Have with thee, my girl.
⌜Costard and Jaquenetta⌝ exit.
1343 very religiously; and, as a certain Father saith—
HOLOFERNES 1344 Sir, tell not me of the Father. I do fear
1345 175 colorable colors. But to return to the verses: did
1346 they please you, Sir Nathaniel?
NATHANIEL 1347 Marvelous well for the pen.
HOLOFERNES 1348 I do dine today at the father’s of a certain
1349 pupil of mine, where if, before repast, it shall
1350 180 please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will,
1351 on my privilege I have with the parents of the
1352 foresaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto;
1353 where I will prove those verses to be very unlearned,
1354 neither savoring of poetry, wit, nor invention.
1355 185 I beseech your society.
NATHANIEL 1356 And thank you too; for society, saith the
1357 text, is the happiness of life.
HOLOFERNES 1358 And certes the text most infallibly concludes
1359 it. ⌜To Dull.⌝ Sir, I do invite you too. You shall
1360 190 not say me nay. Pauca verba. Away! The gentles are
1361 at their game, and we will to our recreation.
BEROWNE 1362 The King, he is hunting the deer; I am
1363 coursing myself. They have pitched a toil; I am
1364 toiling in a pitch—pitch that defiles. Defile! A foul
1365 word. Well, “set thee down, sorrow”; for so they
1366 5 say the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well
1367 proved, wit. By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax.
1368 It kills sheep, it kills me, I a sheep. Well proved
1369 again, o’ my side. I will not love. If I do, hang me. I’
1370 faith, I will not. O, but her eye! By this light, but for
1371 10 her eye I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes.
1373 throat. By heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to
1374 rhyme, and to be melancholy. And here is part of my
1375 rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one
1376 15 o’ my sonnets already. The clown bore it, the fool
1377 sent it, and the lady hath it. Sweet clown, sweeter
1378 fool, sweetest lady. By the world, I would not care a
1379 pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one with
1380 a paper. God give him grace to groan.
He stands aside.
The King entereth ⌜with a paper.⌝
KING 1381 20Ay me!
BEROWNE, ⌜aside⌝ 1382 Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet
1383 Cupid. Thou hast thumped him with thy birdbolt
1384 under the left pap. In faith, secrets!
1385 So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
1386 25 To those fresh morning drops upon the rose
1387 As thy eyebeams, when their fresh rays have smote
1388 The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows.
1389 Nor shines the silver moon one-half so bright
1390 Through the transparent bosom of the deep
1391 30 As doth thy face, through tears of mine, give light.
1392 Thou shin’st in every tear that I do weep.
1393 No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
1394 So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
1395 Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
1396 35 And they thy glory through my grief will show.
1397 But do not love thyself; then thou ⟨wilt⟩ keep
1398 My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
1399 O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel
1400 No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
1401 40 How shall she know my griefs? I’ll drop the paper.
1402 Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
1403 What, Longaville, and reading! Listen, ear.
1404 Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
LONGAVILLE 1405 Ay me! I am forsworn.
1406 45 Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers!
1407 In love, I hope! Sweet fellowship in shame.
1408 One drunkard loves another of the name.
1409 Am I the first that have been perjured so?
1410 I could put thee in comfort: not by two that I know.
1411 50 Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of
1413 The shape of love’s Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.
1414 I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move.
1415 ⌜Reads.⌝ O sweet Maria, empress of my love—
1416 55 These numbers will I tear and write in prose.
⌜He tears the paper.⌝
1417 O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid’s hose.
1418 Disfigure not his shop!
LONGAVILLE, ⌜taking another paper⌝ 1419 This same shall go.
(He reads the sonnet.)
1420 Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
1421 60 ’Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
1422 Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
1423 Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
1424 A woman I forswore, but I will prove,
1425 Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee.
1426 65 My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love.
1428 Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is.
1429 Then thou, fair sun, which on my Earth dost
1431 70 Exhal’st this vapor-vow; in thee it is.
1432 If broken, then, it is no fault of mine.
1433 If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
1434 To lose an oath to win a paradise?
1435 This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a deity,
1436 75 A green goose a goddess. Pure, pure ⟨idolatry.⟩
1437 God amend us, God amend. We are much out o’ th’
1439 By whom shall I send this?—Company? Stay.
⌜He steps aside.⌝
Enter Dumaine, ⌜with a paper.⌝
1440 All hid, all hid—an old infant play.
1441 80 Like a demigod here sit I in the sky,
1442 And wretched fools’ secrets heedfully o’ereye.
1443 More sacks to the mill. O heavens, I have my wish.
1444 Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks in a dish.
DUMAINE 1445 O most divine Kate!
BEROWNE, ⌜aside⌝ 1446 85O most profane coxcomb!
1447 By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!
1448 By Earth, she is not, corporal. There you lie.
1449 Her amber hairs for foul hath amber quoted.
1450 An amber-colored raven was well noted.
1451 90 As upright as the cedar.
1453 Her shoulder is with child.
DUMAINE 1454 As fair as day.
1455 Ay, as some days, but then no sun must shine.
1456 95 O, that I had my wish!
LONGAVILLE, ⌜aside⌝ 1457 And I had mine!
KING, ⌜aside⌝ 1458 And mine too, good Lord!
1459 Amen, so I had mine. Is not that a good word?
1460 I would forget her, but a fever she
1461 100 Reigns in my blood, and will remembered be.
1462 A fever in your blood? Why, then incision
1463 Would let her out in saucers! Sweet misprision.
1464 Once more I’ll read the ode that I have writ.
1465 Once more I’ll mark how love can vary wit.
DUMAINE reads his sonnet.
1466 105 On a day—alack the day!—
1467 Love, whose month is ever May,
1468 Spied a blossom passing fair,
1469 Playing in the wanton air.
1470 Through the velvet leaves the wind,
1471 110 All unseen, can passage find;
1472 That the lover, sick to death,
1473 ⌜Wished⌝ himself the heaven’s breath.
1474 “Air,” quoth he, “thy cheeks may blow.
1475 Air, would I might triumph so!”
1476 115 But, alack, my hand is sworn
1477 Ne’er to pluck thee from thy ⌜thorn.⌝
1479 Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
1480 Do not call it sin in me
1481 120 That I am forsworn for thee—
1482 Thou for whom Jove would swear
1483 Juno but an Ethiope were,
1484 And deny himself for Jove,
1485 Turning mortal for thy love.
1486 125 This will I send, and something else more plain
1487 That shall express my true love’s fasting pain.
1488 O, would the King, Berowne, and Longaville
1489 Were lovers too! Ill to example ill
1490 Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note,
1491 130 For none offend where all alike do dote.
LONGAVILLE, ⌜coming forward⌝
1492 Dumaine, thy love is far from charity,
1493 That in love’s grief desir’st society.
1494 You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
1495 To be o’er-heard and taken napping so.
KING, ⌜coming forward⌝
1496 135 ⌜To Longaville.⌝ Come, sir, you blush! As his, your
1497 case is such.
1498 You chide at him, offending twice as much.
1499 You do not love Maria? Longaville
1500 Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
1501 140 Nor never lay his wreathèd arms athwart
1502 His loving bosom to keep down his heart?
1503 I have been closely shrouded in this bush
1504 And marked you both, and for you both did blush.
1505 I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
1506 145 Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
1507 “Ay, me!” says one. “O Jove!” the other cries.
1508 One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other’s eyes.
1509 ⌜To Longaville.⌝ You would for paradise break faith
1510 and troth,
1512 infringe an oath.
1513 What will Berowne say when that he shall hear
1514 Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear?
1515 How will he scorn, how will he spend his wit!
1516 155 How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it!
1517 For all the wealth that ever I did see,
1518 I would not have him know so much by me.
BEROWNE, ⌜coming forward⌝
1519 Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
1520 Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me.
1521 160 Good heart, what grace hast thou thus to reprove
1522 These worms for loving, that art most in love?
1523 Your eyes do make no ⌜coaches;⌝ in your tears
1524 There is no certain princess that appears.
1525 You’ll not be perjured, ’tis a hateful thing!
1526 165 Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
1527 But are you not ashamed? Nay, are you not,
1528 All three of you, to be thus much o’ershot?
1529 ⌜To Longaville.⌝ You found his mote, the King your
1530 mote did see,
1531 170 But I a beam do find in each of three.
