Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Love’s Labour’s Lost
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act V. Scene II.
The same.  Before the PRINCESS’S Pavilion.
  Prin.  Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
If fairings come thus plentifully in:
A lady wall’d about with diamonds!        5
Look you what I have from the loving king.
  Ros.  Madam, came nothing else along with that?
  Prin.  Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rime
As would be cramm’d up in a sheet of paper,
Writ o’ both sides the leaf, margent and all,        10
That he was fain to seal on Cupid’s name.
  Ros.  That was the way to make his godhead wax;
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
  Kath.  Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.
  Ros.  You’ll ne’er be friends with him: a’ kill’d your sister.        15
  Kath.  He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy;
And so she died: had she been light, like you,
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
She might ha’ been a grandam ere she died;
And so may you, for a light heart lives long.        20
  Ros.  What’s your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?
  Kath.  A light condition in a beauty dark.
  Ros.  We need more light to find your meaning out.
  Kath.  You’ll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
Therefore, I’ll darkly end the argument.        25
  Ros.  Look, what you do, you do it still i’ the dark.
  Kath.  So do not you, for you are a light wench.
  Ros.  Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light.
  Kath.  You weigh me not. O! that’s you care not for me.
  Ros.  Great reason; for, ‘past cure is still past care.’        30
  Prin.  Well bandied both; a set of with well play’d.
But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?
  Ros.        I would you knew:
An if my face were but as fair as yours,        35
My favour were as great; be witness this.
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne:
The numbers true; and, were the numb’ring too,
I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
I am compar’d to twenty thousand fairs.        40
O! he hath drawn my picture in his letter.
  Prin.  Anything like?
  Ros.  Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
  Prin.  Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.
  Kath.  Fair as a text B in a copy-book.        45
  Ros.  ’Ware pencils! how? let me not die your debtor,
My red dominical, my golden letter:
O, that your face were not so full of O’s!
  Kath.  A pox of that jest! and beshrew all shrows!
  Prin.  But what was sent to you from fair Dumaine?        50
  Kath.  Madam, this glove.
  Prin.        Did he not send you twain?
  Kath.  Yes, madam; and moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover:
A huge translation of hypocrisy,        55
Vilely compil’d, profound simplicity.
  Mar.  This, and these pearls to me sent Longaville:
The letter is too long by half a mile.
  Prin.  I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart
The chain were longer and the letter short?        60
  Mar.  Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
  Prin.  We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
  Ros.  They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
That same Berowne I’ll torture ere I go.
O that I knew he were but in by the week!        65
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek,
And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rimes,
And shape his service wholly to my hests,
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!        70
So perttaunt-like would I o’ersway his state
That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
  Prin.  None are so surely caught, when they are catch’d,
As wit turn’d fool: folly, in wisdom hatch’d,
Hath wisdom’s warrant and the help of school        75
And wit’s own grace to grace a learned fool.
  Ros.  The blood of youth burns not with such excess
As gravity’s revolt to wantonness.
  Mar.  Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;        80
Since all the power thereof it doth apply
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.
Enter BOYET.
  Prin.  Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
  Boyet.  O! I am stabb’d with laughter. Where’s her Grace?        85
  Prin.  Thy news, Boyet?
  Boyet.        Prepare, madam, prepare!—
Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are
Against your peace: Love doth approach disguis’d,
Armed in arguments; you’ll be surpris’d:        90
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.
  Prin.  Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they
That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
  Boyet.  Under the cool shade of a sycamore        95
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour,
When, lo! to interrupt my purpos’d rest,
Toward that shade I might behold addrest
The king and his companions: warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,        100
And overheard what you shall overhear;
That, by and by, disguis’d they will be here.
Their herald is a pretty knavish page,
That well by heart hath conn’d his embassage:
Action and accent did they teach him there;        105
‘Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear.’
And ever and anon they made a doubt
Presence majestical would put him out;
‘For,’ quoth the king, ‘an angel shalt thou see;
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.’        110
The boy replied, ‘An angel is not evil;
I should have fear’d her had she been a devil.’
