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CENE I.— Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it. Enter the KING, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.
MOTH, page to Armado. A Forester.
King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, Live register'd upon our brazen tombs, And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
PRINCESS OF FRANCE.
When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified;
JAQUENETTA, a country wench.
Officers and others, Attendants on the King and Princess.
Ladies, attending on the Princess.
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ; With all these living in philosophy.
Biron. I can but say their protestation over, So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, That is, To live and study here three But there are other strict observances: As, not to see a woman in that term; Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : And, one day in a week to touch no food; And but one meal on every day beside; The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, And not be seen to wink of all the day; (When I was wont to think no harm all night, And make a dark night too of half the day ;) Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there: O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep; Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these. Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please; I only swore, to study with your grace, And stay here in your court for three years' space.
Long. You swore to that, Birón, and to the rest. Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest. What is the end of study? let me know.
King. Why, that to know, which else we should not know.
Long. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the
Dum. How follows that?
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
King. Well, sit you out: g. nome, Birón; adieu! Biron. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you:
And, though I have for barbarism spoke more,
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
And bide the penance of each three year's day.
Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court. — And hath this beer proclaim'd
Biron. Let's see the penalty.
Four days ago.
Who devis'd this
Long. Marry, that did I.
Long. To fright them hence with that dread
Biron. A dangerous law against gentility.
[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such publick shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.
This article, my liege, yourself must break;
A maid of grace, and cómplete majesty, -
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father:
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
Biron. So study evermore is over-shot; While it doth study to have what it would, It doth forget to do the thing it should: And when it hath the thing it hunteth most, 'Tis won, as towns with fire; so won, so lost. King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree;
And he, that breaks them in the least degree,
With a refined traveller of Spain;
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD. Dull. Which is the duke's own person? Biron. This, fellow; What would'st?
Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
King. - sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with- - with,· ·O with - but with this I passion to say wherewith, Cost. With a wench.
Biron. This is he.
King. with a child of our grandmother Eve, a
Dull. Signior Arme- Arme-commends you. There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you more. Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woKing. A letter from the magnificent Armado. man. Him I (as my ever esteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Antony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.
Dull. Me, an't shall please you; I am Antony Dull. King. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain,) I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty, DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant us patience!
Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing?
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.
Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness..
Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with
Cost.-be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
Cost. of other men's secrets, I beseech you. King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome physick of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper. So much for the time when: Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walked upon: it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest: But | to the place, where, It standeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth,
King. that unletter'd small-knowing soul,
King. [Reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vice-virgin.
Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so, so. King. Peace.
King. – which as I remember, hight Costard,
Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, but the best that ever I heard.
King. Ay, the best for the worst. what say you to this?
Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.
King. Did you hear the proclamation?
Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.
King. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, to be taken with a wench.
Cost. I was taken with none, sir; I was taken with a damosel.
King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel.
Cost. This was no damosel neither, sir; she was a virgin.
King. It is so varied too; for it was proclaimed
Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity; I was taken with a maid.
King. This maid will not serve your turn, sir.
King. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence; You shall fast a week with bran and water.
Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.
King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
Which each to other hath so strongly sworn. —
Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir: for true it is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl; and therefore, Welcome the sour cup of prosperity! Affliction may one day smile again, and till then, Sit thee down, sorrow! [Exeunt.
Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior? Moth. Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal? Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.
Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old time, which we may name tough. Arm. Pretty, and apt.
Moth. How mean you, sir; I pretty, and my saying apt? or I apt, and my saying pretty?
Arm. Thou pretty, because little.
Moth. Little pretty, because little : Wherefore apt?
Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise.
Moth. That an eel is quick.
Arm. I do say, thou art quick in answers: Thou heatest my blood.
Moth. I am answered, sir.
Arm. I love not to be crossed.
Moth. He speaks the mere contrary, crosses love not him.
Arm. I have promised to study three years with the duke.
Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is three studied, ere you'll thrice wink : and how easy it is to put years to the word three, and study three years in two words, the dancing horse will tell you.
Arm. A most fine figure!
Moth. To prove you a cipher.
Arm. I will hereupon confess, I am in love: and, as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour of affection would deliver me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, and ransom him to any French courtier for a new devised courtesy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks, I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort me, boy: What great men have been in love?
Arm. Of what complexion?
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two; or one of the four.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion? Moth. Of the sea-water green, sir.
Arm. Is that one of the four complexions? Moth. As I have read, sir: and the best of them too. Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers; but to have a love of that colour, methinks, Sampson had small reason for it. He, surely, affected her for her wit.
Moth. It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.
Arm. My love is most immaculate white and red. Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such colours.
Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.
Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, assist me.
Arm. Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty, and pathetical!
Moth. If she be made of white and red,
By this you shall not know;
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.
Arm. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar.
Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages since: but, I think, now 'tis not to be found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for the writing, nor the tune.
Arm. I will have the subject newly writ o'er, that I may example my digression by some mighty precedent. Boy, I do love that country girl, that I took in the park with the rational hind Costard; she deserves well.
Moth. To be whipped; and yet a better love than my master. [Aside. Arm. Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love. Moth. And that's great marvel,loving a light wench. Arm. I say, sing. Moth. Forbear till this company be past.
Enter DULL, COSTARD, and JAquenetta. Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep Costard safe: and you must let him take no delight, nor no penance; but a' must fast three days a-week For this damsel, I must keep her at the park; she is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well. Arm. I do betray myself with blushing. - Maid Jaq. Man.
Arm. I will visit thee at the lodge.
Arm. I know where it is situate.
Jaq. So I heard you say. Arm. And so farewell.
Jaq. Fair weather after you!
Dull. Come, Jaquenetta, away.
[Exeunt DULL and JAQUENETTA Arm. Villain, thou shall fast for thy offences ere thou be pardoned.
Moth. No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I have seen, some shall see
Moth. What shall some see?
Cost. Nay nothing, master Moth, but what they look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words; and, therefore, I will say nothing: I thank God, I have as little patience as another man; and, therefore I can be quiet.
[Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD,
Enter the PRINCESS OF FRANCE, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, Lords, and other Attendants.
Boyet. Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits;
Consider who the king your father sends;
Of all perfections that a man may owe,
Arm. I do affect the very ground, which is base, where her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, which is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, (which is a great argument of falschood,) if I love: And how can that be true love, which is falsely attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil: there is no evil angel but love. Yet Sampson was so tempted; and he had an excellent strength : yet was Solomon so seduced; and he had a very good wit. Cupid's butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules' club, and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier. The first and second cause will not serve my turn; the passado he respects not, the duello he regards not his disgrace is to be called boy; but his glory is, to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust rapier! be still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea, he loveth. Assist me some extemporal god of rhyme, for, I am sure, I shall turn sonneteer. Devise wit; write pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio. [Exit.
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise;
Boyet. Proud of employment, willingly I go.
Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
Prin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow Who are the rest?
Kath. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd youth,
Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd:
Ros. Another of these students at that time
Prin. God bless my ladies! are they all in love;