1532 O, what a scene of fool’ry have I seen,
1533 Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!
1534 O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
1535 To see a king transformèd to a gnat!
1536 175 To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
1537 And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
1538 And Nestor play at pushpin with the boys,
1539 And critic Timon laugh at idle toys.
1540 Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumaine?
1541 180 And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
1542 And where my liege’s? All about the breast!
1543 A caudle, ho!
KING 1544 Too bitter is thy jest.
1545 Are we betrayed thus to thy overview?
1546 185 Not you ⌜to⌝ me, but I betrayed ⌜by⌝ you.
1547 I, that am honest, I, that hold it sin
1548 To break the vow I am engagèd in.
1549 I am betrayed by keeping company
1550 With men like ⌜you,⌝ men of inconstancy.
1551 190 When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
1552 Or groan for Joan? or spend a minute’s time
1553 In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
1554 Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
1555 A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
1556 195 A leg, a limb—
Enter Jaquenetta, ⌜with a paper,⌝ and Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
⌜Berowne begins to exit.⌝
KING 1557 Soft, whither away so fast?
1558 A true man, or a thief, that gallops so?
1559 I post from love. Good lover, let me go.
1560 God bless the King.
KING 1561 200 What present hast thou there?
1562 Some certain treason.
KING 1563 What makes treason here?
1564 Nay, it makes nothing, sir.
KING 1565 If it mar nothing neither,
1566 205 The treason and you go in peace away together.
1567 I beseech your Grace, let this letter be read.
1568 Our person misdoubts it. ’Twas treason, he said.
1569 Berowne, read it over.
⌜Berowne⌝ reads the letter.
⌜To Jaquenetta.⌝ 1570 Where hadst thou it?
KING, ⌜to Costard⌝ 1572 Where hadst thou it?
COSTARD 1573 Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
⌜Berowne tears the paper.⌝
KING, ⌜to Berowne⌝
1574 How now, what is in you? Why dost thou tear it?
1575 A toy, my liege, a toy. Your Grace needs not fear it.
1576 215 It did move him to passion, and therefore let’s hear
DUMAINE, ⌜picking up the papers⌝
1578 It is Berowne’s writing, and here is his name.
BEROWNE, ⌜to Costard⌝
1579 Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do
1580 me shame.—
1581 220 Guilty, my lord, guilty. I confess, I confess.
KING 1582 What?
1583 That you three fools lacked me fool to make up
1584 the mess.
1585 He, he, and you—and you, my liege—and I
1586 225 Are pickpurses in love, and we deserve to die.
1587 O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
1588 Now the number is even.
BEROWNE 1589 True, true, we are four.
1590 ⌜Pointing to Jaquenetta and Costard.⌝ Will these
1591 230 turtles be gone?
KING 1592 Hence, sirs. Away.
1593 Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
⌜Jaquenetta and Costard exit.⌝
1594 Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace.
1595 As true we are as flesh and blood can be.
1597 Young blood doth not obey an old decree.
1598 We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
1599 Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
1600 What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
1601 240 Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly
1603 That, like a rude and savage man of Ind
1604 At the first op’ning of the gorgeous East,
1605 Bows not his vassal head and, strucken blind,
1606 245 Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
1607 What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
1608 Dares look upon the heaven of her brow
1609 That is not blinded by her majesty?
1610 What zeal, what fury, hath inspired thee now?
1611 250 My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon,
1612 She an attending star scarce seen a light.
1613 My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
1614 O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
1615 Of all complexions the culled sovereignty
1616 255 Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek.
1617 Where several worthies make one dignity,
1618 Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
1619 Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues—
1620 Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not!
1621 260 To things of sale a seller’s praise belongs.
1622 She passes praise. Then praise too short doth blot.
1623 A withered hermit, fivescore winters worn,
1624 Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye.
1625 Beauty doth varnish age, as if newborn,
1627 O, ’tis the sun that maketh all things shine!
1628 By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
1629 Is ebony like her? O word divine!
1630 A wife of such wood were felicity.
1631 270 O, who can give an oath? Where is a book,
1632 That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack
1633 If that she learn not of her eye to look?
1634 No face is fair that is not full so black.
1635 O, paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
1636 275 The hue of dungeons and the school of night,
1637 And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.
1638 Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
1639 O, if in black my lady’s brows be decked,
1640 It mourns that painting ⌜and⌝ usurping hair
1641 280 Should ravish doters with a false aspect:
1642 And therefore is she born to make black fair.
1643 Her favor turns the fashion of the days,
1644 For native blood is counted painting now.
1645 And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
1646 285 Paints itself black to imitate her brow.
1647 To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.
1648 And since her time are colliers counted bright.
1649 And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.
1650 Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
1651 290 Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
1652 For fear their colors should be washed away.
1653 ’Twere good yours did, for, sir, to tell you plain,
1654 I’ll find a fairer face not washed today.
1655 I’ll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.
1656 295 No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
1657 I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
LONGAVILLE, ⌜showing his shoe⌝
1658 Look, here’s thy love; my foot and her face see.
1659 O, if the streets were pavèd with thine eyes.
1660 Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.
1661 300 O vile! Then as she goes, what upward lies
1662 The street should see as she walked overhead.
1663 But what of this? Are we not all in love?
1664 Nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn.
1665 Then leave this chat, and, good Berowne, now prove
1666 305 Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
1667 Ay, marry, there, some flattery for this evil.
1668 O, some authority how to proceed,
1669 Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
1670 Some salve for perjury.
BEROWNE 1671 310 O, ’tis more than need.
1672 Have at you, then, affection’s men-at-arms!
1673 O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
1674 And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
1676 315 In leaden contemplation have found out
1677 Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
1678 Of beauty’s tutors have enriched you with?
1679 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain
1680 And therefore, finding barren practicers,
1681 320 Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil.
1682 But love, first learnèd in a lady’s eyes,
1683 Lives not alone immurèd in the brain,
1684 But with the motion of all elements
1685 Courses as swift as thought in every power,
1686 325 And gives to every power a double power,
1687 Above their functions and their offices.
1688 It adds a precious seeing to the eye.
1689 A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
1690 A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound,
1691 330 When the suspicious head of theft is stopped.
1692 Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
1693 Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
1694 Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
1695 For valor, is not love a Hercules,
1696 335 Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
1697 Subtle as Sphinx, as sweet and musical
1698 As bright Apollo’s lute strung with his hair.
1699 And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
1700 Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
1701 340 Never durst poet touch a pen to write
1702 Until his ink were tempered with love’s sighs.
1703 O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
1704 And plant in tyrants mild humility.
1705 From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive.
1706 345 They sparkle still the right Promethean fire.
1707 They are the books, the arts, the academes
1708 That show, contain, and nourish all the world.
1709 Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
1711 350 Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
1712 For wisdom’s sake, a word that all men love,
1713 Or for love’s sake, a word that loves all men,
1714 Or for men’s sake, the ⌜authors⌝ of these women,
1715 Or women’s sake, by whom we men are men,
1716 355 ⌜Let⌝ us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
1717 Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
1718 It is religion to be thus forsworn,
1719 For charity itself fulfills the law,
1720 And who can sever love from charity?
1721 360 Saint Cupid, then, and, soldiers, to the field!
1722 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords.
1723 Pell-mell, down with them. But be first advised
1724 In conflict that you get the sun of them.
1725 Now to plain dealing. Lay these glozes by.
1726 365 Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
1727 And win them, too. Therefore let us devise
1728 Some entertainment for them in their tents.
1729 First, from the park let us conduct them thither.
1730 Then homeward every man attach the hand
1731 370 Of his fair mistress. In the afternoon
1732 We will with some strange pastime solace them,
1733 Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
1734 For revels, dances, masques, and merry hours
1735 Forerun fair love, strewing her way with flowers.
1736 375 Away, away! No time shall be omitted
1737 That will betime and may by us be fitted.
1738 ⌜Allons! Allons!⌝ Sowed cockle reaped no corn,
1739 And justice always whirls in equal measure.
1740 Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
1741 380 If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
and Dull ⌜the Constable.⌝
HOLOFERNES 1742 Satis quid sufficit.