With that all laugh’d and clapp’d him on the shoulder,
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
One rubb’d his elbow thus, and fleer’d, and swore        115
A better speech was never spoke before;
Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cry’d ‘Via! we will do ’t, come what will come;’
The third he caper’d and cried, ‘All goes well;’
The fourth turn’d on the toe, and down he fell.        120
With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, passion’s solemn tears.
  Prin.  But what, but what, come they to visit us?        125
  Boyet.  They do, they do; and are apparell’d thus,
Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
Their purpose is to parle, to court and dance;
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress, which they’ll know        130
By favours several which they did bestow.
  Prin.  And will they so? the gallants shall be task’d:
For, ladies, we will every one be mask’d,
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady’s face.        135
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
And then the king will court thee for his dear:
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine,
So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline,
And change you favours too; so shall your loves        140
Woo contrary, deceiv’d by these removes.
  Ros.  Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.
  Kath.  But in this changing what is your intent?
  Prin.  The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs:
They do it but in mocking merriment;        145
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their several counsels they unbosom shall
To loves mistook and so be mock’d withal
Upon the next occasion that we meet,
With visages display’d, to talk and greet.        150
  Ros.  But shall we dance, if they desire us to ’t?
  Prin.  No, to the death, we will not move a foot:
Nor to their penn’d speech render we no grace;
But while ’tis spoke each turn away her face.
  Boyet.  Why, that contempt will kill the speaker’s heart,        155
And quite divorce his memory from his part.
  Prin.  Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt,
The rest will ne’er come in, if he be out.
There’s no such sport as sport by sport o’er-thrown,
To make theirs ours and ours none but our own:        160
So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
And they, well mock’d, depart away with shame.  [Trumpets sound within.
  Boyet.  The trumpet sounds: be mask’d; the maskers come.  [The Ladies mask.
Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE in Russian habits, and masked.
  Moth.  All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!        165
  Boyet.  Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.
  Moth.  A holy parcel of the fairest dames,  [The Ladies turn their backs to him.
That ever turn’d their—backs—to mortal views!
  Ber.   ‘Their eyes,’ villain, ‘their eyes.’
  Moth.  That ever turn’d their eyes to mortal views!        170
  Boyet.  True; ‘out,’ indeed.
  Moth.   ‘Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
Not to behold’
  Ber.   ‘Once to behold,’ rogue.        175
  Moth.   ‘Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,
  —with your sun-beamed eyes’
  Boyet.  They will not answer to that epithet;
You were best call it ‘daughter-beamed eyes.’
  Moth.  They do not mark me, and that brings me out.        180
  Ber.  Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue!  [Exit MOTH.
  Ros.  What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet:
If they do speak our language, ’tis our will
That some plain man recount their purposes:
Know what they would.        185
  Boyet.  What would you with the princess?
  Ber.  Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
  Ros.  What would they, say they?
  Boyet.  Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
  Ros.  Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.        190
  Boyet.  She says, you have it, and you may be gone.
  King.  Say to her, we have measur’d many miles,
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
  Boyet.  They say, that they have measur’d many a mile,
To tread a measure with you on this grass.        195
  Ros.  It is not so. Ask them how many inches
Is in one mile: if they have measur’d many,
The measure then of one is easily told.
  Boyet.  If to come hither you have measur’d miles,
And many miles, the princess bids you tell        200
How many inches do fill up one mile.
  Ber.  Tell her we measure them by weary steps.
  Boyet.  She hears herself.
  Ros.        How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o’ergone,        205
Are number’d in the travel of one mile?
  Ber.  We number nothing that we spend for you:
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,        210
That we, like savages, may worship it.
  Ros.  My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
  King.  Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
Those clouds remov’d, upon our wat’ry eyne.        215
  Ros.  O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request’st but moonshine in the water.
  King.  Then, in our measure but vouchsafe one change.
Thou bid’st me beg; this begging is not strange.
  Ros.  Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.  [Music plays.        220
Not yet! no dance! thus change I like the moon.
  King.  Will you not dance? How come you thus estrang’d?
