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Long. You have a double tongue within your
mask, And would aiford 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.
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. Long. One word in private with you, e'er 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;
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. Biron. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff ! King. Farewell, mad wenches: you have simple wits. (Exeunt King, Lords, Moth, Music,
and Attendants. Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites.Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at? Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths pufl'd out.
(fat. Ros. Well-liking wits they have ; gross, gross; fat, Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor fout! Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night?
Or ever, but in visors, shew their faces ? This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.
Ros. O! they were all in lamentable cases ! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Prin. Birón did swear himself out of all suit. Mar. Dumain 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; And trow you, what he call'd me?
* A quibble on the French adverb of negation.
Prin. Qualm, perhaps.
Prin. And quick Birón hath plighted faith to Kath. And Longaville was for my service born. Mar. Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree.
Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear : Immediately they will again be here In their own shapes ; for it can never be, They will digest this harsh indignity.
Prin. Will they return?
Boyet. They will, they will, God knows; And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows: Therefore, change favours † ; and, when they re
pair, Blow like sweet roses in this summer air. Prin. How, blow? how blow ? Speak to be un
derstood. Boyet. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their bud : Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do, If they return in their own shapes to woo?
Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advised, Let's mock them still, as well known, as disguised : Let us complain to them what fools were here, Disguised like Muscovites, in shapeless I gear; And wonder, what they were; and to what end Their shallow shows, and prologue vilely penn'd, And their rough carriage so ridiculous, Should be presented at our tent to us.
Boyet. Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at hand. Prin. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land.
[Exeunt Princess, Ros. Kath. and Maria. Enter the King, Biron, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN,
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?
Better wits may be found among the citizens. + Features, countenances. Uncouth.
King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one
word. Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.
(Exit. Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas; And utters it again when God doth please : He is wit's pedlar; and retails his wares At wakes, and wassels“, meetings, markets, fairs ; And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know, Have not the grace to grace it with such show. This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve; Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve: He can carve too, and lisp : why, this is he, That kiss'd away his hand in courtesy ; This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice In honourable terms; nay, he can sing A mean most meanly; and, in ushering, Mend him who can: the ladies call him, sweet; The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet : This is the flower that smiles on every one, To sbew his teeth as white as whales bone + : And consciences, that will not die in debt, Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my
heart, That put Armado's page out of his part ! Enter the Princess, usher'd by Boret; ROSALINE,
MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants. Biron. See where it comes !-Behaviour, what
wert thou, Till this man shew'd thee? And what art thou now? King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of
day ! Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. Prin. Then wish me better, I will give you leave. King. We came to visit you; and purpose now
To lead you to our court : vouchsafe it then. Prin. This field shall hold me ; and so hold your
Nor God, nor I, delight in perjured men. King. Rebuke me not for that which you provoke ;
The virtue of your eye must break my oath. • Rustic merry-meetings. + The tooth of the horse-whale.
Prin. You nick-name virtue: vice you should
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
I would not yield to be your house's guest :
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game; A mess of Russians left us but of late.
King. How, madam ? Russians ?
Prin. Ay, in truth, my lord ;
Ros. Madam, speak true : It is not so, my lord ;
Biron. This jest is dry to me.-Fair, gentle sweet, Your wit makes wise things foolish : when we greet With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye, By light we lose light: your capacity Is of that nature, that to your huge store Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor. Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my
eye, Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.
Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
Biron. 0, I am yours, and all that I possess.
mand you this?
* After the fashion of the times.
Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
ness sad? Ross. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why
look you pale?Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for
perjury. Can any face of brass hold longer out ?Here stand' I, lady; dart thy skill at me;
Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout; Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance ;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; And I will wish thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Russian habit wait. 0! never will I trust to speeches penu'd,
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue: Nor never come in visor to my friend *;
Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song : Taffata phrases, silken terins precise,
Three-piled 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 !) 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,
pray you. Biron. 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 heart it lies; They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes : These lords are visited ; you are not free, For the Lord's tokens on you do I see. Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens
to us. Biron. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo us.
Ros. It is not so ; For how can this be true,
Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with you.