NATHANIEL 1743 I praise God for you, sir. Your reasons at
1744 dinner have been sharp and sententious, pleasant
1745 without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious
1746 5 without impudency, learned without opinion,
1747 and strange without heresy. I did converse this
1748 quondam day with a companion of the King’s, who
1749 is intituled, nominated, or called Don Adriano de
HOLOFERNES 1751 10Novi ⌜hominem⌝ tanquam te. His humor
1752 is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed,
1753 his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
1754 behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is
1755 too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it
1756 15 were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.
NATHANIEL 1757 A most singular and choice epithet.
Draw out his table book.
HOLOFERNES 1758 He draweth out the thread of his verbosity
1759 finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor
1760 such fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and
1761 20 point-devise companions, such rackers of orthography,
1762 as to speak “dout,” fine, when he should
1763 say “doubt”; “det” when he should pronounce
1765 “cauf,” half “hauf,” neighbor vocatur “nebor”;
1766 25 neigh abbreviated ne. This is abhominable—which
1767 he would call “abominable.” It insinuateth me of
1768 ⌜insanie.⌝ Ne intelligis, domine? To make frantic,
NATHANIEL 1770 Laus Deo, ⌜bone⌝ intelligo.
HOLOFERNES 1771 30⌜Bone? Bone⌝ for ⌜bene?⌝ Priscian a little
1772 scratched; ’twill serve.
Enter ⌜Armado the⌝ Braggart, Boy, ⌜and Costard.⌝
NATHANIEL 1773 Videsne quis venit?
HOLOFERNES 1774 Video, et gaudeo.
ARMADO 1775 Chirrah.
HOLOFERNES 1776 35Quare “chirrah,” not “sirrah”?
ARMADO 1777 Men of peace, well encountered.
HOLOFERNES 1778 Most military sir, salutation.
BOY, ⌜aside to Costard⌝ 1779 They have been at a great feast
1780 of languages and stolen the scraps.
COSTARD, ⌜aside to Boy⌝ 1781 40O, they have lived long on the
1782 almsbasket of words. I marvel thy master hath not
1783 eaten thee for a word, for thou art not so long by the
1784 head as honorificabilitudinitatibus. Thou art easier
1785 swallowed than a flapdragon.
BOY, ⌜aside to Costard⌝ 1786 45Peace, the peal begins.
ARMADO, ⌜to Holofernes⌝ 1787 Monsieur, are you not
BOY 1789 Yes, yes, he teaches boys the hornbook.—What is
1790 a, b spelled backward, with the horn on his head?
HOLOFERNES 1791 50Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
BOY 1792 Ba, most silly sheep, with a horn.—You hear his
HOLOFERNES 1794 Quis, quis, thou consonant?
BOY 1795 The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or
1796 55 the fifth, if I.
HOLOFERNES 1797 I will repeat them: a, e, i—
ARMADO 1799 Now by the salt ⟨wave⟩ of the Mediterraneum,
1800 a sweet touch, a quick venue of wit! Snip, snap,
1801 60 quick and home. It rejoiceth my intellect. True
BOY 1803 Offered by a child to an old man—which is
HOLOFERNES 1805 What is the figure? What is the figure?
BOY 1806 65Horns.
HOLOFERNES 1807 Thou disputes like an infant. Go whip thy
BOY 1809 Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip
1810 about your infamy—unum cita—a gig of a cuckold’s
1811 70 horn.
COSTARD 1812 An I had but one penny in the world, thou
1813 shouldst have it to buy gingerbread! Hold, there is
1814 the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou
1815 halfpenny purse of wit, thou pigeon egg of discretion.
1816 75 ⌜He gives him money.⌝ O, an the heavens were
1817 so pleased that thou wert but my bastard, what a
1818 joyful father wouldest thou make me! Go to, thou
1819 hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers’ ends, as they say.
HOLOFERNES 1820 Oh, I smell false Latin! Dunghill for
1821 80 unguem.
ARMADO 1822 Arts-man, preambulate. We will be singuled
1823 from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at
1824 the charge-house on the top of the mountain?
HOLOFERNES 1825 Or mons, the hill.
ARMADO 1826 85At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
HOLOFERNES 1827 I do, sans question.
ARMADO 1828 Sir, it is the King’s most sweet pleasure and
1829 affection to congratulate the Princess at her pavilion
1830 in the posteriors of this day, which the rude
1831 90 multitude call the afternoon.
HOLOFERNES 1832 “The posterior of the day,” most generous
1833 sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for
1835 sweet, and apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.
ARMADO 1836 95Sir, the King is a noble gentleman, and my
1837 familiar, I do assure you, very good friend. For
1838 what is inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech
1839 thee, remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee apparel
1840 thy head. And among other important and most
1841 100 serious designs, and of great import indeed, too—
1842 but let that pass; for I must tell thee, it will please his
1843 Grace, by the world, sometimes to lean upon my
1844 poor shoulder and with his royal finger thus dally
1845 with my excrement, with my mustachio—but,
1846 105 sweetheart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no
1847 fable! Some certain special honors it pleaseth his
1848 Greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of
1849 travel, that hath seen the world—but let that pass.
1850 The very all of all is—but sweetheart, I do implore
1851 110 secrecy—that the King would have me present the
1852 Princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation,
1853 or show, or pageant, or antic, or firework.
1854 Now, understanding that the curate and your sweet
1855 self are good at such eruptions and sudden breaking
1856 115 out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you
1857 withal to the end to crave your assistance.
HOLOFERNES 1858 Sir, you shall present before her the Nine
1859 Worthies.—Sir ⌜Nathaniel,⌝ as concerning some
1860 entertainment of time, some show in the posterior
1861 120 of this day, to be ⌜rendered⌝ by our ⌜assistance,⌝ the
1862 King’s command, and this most gallant, illustrate,
1863 and learned gentleman, before the Princess—I say,
1864 none so fit as to present the Nine Worthies.
NATHANIEL 1865 Where will you find men worthy enough to
1866 125 present them?
HOLOFERNES 1867 Joshua, yourself; myself; and this gallant
1868 gentleman, Judas Maccabaeus. This swain, because
1869 of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey
1870 the Great; the page, Hercules—
1872 enough for that Worthy’s thumb; he is not so big as
1873 the end of his club!
HOLOFERNES 1874 Shall I have audience? He shall present
1875 Hercules in minority. His enter and exit shall be
1876 135 strangling a snake; and I will have an apology for
1877 that purpose.
BOY 1878 An excellent device. So, if any of the audience
1879 hiss, you may cry “Well done, Hercules, now thou
1880 crushest the snake.” That is the way to make an
1881 140 offense gracious, though few have the grace to do it.
ARMADO 1882 For the rest of the Worthies?
HOLOFERNES 1883 I will play three myself.
BOY 1884 Thrice-worthy gentleman!
ARMADO, ⌜to Holofernes⌝ 1885 Shall I tell you a thing?
HOLOFERNES 1886 145We attend.
ARMADO 1887 We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. I
1888 beseech you, follow.
HOLOFERNES 1889 Via, goodman Dull. Thou hast spoken no
1890 word all this while.
DULL 1891 150Nor understood none neither, sir.
HOLOFERNES 1892 ⌜Allons!⌝ We will employ thee.
DULL 1893 I’ll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play on
1894 the tabor to the Worthies and let them dance the
HOLOFERNES 1896 155Most dull, honest Dull. To our sport!
Katherine, and Maria.⌝)
1898 Sweethearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
1899 If fairings come thus plentifully in.
1901 Look you what I have from the loving king.
⌜She shows a jewel.⌝
1902 5 Madam, came nothing else along with that?
1903 Nothing but this? Yes, as much love in rhyme
1904 As would be crammed up in a sheet of paper
1905 Writ o’ both sides the leaf, margent and all,
1906 That he was fain to seal on Cupid’s name.
1907 10 That was the way to make his godhead wax,
1908 For he hath been five thousand year a boy.
1909 Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows, too.
1910 You’ll ne’er be friends with him. He killed your
1912 15 He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy,
1913 And so she died. Had she been light like you,
1914 Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
1915 She might ha’ been ⟨a⟩ grandam ere she died.
1916 And so may you, for a light heart lives long.
1917 20 What’s your dark meaning, mouse, of this light
1919 A light condition in a beauty dark.
1920 We need more light to find your meaning out.
1921 You’ll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
1922 25 Therefore I’ll darkly end the argument.