  Ros.  You took the moon at full, but now she’s chang’d.
  King.  Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.        225
  Ros.  Our ears vouchsafe it.
  King.        But your legs should do it.
  Ros.  Since you are strangers, and come here by chance,
We’ll not be nice: take hands: we will not dance.
  King.  Why take we hands then?        230
  Ros.        Only to part friends.
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
  King.  More measure of this measure: be not nice.
  Ros.  We can afford no more at such a price.
  King.  Prize you yourselves? what buys your company?        235
  Ros.  Your absence only.
  King.        That can never be.
  Ros.  Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you!
  King.  If you deny to dance, let’s hold more chat.        240
  Ros.  In private, then.
  King.        I am best pleas’d with that.  [They converse apart.
  Ber.  White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.
  Prin.  Honey, and milk, and sugar; there are three.
  Ber.  Nay then, two treys, an if you grow so nice,        245
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
There’s half a dozen sweets.
  Prin.        Seventh sweet, adieu:
Since you can cog, I’ll play no more with you.
  Ber.  One word in secret.        250
  Prin.        Let it not be sweet.
  Ber.  Thou griev’st my gall.
  Prin.        Gall! bitter.
  Ber.        Therefore meet.  [They converse apart.
  Dum.  Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?        255
  Mar.  Name it.
  Dum.        Fair lady,—
  Mar.        Say you so? Fair lord,
Take that for your fair lady.
  Dum.        Please it you,        260
As much in private, and I’ll bid adieu.  [They converse apart.
  Kath.  What! was your visor made without a tongue?
  Long.  I know the reason, lady, why you ask.
  Kath.  O! for your reason; quickly, sir; I long.
  Long.  You have a double tongue within your mask,        265
And would afford my speechless visor half.
  Kath.  ‘Veal,’ quoth the Dutchman. Is not ‘veal’ a calf?
  Long.  A calf, fair lady!
  Kath.        No, a fair lord calf.
  Long.  Let’s part the word.        270
  Kath.        No, I’ll not be your half:
Take all, and wean it: it may prove an ox.
  Long.  Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks.
Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.
  Kath.  Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.        275
  Long.  One word in private with you, ere I die.
  Kath.  Bleat softly then; the butcher hears you cry.  [They converse apart.
  Boyet.  The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
  As is the razor’s edge invisible,
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen,        280
  Above the sense of sense; so sensible
Seemeth their conference; their conceits have wings
Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.
  Ros.  Not one word more, my maids: break off, break off.
  Ber.  By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!        285
  King.  Farewell, mad wenches: you have simple wits.
  Prin.  Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.  [Exeunt KING, LORDS, Music, and Attendants.
Are these the breed of wits so wonder’d at?
  Boyet.  Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff’d out.
  Ros.  Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.        290
  Prin.  O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night?
  Or ever, but in visors, show their faces?
This pert Berowne was out of countenance quite.
  Ros.  O! they were all in lamentable cases.        295
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
  Prin.  Berowne did swear himself out of all suit.
  Mar.  Dumaine was at my service, and his sword:
  ‘No point,’ quoth I: my servant straight was mute.
  Kath.  Lord Longaville said, I came o’er his heart;        300
  And trow you what he call’d me?
  Prin.        Qualm, perhaps.
  Kath.  Yes, in good faith.
  Prin.        Go, sickness as thou art!
  Ros.  Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.        305
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.
  Prin.  And quick Berowne hath plighted faith to me.
  Kath.  And Longaville was for my service born.
  Mar.  Dumaine is mine, as sure as bark on tree.
  Boyet.  Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear:        310
Immediately they will again be here
In their own shapes; for it can never be
They will digest this harsh indignity.
  Prin.  Will they return?
  Boyet.        They will, they will, God knows;        315
And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows:
Therefore change favours; and, when they repair,
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
  Prin.  How blow? how blow? speak to be understood.
  Boyet.  Fair ladies mask’d, are roses in their bud:        320
Dismask’d, their damask sweet commixture shown,
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
  Prin.  Avaunt perplexity! What shall we do
If they return in their own shapes to woo?
