Love's Labor's Lost
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Navigate this workLove's Labor's Lost
Act 5, scene 2
Boyet reports to the Princess that the King and his lords, disguised as Russians, will visit the ladies. The Princess tells her ladies that she and they will cover their faces with masks and exchange the gifts sent to them. Each will wear another’s gift. The King and the lords will then mistake the ladies for each other and each lord will vow his love to the wrong lady. Later, when the lords return in their proper dress, the ladies will be able to mock them for their mistakes. All occurs as the Princess plans.
Costard introduces the pageant of the Nine Worthies. The pageant is interrupted by Costard’s announcement that Jaquenetta is pregnant and that Armado is the father. Armado challenges Costard to a duel.
A messenger from the French court arrives to announce the death of the Princess’s father. The King and his lords try once again to prevail upon the Princess and her ladies to accept their love, but the women insist that the King and lords spend the following year—the Princess’s year of mourning for her father—undergoing specific penances. At the end of the year the men may, if they wish, renew their proposals of marriage.Enter the Ladies (⌜the Princess, Rosaline,
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.⟩