1923 Look what you do, you do it still i’ th’ dark.
1924 So do not you, for you are a light wench.
1925 Indeed, I weigh not you, and therefore light.
1926 You weigh me not? O, that’s you care not for me.
1927 30 Great reason: for past care is still past cure.
1928 Well bandied both; a set of wit well played.
1929 But, Rosaline, you have a favor too.
1930 Who sent it? And what is it?
ROSALINE 1931 I would you knew.
1932 35 An if my face were but as fair as yours,
1933 My favor were as great. Be witness this.
⌜She shows a gift.⌝
1934 Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne;
1935 The numbers true; and were the numb’ring too,
1936 I were the fairest goddess on the ground.
1937 40 I am compared to twenty thousand fairs.
1938 O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter.
PRINCESS 1939 Anything like?
1940 Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
1941 Beauteous as ink: a good conclusion.
1942 45 Fair as a text B in a copybook.
1943 Ware pencils, ho! Let me not die your debtor,
1944 My red dominical, my golden letter.
1945 O, that your face were not so full of O’s!
1946 A pox of that jest! And I beshrew all shrows.
1948 From fair Dumaine?
1949 Madam, this glove.⌜She shows the glove.⌝
PRINCESS 1950 Did he not send you twain?
KATHERINE 1951 Yes, madam, and moreover,
1952 55 Some thousand verses of a faithful lover,
1953 A huge translation of hypocrisy,
1954 Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.
1955 This, and these ⟨pearls,⟩ to me sent Longaville.
⌜She shows a paper and pearls.⌝
1956 The letter is too long by half a mile.
1957 60 I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart
1958 The chain were longer and the letter short?
1959 Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
1960 We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
1961 They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
1962 65 That same Berowne I’ll torture ere I go.
1963 O, that I knew he were but in by th’ week,
1964 How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek,
1965 And wait the season, and observe the times,
1966 And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes,
1967 70 And shape his service wholly to my ⌜hests,⌝
1968 And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
1969 So ⌜pair-taunt-like⌝ would I o’ersway his state,
1970 That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
1971 None are so surely caught, when they are catched,
1972 75 As wit turned fool. Folly in wisdom hatched
1973 Hath wisdom’s warrant and the help of school,
1974 And wit’s own grace to grace a learnèd fool.
1975 The blood of youth burns not with such excess
1976 As gravity’s revolt to ⌜wantonness.⌝
1977 80 Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
1978 As fool’ry in the wise, when wit doth dote,
1979 Since all the power thereof it doth apply
1980 To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.
1981 Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
1982 85 O, I am ⟨stabbed⟩ with laughter. Where’s her Grace?
1983 Thy news, Boyet?
BOYET 1984 Prepare, madam, prepare.
1985 Arm, wenches, arm. Encounters mounted are
1986 Against your peace. Love doth approach, disguised,
1987 90 Armèd in arguments. You’ll be surprised.
1988 Muster your wits, stand in your own defense,
1989 Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.
1990 Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they
1991 That charge their breath against us? Say, scout, say.
1992 95 Under the cool shade of a sycamore,
1993 I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour.
1994 When, lo, to interrupt my purposed rest,
1995 Toward that shade I might behold addressed
1996 The King and his companions. Warily
1997 100 I stole into a neighbor thicket by,
1998 And overheard what you shall overhear:
1999 That, by and by, disguised, ⟨they⟩ will be here.
2000 Their herald is a pretty knavish page
2001 That well by heart hath conned his embassage.
2003 “Thus must thou speak,” and “thus thy body bear.”
2004 And ever and anon they made a doubt
2005 Presence majestical would put him out;
2006 “For,” quoth the King, “an angel shalt thou see;
2007 110 Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.”
2008 The boy replied “An angel is not evil.
2009 I should have feared her had she been a devil.”
2010 With that, all laughed and clapped him on the
2012 115 Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
2013 One rubbed his elbow thus, and fleered, and swore
2014 A better speech was never spoke before.
2015 Another with his finger and his thumb,
2016 Cried “Via! We will do ’t, come what will come.”
2017 120 The third he capered and cried “All goes well!”
2018 The fourth turned on the toe, and down he fell.
2019 With that, they all did tumble on the ground
2020 With such a zealous laughter so profound
2021 That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
2022 125 To check their folly, passion’s solemn tears.
2023 But what, but what? Come they to visit us?
2024 They do, they do; and are appareled thus,
2025 Like Muscovites, or Russians, as I guess.
2026 Their purpose is to parley, to court, and dance,
2027 130 And every one his love-feat will advance
2028 Unto his several mistress—which they’ll know
2029 By favors several which they did bestow.
2030 And will they so? The gallants shall be tasked,
2031 For, ladies, we will every one be masked,
2032 135 And not a man of them shall have the grace,
2033 Despite of suit, to see a lady’s face.
2034 Hold, Rosaline, this favor thou shalt wear,
2036 Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine.
2037 140 So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline.
⌜Princess and Rosaline exchange favors.⌝
2038 And change you favors too. So shall your loves
2039 Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.
⌜Katherine and Maria exchange favors.⌝
2040 Come on, then, wear the favors most in sight.
KATHERINE, ⌜to Princess⌝
2041 But in this changing, what is your intent?
2042 145 The effect of my intent is to cross theirs.
2043 They do it but in mockery merriment,
2044 And mock for mock is only my intent.
2045 Their several counsels they unbosom shall
2046 To loves mistook, and so be mocked withal
2047 150 Upon the next occasion that we meet,
2048 With visages displayed, to talk and greet.
2049 But shall we dance, if they desire us to ’t?
2050 No, to the death we will not move a foot,
2051 Nor to their penned speech render we no grace,
2052 155 But while ’tis spoke each turn away ⌜her⌝ face.
2053 Why, that contempt will kill the speaker’s heart,
2054 And quite divorce his memory from his part.
2055 Therefore I do it, and I make no doubt
2056 The rest will ⌜ne’er⌝ come in if he be out.
2057 160 There’s no such sport as sport by sport o’erthrown,
2058 To make theirs ours and ours none but our own.
2059 So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
2060 And they, well mocked, depart away with shame.
Sound trumpet, ⌜within.⌝
2061 The trumpet sounds. Be masked; the maskers come.
⌜The Ladies mask.⌝
Enter Blackamoors with music, the Boy with a speech,
⌜the King, Berowne,⌝ and the rest of the Lords disguised.
2062 165 All hail, the richest beauties on the Earth!
2063 Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.
2064 A holy parcel of the fairest dames
(The Ladies turn their backs to him.)
2065 That ever turned their—backs—to mortal views.
BEROWNE 2066 Their eyes, villain, their eyes!
2067 170 That ⟨ever⟩ turned their eyes to mortal views.
BOYET 2069 True; out indeed.
2070 Out of your favors, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
2071 Not to behold—
BEROWNE 2072 175Once to behold, rogue!
2073 Once to behold with your sun-beamèd eyes—
2074 With your sun-beamèd eyes—
2075 They will not answer to that epithet.
2076 You were best call it “daughter-beamèd eyes.”
2077 180 They do not mark me, and that brings me out.
2078 Is this your perfectness? Begone, you rogue!
ROSALINE, ⌜speaking as the Princess⌝
2079 What would these ⟨strangers?⟩ Know their minds,
2082 185 That some plain man recount their purposes.
2083 Know what they would.
BOYET 2084 What would you with the
2086 Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
ROSALINE 2087 190What would they, say they?
2088 Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
2089 Why, that they have, and bid them so be gone.
2090 She says you have it, and you may be gone.
2091 Say to her we have measured many miles
2092 195 To tread a measure with her on this grass.
2093 They say that they have measured many a mile
2094 To tread a measure with you on this grass.
2095 It is not so. Ask them how many inches
2096 Is in one mile. If they have measured many,
2097 200 The measure then of one is eas’ly told.
2098 If to come hither you have measured miles,
2099 And many miles, the Princess bids you tell
2100 How many inches doth fill up one mile.
2101 Tell her we measure them by weary steps.
2102 205 She hears herself.
ROSALINE 2103 How many weary steps
2104 Of many weary miles you have o’ergone
2105 Are numbered in the travel of one mile?
2106 We number nothing that we spend for you.
2107 210 Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
2108 That we may do it still without account.
2109 Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face
2110 That we, like savages, may worship it.
2111 My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
2112 215 Blessèd are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
2113 Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to
2115 Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.