  Ros.  Good madam, if by me you’ll be advis’d,        325
Let’s mock them still, as well known as disguis’d.
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguis’d like Muscovites, in shapeless gear;
And wonder what they were, and to what end
Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn’d,        330
And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
Should be presented at our tent to us.
  Boyet.  Ladies, withdraw: the gallants are at hand.
  Prin.  Whip to your tents, as roes run over land.  [Exeunt PRINCESS, ROS., KATH., and MARIA.
Enter the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE in their proper habits.
  King.  Fair sir, God save you! Where is the princess?
  Boyet.  Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty,
Command me any service to her thither?
  King.  That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.
  Boyet.  I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.  [Exit.        340
  Ber.  This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons pease,
And utters it again when God doth please:
He is wit’s pedlar, and retails his wares
At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,        345
Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve:
He can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
That kiss’d his hand away in courtesy;        350
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable terms: nay, he can sing
A mean most meanly, and in ushering
Mend him who can: the ladies call him, sweet;        355
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
This is the flower that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whales-bone;
And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongu’d Boyet.        360
  King.  A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
That put Armado’s page out of his part!
Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET; ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants.
  Ber.  See where it comes! Behaviour, what wert thou,
Till this man show’d thee? and what art thou now?        365
  King.  All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!
  Prin.  ‘Fair,’ in ‘all hail,’ is foul, as I conceive.
  King.  Construe my speeches better, if you may.
  Prin.  Then wish me better: I will give you leave.
  King.  We came to visit you, and purpose now        370
  To lead you to our court: vouchsafe it then.
  Prin.  This field shall hold me, and so hold your vow:
  Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur’d men.
  King.  Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:
  The virtue of your eye must break my oath.        375
  Prin.  You nick-name virtue; vice you should have spoke;
  For virtue’s office never breaks men’s troth.
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure
  As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,        380
  I would not yield to be your house’s guest;
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vow’d with integrity.
  King.  O! you have liv’d in desolation here,
  Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.        385
  Prin.  Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
  We have had pastime here and pleasant game.
A mess of Russians left us but of late.
  King.  How, madam! Russians?
  Prin.        Ay, in truth, my lord;        390
Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.
  Ros.  Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord:
My lady, to the manner of the days,
In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
We four, indeed, confronted were with four        395
In Russian habit: here they stay’d an hour,
And talk’d apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.        400
  Ber.  This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle sweet,
Your wit makes wise things foolish: when we greet,
With eyes best seeing, heaven’s fiery eye,
By light we lose light: your capacity
Is of that nature that to your huge store        405
Wise things seem foolish and rich things but poor.
  Ros.  This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye—
  Ber.  I am a fool, and full of poverty.
  Ros.  But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.        410
  Ber.  O! I am yours, and all that I possess.
  Ros.  All the fool mine?
  Ber.        I cannot give you less.
  Ros.  Which of the visors was it that you wore?
  Ber.  Where? when? what visor? why demand you this?        415
  Ros.  There, then, that visor; that superfluous case
That hid the worse, and show’d the better face.
  King.  We are descried: they’ll mock us now downright.
  Dum.  Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
  Prin.  Amaz’d, my lord? Why looks your highness sad?        420
  Ros.  Help! hold his brows! he’ll swound. Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
  Ber.  Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.
  Can any face of brass hold longer out?—
Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me;        425
  Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout;
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
  Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will wish thee never more to dance,
  Nor never more in Russian habit wait.        430
O! never will I trust to speeches penn’d,
  Nor to the motion of a school-boy’s tongue,
Nor never come in visor to my friend,
  Nor woo in rime, like a blind harper’s song,
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,        435
  Three-pil’d hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical; these summer flies
  Have blown me full of maggot ostentation:
I do forswear them; and I here protest,
  By this white glove,—how white the hand, God knows,—        440
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express’d
  In russet yeas and honest kersey noes:
And, to begin, wench,—so God help me, la!—
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.
  Ros.  Sans ‘sans,’ I pray you.        445
  Ber.        Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick;
I’ll leave it by degrees. Soft! let us see:
Write, ‘Lord have mercy on us’ on those three;
They are infected, in their hearts it lies;        450
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes:
These lords are visited; you are not free,
For the Lord’s tokens on you do I see.
  Prin.  No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.
  Ber.  Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us.        455
  Ros.  It is not so. For how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
  Ber.  Peace! for I will not have to do with you.
  Ros.  Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
  Ber.  Speak for yourselves: my wit is at an end.        460
  King.  Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
Some fair excuse.
  Prin.        The fairest is confession.
Were you not here, but even now, disguis’d?
  King.  Madam, I was.        465
  Prin.        And were you well advis’d?
  King.  I was, fair madam.
  Prin.        When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady’s ear?
  King.  That more than all the world I did respect her.        470
  Prin.  When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.
  King.  Upon mine honour, no.
  Prin.        Peace! peace! forbear;
Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
  King.  Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.        475
  Prin.  I will; and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
  Ros.  Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
As precious eyesight, and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto, moreover,        480
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
  Prin.  God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
Most honourably doth uphold his word.
  King.  What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.        485
  Ros.  By heaven you did; and to confirm it plain,
You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.
  King.  My faith and this the princess I did give:
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
  Prin.  Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;        490
And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear.
What, will you have me, or your pearl again?
  Ber.  Neither of either; I remit both twain.
I see the trick on ’t: here was a consent,
Knowing aforehand of our merriment,        495
To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick,
That smiles his cheek in years, and knows the trick
To make my lady laugh when she’s dispos’d,        500
Told our intents before; which once disclos’d,
The ladies did change favours, and then we,
Following the signs, woo’d but the sign of she.
Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forsworn, in will and error.        505
Much upon this it is:  [To BOYET.]  and might not you
Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
Do not you know my lady’s foot by the squire,
  And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,        510
  Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
You put our page out: go, you are allow’d;
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
You leer upon me, do you? there’s an eye
Wounds like a leaden sword.        515
  Boyet.        Full merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.
  Ber.  Lo! he is tilting straight. Peace! I have done.
Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.        520
  Cost.  O Lord, sir, they would know
Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.
  Ber.  What, are there but three?
  Cost.        No, sir; but it is vara fine,
For every one pursents three.        525
  Ber.        And three times thrice is nine.
  Cost.  Not so, sir; under correction, sir, I hope, it is not so.
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we know what we know:
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,—
  Ber.        Is not nine.        530
  Cost.  Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount.
  Ber.  By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.
  Cost.  O Lord, sir! it were pity you should get your living by reckoning, sir.
  Ber.  How much is it?
  Cost.  O Lord, sir! the parties themselves, the actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for mine own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one man in one poor man, Pompion the Great, sir.        535
  Ber.  Art thou one of the Worthies?
  Cost.  It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion the Great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of the Worthy, but I am to stand for him.
  Ber.  Go, bid them prepare.
  Cost.  We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take some care.  [Exit.
  King.  Berowne, they will shame us; let them not approach.        540
  Ber.  We are shame-proof, my lord; and ’tis some policy
To have one show worse than the king’s and his company.
  King.  I say they shall not come.
  Prin.  Nay, my good lord, let me o’errule you now.
That sport best pleases that doth least know how;        545
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
Die in the zeal of those which it presents;
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
When great things labouring perish in their birth.
  Ber.  A right description of our sport, my lord.        550
  Arm.  Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal sweet breath as will utter a brace of words.  [ARMADO converses with the KING, and delivers a paper to him.
  Prin.  Doth this man serve God?
  Ber.  Why ask you?
  Prin.  He speaks not like a man of God’s making,        555
  Arm.  That’s all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch; for, I protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical; too-too vain; too-too vain: but we will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement!  [Exit.
  King.  Here is like to be a good presence of Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the Great; the parish curate, Alexander; Armado’s page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas Maccabæus:
And if these four Worthies in their first show thrive,
These four will change habits and present the other five.
  Ber.  There is five in the first show.        560
  King.  You are deceived, ’tis not so.