2116 O vain petitioner, beg a greater matter!
2117 220 Thou now requests but moonshine in the water.
2118 Then in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
2119 Thou bidd’st me beg; this begging is not strange.
2120 Play music, then. Nay, you must do it soon.
2121 Not yet? No dance! Thus change I like the moon.
2122 225 Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?
2123 You took the moon at full, but now she’s changed.
2124 Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
2125 The music plays. Vouchsafe some motion to it.
2126 Our ears vouchsafe it.
KING 2127 230 But your legs should do it.
2128 Since you are strangers and come here by chance,
2129 We’ll not be nice. Take hands. We will not dance.
⌜She offers her hand.⌝
2130 Why take we hands then?
ROSALINE 2131 Only to part friends.—
2132 235 Curtsy, sweethearts—and so the measure ends.
2133 More measure of this measure! Be not nice.
2134 We can afford no more at such a price.
2135 Prize you yourselves. What buys your company?
2136 Your absence only.
KING 2137 240 That can never be.
2138 Then cannot we be bought. And so adieu—
2139 Twice to your visor, and half once to you.
2140 If you deny to dance, let’s hold more chat.
2141 In private, then.
KING 2142 245 I am best pleased with that.
⌜They move aside.⌝
BEROWNE, ⌜to the Princess⌝
2143 White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.
PRINCESS, ⌜speaking as Rosaline⌝
2144 Honey, and milk, and sugar—there is three.
2145 Nay then, two treys, an if you grow so nice,
2146 Metheglin, wort, and malmsey. Well run, dice!
2147 250 There’s half a dozen sweets.
PRINCESS 2148 Seventh sweet, adieu.
2149 Since you can cog, I’ll play no more with you.
2150 One word in secret.
PRINCESS 2151 Let it not be sweet.
2152 255 Thou grievest my gall.
BEROWNE 2154 Therefore meet.
⌜They move aside.⌝
DUMAINE, ⌜to Maria⌝
2155 Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?
MARIA, ⌜speaking as Katherine⌝
2156 Name it.
DUMAINE 2157 260 Fair lady—
MARIA 2158 Say you so? Fair lord!
2159 Take that for your “fair lady.”
DUMAINE 2160 Please it you
2161 As much in private, and I’ll bid adieu.
⌜They move aside.⌝
⌜KATHERINE, speaking as Maria⌝
2162 265 What, was your vizard made without a tongue?
2163 I know the reason, lady, why you ask.
2164 O, for your reason! Quickly, sir, I long.
2165 You have a double tongue within your mask,
2166 And would afford my speechless vizard half.
2167 270 Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not veal a calf?
2168 A calf, fair lady?
⌜KATHERINE⌝ 2169 No, a fair Lord Calf.
2170 Let’s part the word.
⌜KATHERINE⌝ 2171 No, I’ll not be your half.
2172 275 Take all and wean it. It may prove an ox.
2173 Look how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks.
2174 Will you give horns, chaste lady? Do not so.
2175 Then die a calf before your horns do grow.
2176 One word in private with you ere I die.
2177 280 Bleat softly, then. The butcher hears you cry.
⌜They move aside.⌝
2178 The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
2179 As is the razor’s edge invisible,
2180 Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen;
2181 Above the sense of sense, so sensible
2182 285 Seemeth their conference. Their conceits have
2184 Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter
2186 Not one word more, my maids. Break off, break off!
⌜The Ladies move away from the Lords.⌝
2187 290 By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!
2188 Farewell, mad wenches. You have simple wits.
⌜King, Lords, and Blackamoors⌝ exit.
⌜The Ladies unmask.⌝
2189 Twenty adieus, my frozen Muskovits.—
2190 Are these the breed of wits so wondered at?
2191 Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puffed
2192 295 out.
2193 Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.
2194 O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
2195 Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?
2196 Or ever but in vizards show their faces?
2197 300 This pert Berowne was out of count’nance quite.
2198 They were all in lamentable cases.
2199 The King was weeping ripe for a good word.
2200 Berowne did swear himself out of all suit.
2201 Dumaine was at my service, and his sword.
2202 305 “No point,” quoth I. My servant straight was
2204 Lord Longaville said I came o’er his heart.
2205 And trow you what he called me?
PRINCESS 2206 Qualm, perhaps.
2207 310 Yes, in good faith.
PRINCESS 2208 Go, sickness as thou art!
2209 Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.
2210 But will you hear? The King is my love sworn.
2211 And quick Berowne hath plighted faith to me.
2212 315 And Longaville was for my service born.
2213 Dumaine is mine as sure as bark on tree.
2214 Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear.
2215 Immediately they will again be here
2216 In their own shapes, for it can never be
2217 320 They will digest this harsh indignity.
2218 Will they return?
BOYET 2219 They will, they will, God knows,
2220 And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows.
2221 Therefore change favors, and when they repair,
2222 325 Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
2223 How “blow”? How “blow”? Speak to be understood.
2224 Fair ladies masked are roses in their bud.
2225 Dismasked, their damask sweet commixture shown,
2226 Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
2227 330 Avaunt, perplexity!—What shall we do
2228 If they return in their own shapes to woo?
2229 Good madam, if by me you’ll be advised,
2230 Let’s mock them still, as well known as disguised.
2231 Let us complain to them what fools were here,
2232 335 Disguised like Muscovites in shapeless gear,
2233 And wonder what they were, and to what end
2234 Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penned,
2235 And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
2236 Should be presented at our tent to us.
2237 340 Ladies, withdraw. The gallants are at hand.
2238 Whip to our tents, as roes runs o’er land.
⌜The Princess and the Ladies⌝ exit.
Enter the King and the rest, ⌜as themselves.⌝
KING, ⌜to Boyet⌝
2239 Fair sir, God save you. Where’s the Princess?
2240 Gone to her tent. Please it your Majesty
2241 Command me any service to her thither?
2242 345 That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.
2243 I will, and so will she, I know, my lord.He exits.
2244 This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons peas,
2246 He is wit’s peddler, and retails his wares
2247 350 At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs.
2248 And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
2249 Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
2250 This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve.
2251 Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve.
2252 355 He can carve too, and lisp. Why, this is he
2253 That kissed his hand away in courtesy.
2254 This is the ape of form, Monsieur the Nice,
2255 That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
2256 In honorable terms. Nay, he can sing
2257 360 A mean most meanly; and in ushering
2258 Mend him who can. The ladies call him sweet.
2259 The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
2260 This is the flower that smiles on everyone
2261 To show his teeth as white as whale’s bone;
2262 365 And consciences that will not die in debt
2263 Pay him the due of “honey-tongued Boyet.”
2264 A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
2265 That put Armado’s page out of his part!
Enter the Ladies, ⌜with Boyet.⌝
2266 See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thou
2267 370 Till this madman showed thee? And what art thou
KING, ⌜to Princess⌝
2269 All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day.
2270 “Fair” in “all hail” is foul, as I conceive.
2271 Construe my speeches better, if you may.
2272 375 Then wish me better. I will give you leave.
2273 We came to visit you, and purpose now
2274 To lead you to our court. Vouchsafe it, then.
2275 This field shall hold me, and so hold your vow.
2276 Nor God nor I delights in perjured men.
2277 380 Rebuke me not for that which you provoke.
2278 The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
2279 You nickname virtue; “vice” you should have spoke,
2280 For virtue’s office never breaks men’s troth.
2281 Now by my maiden honor, yet as pure
2282 385 As the unsullied lily, I protest,
2283 A world of torments though I should endure,
2284 I would not yield to be your house’s guest,
2285 So much I hate a breaking cause to be
2286 Of heavenly oaths vowed with integrity.
2287 390 O, you have lived in desolation here,
2288 Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
2289 Not so, my lord. It is not so, I swear.
2290 We have had pastimes here and pleasant game.
2291 A mess of Russians left us but of late.
2292 395 How, madam? Russians?
PRINCESS 2293 Ay, in truth, my lord.
2294 Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.