  Ber.  The pedant, the braggart, the hedgepriest, the fool, and the boy:—
Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.
  King.  The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.        565
Enter COSTARD armed, for Pompey.
  Cost.  I Pompey am,
  Boyet.        You lie, you are not he.
  Cost.  I Pompey am,
  Boyet.        With libbard’s head on knee.        570
  Ber.  Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friends with thee.
  Cost.  I Pompey am, Pompey surnam’d the Big,
  Dum.  ‘The Great.’
  Cost.  It is ‘Great,’ sir; Pompey surnam’d the Great;
That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my foe to sweat:        575
And travelling along this coast, I here am come by chance,
And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France.
If your ladyship would say, ‘Thanks, Pompey,’ I had done.
  Prin.  Great thanks, great Pompey.
  Cost.  ’Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect. I made a little fault in ‘Great.’        580
  Ber.  My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy.
Enter SIR NATHANIEL armed, for Alexander.
  Nath.  When in the world I liv’d, I was the world’s commander;
  By east, west, north, and south, I spread my conquering might:
My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander,        585
  Boyet.  Your nose says, no, you are not; for it stands too right.
  Ber.  Your nose smells ‘no,’ in this, most tender-smelling knight.
  Prin.  The conqueror is dismay’d. Proceed, good Alexander.
  Nath.  When in the world I liv’d, I was the world’s commander;
  Boyet.  Most true; ’tis right: you were so, Alisander.        590
  Ber.  Pompey the Great,—
  Cost.  Your servant, and Costard.
  Ber.  Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.
  Cost.  [To NATHANIEL.]  O! sir, you have overthrown Alisander the conqueror! You will be scraped out of the painted cloth for this: your lion, that holds his poll-axe sitting on a close-stool, will be given to Ajax: he will be the ninth Worthy. A conqueror, and afeard to speak! run away for shame, Alisander!  [NATHANIEL retires.]  There, an ’t shall please you: a foolish mild man; an honest man, look you, and soon dashed! He is a marvellous good neighbour, faith, and a very good bowler; but, for Alisander,—alas, you see how ’tis,—a little o’erparted. But there are Worthies a-coming will speak their mind in some other sort.
  Prin.  Stand aside, good Pompey.        595
Enter HOLOFERNES armed, for Judas; and MOTH armed, for Hercules.
  Hol.  Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
  Whose club kill’d Cerberus, that three-headed canis;
And, when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,
  Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.        600
Quoniam, he seemeth in minority,
Ergo, I come with this apology.
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.—  [MOTH retires.
Judas I am.
  Dum.  A Judas!        605
  Hol.  Not Iscariot, sir.
Judas I am, ycleped Maccabæus.
  Dum.  Judas Maccabæus clipt is plain Judas.
  Ber.  A kissing traitor. How art thou prov’d Judas?
  Hol.  Judas I am.        610
  Dum.  The more shame for you, Judas.
  Hol.  What mean you, sir?
  Boyet.  To make Judas hang himself.
  Hol.  Begin, sir; you are my elder.
  Ber.  Well follow’d: Judas was hanged on an elder.        615
  Hol.  I will not be put out of countenance.
  Ber.  Because thou hast no face.
  Hol.  What is this?
  Boyet.  A cittern-head.
  Dum.  The head of a bodkin.        620
  Ber.  A death’s face in a ring.
  Long.  The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen.
  Boyet.  The pommel of Cæsar’s falchion.
  Dum.  The carved-bone face on a flask.
  Ber.  Saint George’s half-cheek in a brooch.        625
  Dum.  Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
  Ber.  Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.
And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance.
  Hol.  You have put me out of countenance.
  Ber.  False: we have given thee faces.        630
  Hol.  But you have outfaced them all.
  Ber.  An thou wert a lion, we would do so.
  Boyet.  Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.
And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay?
  Dum.  For the latter end of his name.        635
  Ber.  For the ass to the Jude? give it him:—Jud-as, away!
  Hol.  This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.
  Boyet.  A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows dark, he may stumble.