2295 Madam, speak true.—It is not so, my lord.
2296 My lady, to the manner of the days,
2297 400 In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
2298 We four indeed confronted were with four
2299 In Russian habit. Here they stayed an hour
2300 And talked apace; and in that hour, my lord,
2302 405 I dare not call them fools; but this I think:
2303 When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
2304 This jest is dry to me. Gentle sweet,
2305 Your wits makes wise things foolish. When we greet,
2306 With eyes’ best seeing, heaven’s fiery eye,
2307 410 By light we lose light. Your capacity
2308 Is of that nature that to your huge store
2309 Wise things seem foolish and rich things but poor.
2310 This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye—
2311 I am a fool, and full of poverty.
2312 415 But that you take what doth to you belong,
2313 It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
2314 O, I am yours, and all that I possess!
2315 All the fool mine?
BEROWNE 2316 I cannot give you less.
2317 420 Which of the vizards was it that you wore?
2318 Where? When? What vizard? Why demand you this?
2319 There; then; that vizard; that superfluous case
2320 That hid the worse and showed the better face.
KING, ⌜aside to Dumaine⌝
2321 We were descried. They’ll mock us now downright.
DUMAINE, ⌜aside to King⌝
2322 425 Let us confess and turn it to a jest.
PRINCESS, ⌜to King⌝
2323 Amazed, my lord? Why looks your Highness sad?
2324 Help, hold his brows! He’ll swoon!—Why look you
2326 Seasick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
2327 430 Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.
2328 Can any face of brass hold longer out?
2329 Here stand I, lady. Dart thy skill at me.
2330 Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout.
2331 Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance.
2332 435 Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit,
2333 And I will wish thee nevermore to dance,
2334 Nor nevermore in Russian habit wait.
2335 O, never will I trust to speeches penned,
2336 Nor to the motion of a schoolboy’s tongue,
2337 440 Nor never come in vizard to my friend,
2338 Nor woo in rhyme like a blind harper’s song.
2339 Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
2340 Three-piled hyperboles, spruce ⌜affectation,⌝
2341 Figures pedantical—these summer flies
2342 445 Have blown me full of maggot ostentation.
2343 I do forswear them, and I here protest
2344 By this white glove—how white the hand, God
2346 Henceforth my wooing mind shall be expressed
2347 450 In russet yeas and honest kersey noes.
2348 And to begin: Wench, so God help me, law,
2349 My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.
2350 Sans “sans,” I pray you.
BEROWNE 2351 Yet I have a trick
2352 455 Of the old rage. Bear with me, I am sick;
2353 I’ll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see:
2354 Write “Lord have mercy on us” on those three.
2355 They are infected; in their hearts it lies.
2356 They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes.
2358 For the Lord’s tokens on you do I see.
2359 No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.
2360 Our states are forfeit. Seek not to undo us.
2361 It is not so, for how can this be true,
2362 465 That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
2363 Peace, for I will not have to do with you.
2364 Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
BEROWNE, ⌜to King, Longaville, and Dumaine⌝
2365 Speak for yourselves. My wit is at an end.
KING, ⌜to Princess⌝
2366 Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
2367 470 Some fair excuse.
PRINCESS 2368 The fairest is confession.
2369 Were not you here but even now, disguised?
2370 Madam, I was.
PRINCESS 2371 And were you well advised?
2372 475 I was, fair madam.
PRINCESS 2373 When you then were here,
2374 What did you whisper in your lady’s ear?
2375 That more than all the world I did respect her.
2376 When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.
2377 480 Upon mine honor, no.
PRINCESS 2378 Peace, peace, forbear!
2379 Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
2380 Despise me when I break this oath of mine.
2381 I will, and therefore keep it.—Rosaline,
2382 485 What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
2383 Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
2384 As precious eyesight, and did value me
2385 Above this world, adding thereto moreover
2386 That he would wed me or else die my lover.
2387 490 God give thee joy of him! The noble lord
2388 Most honorably doth uphold his word.
2389 What mean you, madam? By my life, my troth,
2390 I never swore this lady such an oath.
2391 By heaven, you did! And to confirm it plain,
2392 495 You gave me this. ⌜She shows a token.⌝ But take it,
2393 sir, again.
2394 My faith and this the Princess I did give.
2395 I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
2396 Pardon me, sir. This jewel did she wear.
⌜She points to Rosaline.⌝
2397 500 And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear.
2398 ⌜To Berowne.⌝ What, will you have me, or your pearl
2399 again?⌜She shows the token.⌝
2400 Neither of either. I remit both twain.
2401 I see the trick on ’t. Here was a consent,
2402 505 Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
2403 To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
2404 Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight
2406 Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some
2407 510 Dick,
2409 To make my lady laugh when she’s disposed,
2410 Told our intents before; which once disclosed,
2411 The ladies did change favors; and then we,
2412 515 Following the signs, wooed but the sign of she.
2413 Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
2414 We are again forsworn in will and error.
2415 Much upon this ’tis. ⌜To Boyet.⌝ And might not you
2416 Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
2417 520 Do not you know my lady’s foot by th’ squier?
2418 And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
2419 And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
2420 Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
2421 You put our page out. Go, you are allowed.
2422 525 Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
2423 You leer upon me, do you? There’s an eye
2424 Wounds like a leaden sword.
BOYET 2425 Full merrily
2426 Hath this brave ⌜manage,⌝ this career been run.
2427 530 Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace, I have done.
Enter Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
2428 Welcome, pure wit. Thou part’st a fair fray.
COSTARD 2429 O Lord, sir, they would know
2430 Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.
2431 What, are there but three?
COSTARD 2432 535 No, sir; but it is vara fine,
2433 For every one pursents three.
BEROWNE 2434 And three times thrice
2435 is nine.
2436 Not so, sir, under correction, sir, I hope it is not so.
2438 know what we know.
2439 I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir—
BEROWNE 2440 Is not nine?
COSTARD 2441 Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it
2442 545 doth amount.
2443 By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.
COSTARD 2444 O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your
2445 living by reckoning, sir.
BEROWNE 2446 How much is it?
COSTARD 2447 550O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors,
2448 sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount. For
2449 mine own part, I am, as ⟨they⟩ say, but to parfect one
2450 man in one poor man—Pompion the Great, sir.
BEROWNE 2451 Art thou one of the Worthies?
COSTARD 2452 555It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompey
2453 the Great. For mine own part, I know not the
2454 degree of the Worthy, but I am to stand for him.
BEROWNE 2455 Go bid them prepare.
2456 We will turn it finely off, sir. We will take some
2457 560 care.He exits.
2458 Berowne, they will shame us. Let them not
2460 We are shame-proof, my lord; and ’tis some policy
2461 To have one show worse than the King’s and his
2462 565 company.
KING 2463 I say they shall not come.
2464 Nay, my good lord, let me o’errule you now.
2465 That sport best pleases that doth ⟨least⟩ know how,
2467 570 Dies in the zeal of that which it presents.
2468 Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
2469 When great things laboring perish in their birth.
2470 A right description of our sport, my lord.
Enter Braggart ⌜Armado.⌝
ARMADO, ⌜to King⌝ 2471 Anointed, I implore so much expense
2472 575 of thy royal sweet breath as will utter a brace
2473 of words.⌜Armado and King step aside, and
Armado gives King a paper.⌝
PRINCESS 2474 Doth this man serve God?
BEROWNE 2475 Why ask you?
2476 He speaks not like a man of God his making.
ARMADO, ⌜to King⌝ 2477 580That is all one, my fair sweet honey
2478 monarch, for, I protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding
2479 fantastical, too, too vain, too, too vain. But
2480 we will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la guerra.—I
2481 wish you the peace of mind, most royal
2482 585 couplement!He exits.
KING, ⌜reading the paper⌝ 2483 Here is like to be a good
2484 presence of Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy,
2485 the swain Pompey the Great, the parish curate
2486 Alexander, Armado’s page Hercules, the pedant
2487 590 Judas Maccabaeus.
2488 And if these four Worthies in their first show thrive,
2489 These four will change habits and present the other
BEROWNE 2491 There is five in the first show.
KING 2492 595You are deceived. ’Tis not so.
BEROWNE 2493 The pedant, the braggart, the hedge
2494 priest, the fool, and the boy.
2495 Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
2496 Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.
2497 600 The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.
Enter ⌜Costard as⌝ Pompey.
2498 I Pompey am—
BEROWNE 2499 You lie; you are not he.
2500 I Pompey am—
BOYET 2501 With leopard’s head on knee.
2502 605 Well said, old mocker. I must needs be friends with
2504 I Pompey am, Pompey, surnamed the Big—
DUMAINE 2505 “The Great.”
2506 It is “Great,” sir.—Pompey, surnamed the
2507 610 Great,
2508 That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my
2509 foe to sweat.
2510 And traveling along this coast, I here am come by
2512 615 And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of
(⌜He places his weapons at the feet of the Princess.⌝)
2514 If your Ladyship would say “Thanks, Pompey,” I
2515 had done.
⌜PRINCESS⌝ 2516 Great thanks, great Pompey.
COSTARD 2517 620’Tis not so much worth, but I hope I was
2518 perfect. I made a little fault in “Great.”
BEROWNE 2519 My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the
2520 best Worthy.⌜Costard stands aside.⌝
Enter Curate ⌜Nathaniel⌝ for Alexander.
2521 When in the world I lived, I was the world’s
2522 625 commander.
2524 conquering might.
2525 My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander—
2526 Your nose says no, you are not, for it stands too
2527 630 right.
BEROWNE, ⌜to Boyet⌝
2528 Your nose smells “no” in ⟨this⟩, most tender-smelling
2530 The conqueror is dismayed.—Proceed, good
2532 635 When in the world I lived, I was the world’s
2534 Most true; ’tis right. You were so, Alisander.
BEROWNE, ⌜to Costard⌝ 2535 Pompey the Great—
COSTARD 2536 Your servant, and Costard.
BEROWNE 2537 640Take away the conqueror. Take away
COSTARD, ⌜to Nathaniel⌝ 2539 O sir, you have overthrown
2540 Alisander the Conqueror. You will be scraped out of
2541 the painted cloth for this. Your lion, that holds his
2542 645 polax sitting on a close-stool, will be given to Ajax.
2543 He will be the ninth Worthy. A conqueror, and
2544 afeard to speak? Run away for shame, Alisander.
2545 There, an ’t shall please you, a foolish mild man, an
2546 honest man, look you, and soon dashed. He is a
2547 650 marvelous good neighbor, faith, and a very good
2548 bowler. But, for Alisander—alas, you see how ’tis—
2549 a little o’erparted. But there are Worthies a-coming
2550 will speak their mind in some other sort.
Enter Pedant ⌜Holofernes⌝ for Judas, and the Boy
2552 655 Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
2553 Whose club killed Cerberus, that three-headed canus,
2554 And when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,
2555 Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.
2556 Quoniam he seemeth in minority,
2557 660 Ergo I come with this apology.
2558 ⌜To Boy.⌝ Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.
Boy ⌜steps aside.⌝
2559 Judas I am—
DUMAINE 2560 A Judas!
HOLOFERNES 2561 Not Iscariot, sir.
2562 665 Judas I am, yclept Maccabaeus.
DUMAINE 2563 Judas Maccabaeus clipped is plain Judas.
BEROWNE 2564 A kissing traitor.—How art thou proved
2566 Judas I am—
DUMAINE 2567 670The more shame for you, Judas.
HOLOFERNES 2568 What mean you, sir?
BOYET 2569 To make Judas hang himself.
HOLOFERNES 2570 Begin, sir, you are my elder.
BEROWNE 2571 Well followed. Judas was hanged on an
2572 675 elder.
HOLOFERNES 2573 I will not be put out of countenance.
BEROWNE 2574 Because thou hast no face.
HOLOFERNES 2575 What is this?⌜He points to his own face.⌝
BOYET 2576 A cittern-head.
DUMAINE 2577 680The head of a bodkin.
BEROWNE 2578 A death’s face in a ring.
LONGAVILLE 2579 The face of an old Roman coin, scarce
BOYET 2581 The pommel of Caesar’s falchion.
BEROWNE 2583 Saint George’s half-cheek in a brooch.
DUMAINE 2584 Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
BEROWNE 2585 Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.
2586 And now forward, for we have put thee in
2587 690 countenance.
HOLOFERNES 2588 You have put me out of countenance.
BEROWNE 2589 False. We have given thee faces.
HOLOFERNES 2590 But you have outfaced them all.
2591 An thou wert a lion, we would do so.
2592 695 Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.—
2593 And so adieu, sweet Jude. Nay, why dost thou stay?
DUMAINE 2594 For the latter end of his name.
2595 For the “ass” to the “Jude”? Give it him.—Jud-as,
2597 700 This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.
2598 A light for Monsieur Judas! It grows dark; he may
2599 stumble.⌜Holofernes exits.⌝
2600 Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited!
Enter Braggart ⌜Armado as Hector.⌝
BEROWNE 2601 Hide thy head, Achilles. Here comes Hector
2602 705 in arms.
DUMAINE 2603 Though my mocks come home by me, I will
2604 now be merry.
KING 2605 Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.
BOYET 2606 But is this Hector?
KING 2607 710I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.
LONGAVILLE 2608 His leg is too big for Hector’s.
DUMAINE 2609 More calf, certain.
BEROWNE 2611 This cannot be Hector.
DUMAINE 2612 715He’s a god or a painter, for he makes faces.
2613 The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
2614 Gave Hector a gift—
DUMAINE 2615 A ⟨gilt⟩ nutmeg.
BEROWNE 2616 A lemon.
LONGAVILLE 2617 720Stuck with cloves.
DUMAINE 2618 No, cloven.
ARMADO 2619 Peace!
2620 The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
2621 Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion,
2622 725 A man so breathed, that certain he would fight, yea,
2623 From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
2624 I am that flower—
DUMAINE 2625 That mint.
LONGAVILLE 2626 That columbine.
ARMADO 2627 730Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.
LONGAVILLE 2628 I must rather give it the rein, for it runs
2629 against Hector.
DUMAINE 2630 Ay, and Hector’s a greyhound.
ARMADO 2631 The sweet warman is dead and rotten. Sweet
2632 735 chucks, beat not the bones of the buried. When he
2633 breathed, he was a man. But I will forward with my
2634 device. ⌜To Princess.⌝ Sweet royalty, bestow on me
2635 the sense of hearing.
Berowne steps forth.
2636 Speak, brave Hector. We are much delighted.
ARMADO 2637 740I do adore thy sweet Grace’s slipper.
BOYET 2638 Loves her by the foot.
DUMAINE 2639 He may not by the yard.
2640 This Hector far surmounted Hannibal.
2641 The party is gone—
2643 months on her way.
ARMADO 2644 What meanest thou?
COSTARD 2645 Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the
2646 poor wench is cast away. She’s quick; the child
2647 750 brags in her belly already. ’Tis yours.
ARMADO 2648 Dost thou infamonize me among potentates?
2649 Thou shalt die!
COSTARD 2650 Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta,
2651 that is quick by him, and hanged for Pompey,
2652 755 that is dead by him.
DUMAINE 2653 Most rare Pompey!
BOYET 2654 Renowned Pompey!
BEROWNE 2655 Greater than “Great”! Great, great, great
2656 Pompey. Pompey the Huge!
DUMAINE 2657 760Hector trembles.
BEROWNE 2658 Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates!
2659 Stir them ⌜on,⌝ stir them on.
DUMAINE 2660 Hector will challenge him.
BEROWNE 2661 Ay, if he have no more man’s blood in his
2662 765 belly than will sup a flea.
ARMADO, ⌜to Costard⌝ 2663 By the North Pole, I do challenge
COSTARD 2665 I will not fight with a pole like a northern
2666 man! I’ll slash. I’ll do it by the sword.—I bepray
2667 770 you, let me borrow my arms again.
DUMAINE 2668 Room for the incensed Worthies!
COSTARD 2669 I’ll do it in my shirt.⌜He removes his doublet.⌝
DUMAINE 2670 Most resolute Pompey!
BOY, ⌜to Armado⌝ 2671 Master, let me take you a buttonhole
2672 775 lower. Do you not see Pompey is uncasing for the
2673 combat? What mean you? You will lose your
ARMADO 2675 Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me. I will
2676 not combat in my shirt.
ARMADO 2679 Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
BEROWNE 2680 What reason have you for ’t?
ARMADO 2681 The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt. I go
2682 785 woolward for penance.
BOYET 2683 True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want
2684 of linen; since when, I’ll be sworn, he wore none
2685 but a dishclout of Jaquenetta’s, and that he wears
2686 next his heart for a favor.
Enter a Messenger, Monsieur Marcade.
MARCADE, ⌜to Princess⌝ 2687 790God save you, madam.