  Prin.  Alas! poor Maccabæus, how hath he been baited.
Enter ARMADO armed, for Hector.
  Ber.  Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes
Hector in arms.
  Dum.  Though my mocks come home by me,
I will now be merry.
  King.  Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.        645
  Boyet.  But is this Hector?
  King.  I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.
  Long.  His calf is too big for Hector.
  Dum.  More calf, certain.
  Boyet.  No; he is best indued in the small.        650
  Ber.  This cannot be Hector.
  Dum.  He’s a god or a painter; for he makes faces.
  Arm.  The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
Gave Hector a gift,
  Dum.  A gilt nutmeg.        655
  Ber.  A lemon.
  Long.  Stuck with cloves.
  Dum.  No, cloven.
  Arm.  Peace!
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,        660
  Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion;
A man so breath’d, that certain he would fight ye
  From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
I am that flower,
  Dum.        That mint.        665
  Long.        That columbine.
  Arm.  Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.
  Long.  I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.
  Dum.  Ay, and Hector’s a greyhound.
  Arm.  The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried; when he breathed, he was a man. But I will forward with my device.  [To the PRINCESS.]  Sweet royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing.        670
  Prin.  Speak, brave Hector; we are much delighted.
  Arm.  I do adore thy sweet Grace’s slipper.
  Boyet.  [Aside to DUMAINE.]  Loves her by the foot.
  Dum.  [Aside to BOYET.]  He may not by the yard.
  Arm.  This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,        675
  Cost.  The party is gone; fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way.
  Arm.  What meanest thou?
  Cost.  Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the poor wench is cast away: she’s quick; the child brags in her belly already: ’tis yours.
  Arm.  Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? Thou shalt die.
  Cost.  Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is quick by him, and hanged for Pompey that is dead by him.        680
  Dum.  Most rare Pompey!
  Boyet.  Renowned Pompey!
  Ber.  Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! Pompey the Huge!
  Dum.  Hector trembles.
  Ber.  Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir them on! stir them on!        685
  Dum.  Hector will challenge him.
  Ber.  Ay, if a’ have no more man’s blood in ’s belly than will sup a flea.
  Arm.  By the north pole, I do challenge thee.
  Cost.  I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man: I’ll slash; I’ll do it by the sword. I bepray you, let me borrow my arms again.
  Dum.  Room for the incensed Worthies!        690
  Cost.  I’ll do it in my shirt.
  Dum.  Most resolute Pompey!
  Moth.  Master, let me take you a button-hole lower. Do you not see Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean you? you will lose your reputation.
  Arm.  Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.
  Dum.  You may not deny it; Pompey hath made the challenge.        695
  Arm.  Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
  Ber.  What reason have you for ’t?
  Arm.  The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt. I go woolward for penance.
  Boyet.  True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linen; since when, I’ll be sworn, he wore none but a dish-clout of Jaquenetta’s, and that a’ wears next his heart for a favour.
Enter Monsieur MARCADE, a Messenger.
  Mar.  God save you, madam!
  Prin.  Welcome, Marcade;
But that thou interrupt’st our merriment.
  Mar.  I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father—        705
  Prin.  Dead, for my life!
  Mar.  Even so: my tale is told.
  Ber.  Worthies, away! The scene begins to cloud.
  Arm.  For my own part, I breathe free breath. I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier.  [Exeunt Worthies.
  King.  How fares your majesty?        710
  Prin.  Boyet, prepare: I will away to-night.
  King.  Madam, not so: I do beseech you, stay.
  Prin.  Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,
For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe        715
In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide
The liberal opposition of our spirits,
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves
In the converse of breath; your gentleness
Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord!        720
A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue,
Excuse me so, coming so short of thanks
For my great suit so easily obtain’d.
  King.  The extreme part of time extremely forms
All causes to the purpose of his speed,        725
And often, at his very loose, decides
That which long process could not arbitrate:
And though the mourning brow of progeny
Forbid the smiling courtesy of love
The holy suit which fain it would convince;        730
Yet, since love’s argument was first on foot,
Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
From what it purpos’d; since, to wail friends lost
Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.        735
  Prin.  I understand you not: my griefs are double.