PRINCESS 2688 Welcome, Marcade,
2689 But that thou interruptest our merriment.
2690 I am sorry, madam, for the news I bring
2691 Is heavy in my tongue. The King your father—
2692 795 Dead, for my life.
MARCADE 2693 Even so. My tale is told.
2694 Worthies, away! The scene begins to cloud.
ARMADO 2695 For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I
2696 have seen the day of wrong through the little hole
2697 800 of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier.
KING, ⌜to Princess⌝ 2698 How fares your Majesty?
2699 Boyet, prepare. I will away tonight.
2700 Madam, not so. I do beseech you stay.
PRINCESS, ⌜to Boyet⌝
2701 Prepare, I say.—I thank you, gracious lords,
2702 805 For all your fair endeavors, and entreat,
2703 Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
2705 The liberal opposition of our spirits,
2706 If overboldly we have borne ourselves
2707 810 In the converse of breath; your gentleness
2708 Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord.
2709 A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue.
2710 Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
2711 For my great suit so easily obtained.
2712 815 The extreme parts of time extremely forms
2713 All causes to the purpose of his speed,
2714 And often at his very loose decides
2715 That which long process could not arbitrate.
2716 And though the mourning brow of progeny
2717 820 Forbid the smiling courtesy of love
2718 The holy suit which fain it would convince,
2719 Yet since love’s argument was first on foot,
2720 Let not the cloud of sorrow jostle it
2721 From what it purposed, since to wail friends lost
2722 825 Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
2723 As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
2724 I understand you not. My griefs are double.
2725 Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief,
2726 And by these badges understand the King:
2727 830 For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
2728 Played foul play with our oaths. Your beauty, ladies,
2729 Hath much deformed us, fashioning our humors
2730 Even to the opposèd end of our intents.
2731 And what in us hath seemed ridiculous—
2732 835 As love is full of unbefitting strains,
2733 All wanton as a child, skipping and vain,
2734 Formed by the eye and therefore, like the eye,
2735 Full of ⌜strange⌝ shapes, of habits, and of forms,
2736 Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll
2738 Which parti-coated presence of loose love
2739 Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
2740 Have misbecomed our oaths and gravities,
2741 Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
2742 845 Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
2743 Our love being yours, the error that love makes
2744 Is likewise yours. We to ourselves prove false
2745 By being once false forever to be true
2746 To those that make us both—fair ladies, you.
2747 850 And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
2748 Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.
2749 We have received your letters full of love;
2750 Your favors, ⟨the⟩ ambassadors of love;
2751 And in our maiden council rated them
2752 855 At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
2753 As bombast and as lining to the time.
2754 But more devout than this ⌜in⌝ our respects
2755 Have we not been, and therefore met your loves
2756 In their own fashion, like a merriment.
2757 860 Our letters, madam, showed much more than jest.
2758 So did our looks.
ROSALINE 2759 We did not quote them so.
2760 Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
2761 Grant us your loves.
PRINCESS 2762 865 A time, methinks, too short
2763 To make a world-without-end bargain in.
2764 No, no, my lord, your Grace is perjured much,
2765 Full of dear guiltiness, and therefore this:
2766 If for my love—as there is no such cause—
2767 870 You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
2768 Your oath I will not trust, but go with speed
2770 Remote from all the pleasures of the world.
2771 There stay until the twelve celestial signs
2772 875 Have brought about the annual reckoning.
2773 If this austere insociable life
2774 Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
2775 If frosts and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds
2776 Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
2777 880 But that it bear this trial, and last love;
2778 Then, at the expiration of the year,
2779 Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,
⌜She takes his hand.⌝
2780 And by this virgin palm now kissing thine,
2781 I will be thine. And till that ⟨instant⟩ shut
2782 885 My woeful self up in a mourning house,
2783 Raining the tears of lamentation
2784 For the remembrance of my father’s death.
2785 If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
2786 Neither entitled in the other’s heart.
2787 890 If this, or more than this, I would deny,
2788 To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
2789 The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
2790 Hence hermit, then. My heart is in thy breast.
⌜They step aside.⌝
DUMAINE, ⌜to Katherine⌝
2791 But what to me, my love? But what to me?
2792 895 A wife?
KATHERINE 2793 A beard, fair health, and honesty.
2794 With threefold love I wish you all these three.
2795 O, shall I say “I thank you, gentle wife”?
2796 Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day
2797 900 I’ll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say.
2799 Then, if I have much love, I’ll give you some.
2800 I’ll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
2801 Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again.
⌜They step aside.⌝
2802 905 What says Maria?
MARIA 2803 At the twelvemonth’s end
2804 I’ll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
2805 I’ll stay with patience, but the time is long.
2806 The liker you; few taller are so young.
⌜They step aside.⌝
BEROWNE, ⌜to Rosaline⌝
2807 910 Studies my lady? Mistress, look on me.
2808 Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
2809 What humble suit attends thy answer there.
2810 Impose some service on me for thy love.
2811 Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Berowne,
2812 915 Before I saw you; and the world’s large tongue
2813 Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks,
2814 Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
2815 Which you on all estates will execute
2816 That lie within the mercy of your wit.
2817 920 To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
2818 And therewithal to win me, if you please,
2819 Without the which I am not to be won,
2820 You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day
2821 Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
2822 925 With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
2823 With all the fierce endeavor of your wit,
2824 To enforce the painèd impotent to smile.
2825 To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
2826 It cannot be, it is impossible.
2827 930 Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
2828 Why, that’s the way to choke a gibing spirit,
2829 Whose influence is begot of that loose grace
2830 Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools.
2831 A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear
2832 935 Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
2833 Of him that makes it. Then if sickly ears,
2834 Deafed with the clamors of their own dear groans
2835 Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
2836 And I will have you and that fault withal.
2837 940 But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
2838 And I shall find you empty of that fault,
2839 Right joyful of your reformation.
2840 A twelvemonth? Well, befall what will befall,
2841 I’ll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
PRINCESS, ⌜to King⌝
2842 945 Ay, sweet my lord, and so I take my leave.
2843 No, madam, we will bring you on your way.
2844 Our wooing doth not end like an old play.
2845 Jack hath not Jill. These ladies’ courtesy
2846 Might well have made our sport a comedy.
2847 950 Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
2848 And then ’twill end.
BEROWNE 2849 That’s too long for a play.
Enter Braggart ⌜Armado.⌝
ARMADO 2850 Sweet Majesty, vouchsafe me—
2851 Was not that Hector?
DUMAINE 2852 955 The worthy knight of Troy.
ARMADO 2853 I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I
2854 am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the
2855 plow for her sweet love three year. But, most
2856 esteemed Greatness, will you hear the dialogue that
2857 960 the two learned men have compiled in praise of the
2858 owl and the cuckoo? It should have followed in the
2859 end of our show.
KING 2860 Call them forth quickly. We will do so.
ARMADO 2861 Holla! Approach.
2862 965 This side is Hiems, Winter; this Ver, the Spring; the
2863 one maintained by the owl, th’ other by the cuckoo.
2864 Ver, begin.
2865 When daisies pied and violets blue,
2866 And lady-smocks all silver-white,
2867 970 And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
2868 Do paint the meadows with delight,
2869 The cuckoo then on every tree
2870 Mocks married men; for thus sings he:
2872 975 Cuckoo, cuckoo!” O word of fear,
2873 Unpleasing to a married ear.
2874 When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
2875 And merry larks are plowmen’s clocks;
2876 When turtles tread, and rooks and daws,
2877 980 And maidens bleach their summer smocks;
2878 The cuckoo then on every tree
2879 Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
2882 985 Unpleasing to a married ear.
2883 When icicles hang by the wall,
2884 And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
2885 And Tom bears logs into the hall,
2886 And milk comes frozen home in pail;
2887 990 When blood is nipped, and ways be ⟨foul,⟩
2888 Then nightly sings the staring owl
2889 “Tu-whit to-who.” A merry note,
2890 While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
2891 When all aloud the wind doth blow,
2892 995 And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
2893 And birds sit brooding in the snow,
2894 And Marian’s nose looks red and raw;
2895 When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
2896 Then nightly sings the staring owl
2897 1000 “Tu-whit to-who.” A merry note,
2898 While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
⟨ARMADO⟩ 2899 The words of Mercury are harsh after the
2900 songs of Apollo. ⟨You that way; we this way.⟩
⟨They all exit.⟩