  Ber.  Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief;
And by these badges understand the king.
For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
Play’d foul play with our oaths. Your beauty, ladies,        740
Hath much deform’d us, fashioning our humours
Even to the opposed end of our intents;
And what in us hath seem’d ridiculous,—
As love is full of unbefitting strains;
All wanton as a child, skipping and vain;        745
Form’d by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye,
Full of stray shapes, of habits and of forms,
Varying in subjects, as the eye doth roll
To every varied object in his glance:
Which parti-coated presence of loose love        750
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
Have misbecome our oaths and gravities,
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
Our love being yours, the error that love makes        755
Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false,
By being once false for ever to be true
To those that make us both,—fair ladies, you:
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.        760
  Prin.  We have receiv’d your letters full of love;
Your favours, the embassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
As bombast and as lining to the time.        765
But more devout than this in our respects
Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.
  Dum.  Our letters, madam, show’d much more than jest.
  Long.  So did our looks.        770
  Ros.        We did not quote them so.
  King.  Now, at the latest minute of the hour, Grant us your loves.
  Prin.        A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
No, no, my lord, your Grace is perjur’d much,        775
Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this:
If for my love,—as there is no such cause,—
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,        780
Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
There stay, until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about their annual reckoning.
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer made in heat of blood;        785
If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds,
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,        790
And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine,
I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut
My woful self up in a mourning house,
Raining the tears of lamentation
For the remembrance of my father’s death.        795
If this thou do deny, let our hands part;
Neither intitled in the other’s heart.
  King.  If this, or more than this, I would deny,
  To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!        800
  Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.
  Ber.  And what to me, my love? and what to me?
  Ros.  You must be purged too, your sins are rack’d:
You are attaint with faults and perjury;
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get,        805
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
But seek the weary beds of people sick.
  Dum.  But what to me, my love? but what to me?
  Kath.  A wife! A beard, fair health, and honesty;
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.        810
  Dum.  O! shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?
  Kath.  Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day
I’ll mark no words that smooth-fac’d wooers say:
Come when the king doth to my lady come;
Then, if I have much love, I’ll give you some.        815
  Dum.  I’ll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
  Kath.  Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again.
  Long.  What says Maria?
  Mar.        At the twelvemonth’s end
I’ll change my black gown for a faithful friend.        820
  Long.  I’ll stay with patience; but the time is long.
  Mar.  The liker you; few taller are so young.
  Ber.  Studies my lady? mistress, look on me.
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there;        825
Impose some service on me for thy love.
  Ros.  Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Berowne,
Before I saw you, and the world’s large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks;
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,        830
Which you on all estates will execute
That lie within the mercy of your wit:
To weed this worm wood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please,—
Without the which I am not to be won,—        835
You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to day,
Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.        840
  Ber.  To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
  Ros.  Why, that’s the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace        845
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools.
A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
Deaf’d with the clamours of their own dear groans,        850
Will hear your idle scorns, continue them,
And I will have you and that fault withal;
But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your reformation.        855
  Ber.  A twelvemonth! well, befall what will befall,
I’ll jest a twelvemonth in a hospital.
  Prin.  [To the KING.]  Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.
  King.  No, madam; we will bring you on your way.
  Ber.  Our wooing doth not end like an old play;        860
Jack hath not Jill; these ladies’ courtesy
Might well have made our sport a comedy.
  King.  Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
And then ’twill end.
  Ber.        That’s too long for a play.        865
  Arm.  Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,—
  Prin.  Was not that Hector?
  Dum.  The worthy knight of Troy.
  Arm.  I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the owl and the cuckoo? it should have followed in the end of our show.        870
  King.  Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
  Arm.  Holla! approach.
This side is Hiems, Winter; this Ver, the Spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.
When daisies pied and violets blue
  And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
When icicles hang by the wall,
  And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
  And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit, tu-who—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
  And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
  And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit, tu-who—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
  Arm.  The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way: we, this way.  [Exeunt.

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