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Love's Labours Lost-

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Loves Labours Lost Shakespeare homepage | Love's Labour's Lost | Entire play ACT I SCENE I. The king of Navarre's park.

   Enter FERDINAND king of Navarre, BIRON, LONGAVILLE and DUMAIN 

FERDINAND

   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;
   When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
   The endeavor of this present breath may buy
   That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
   And make us heirs of all eternity.
   Therefore, brave conquerors,--for so you are,
   That war against your own affections
   And the huge army of the world's desires,--
   Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
   Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
   Our court shall be a little Academe,
   Still and contemplative in living art.
   You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
   Have sworn for three years' term to live with me
   My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
   That are recorded in this schedule here:
   Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your names,
   That his own hand may strike his honour down
   That violates the smallest branch herein:
   If you are arm'd to do as sworn to do,
   Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.

LONGAVILLE

   I am resolved; 'tis but a three years' fast:
   The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
   Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
   Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.

DUMAIN

   My loving lord, Dumain is mortified:
   The grosser manner of these world's delights
   He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
   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 years.
   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!

FERDINAND

   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.

LONGAVILLE

   You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest.

BIRON

   By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
   What is the end of study? let me know.

FERDINAND

   Why, that to know, which else we should not know.

BIRON

   Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?

FERDINAND

   Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.

BIRON

   Come on, then; I will swear to study so,
   To know the thing I am forbid to know:
   As thus,--to study where I well may dine,
   When I to feast expressly am forbid;
   Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
   When mistresses from common sense are hid;
   Or, having sworn too hard a keeping oath,
   Study to break it and not break my troth.
   If study's gain be thus and this be so,
   Study knows that which yet it doth not know:
   Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.

FERDINAND

   These be the stops that hinder study quite
   And train our intellects to vain delight.

BIRON

   Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
   Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
   As, painfully to pore upon a book
   To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
   Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:
   Light seeking light doth light of light beguile:
   So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
   Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
   Study me how to please the eye indeed
   By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
   Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed
   And give him light that it was blinded by.
   Study is like the heaven's glorious sun
   That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks:
   Small have continual plodders ever won
   Save base authority from others' books
   These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
   That give a name to every fixed star
   Have no more profit of their shining nights
   Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
   Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
   And every godfather can give a name.

FERDINAND

   How well he's read, to reason against reading!

DUMAIN

   Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!

LONGAVILLE

   He weeds the corn and still lets grow the weeding.

BIRON

   The spring is near when green geese are a-breeding.

DUMAIN

   How follows that?

BIRON

   Fit in his place and time.

DUMAIN

   In reason nothing.

BIRON

   Something then in rhyme.

FERDINAND

   Biron is like an envious sneaping frost,
   That bites the first-born infants of the spring.

BIRON

   Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast
   Before the birds have any cause to sing?
   Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
   At Christmas I no more desire a rose
   Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth;
   But like of each thing that in season grows.
   So you, to study now it is too late,
   Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.

FERDINAND

   Well, sit you out: go home, Biron: 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,
   Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore
   And bide the penance of each three years' day.
   Give me the paper; let me read the same;
   And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.

FERDINAND

   How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!

BIRON

   [Reads] 'Item, That no woman shall come within a
   mile of my court:' Hath this been proclaimed?

LONGAVILLE

   Four days ago.

BIRON

   Let's see the penalty.
   Reads
   'On pain of losing her tongue.' Who devised this penalty?

LONGAVILLE

   Marry, that did I.

BIRON

   Sweet lord, and why?

LONGAVILLE

   To fright them hence with that dread penalty.

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
   public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.'
   This article, my liege, yourself must break;
   For well you know here comes in embassy
   The French king's daughter with yourself to speak--
   A maid of grace and complete majesty--
   About surrender up of Aquitaine
   To her decrepit, sick and bedrid father:
   Therefore this article is made in vain,
   Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.

FERDINAND

   What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.

BIRON

   So study evermore is overshot:
   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.

FERDINAND

   We must of force dispense with this decree;
   She must lie here on mere necessity.

BIRON

   Necessity will make us all forsworn
   Three thousand times within this three years' space;
   For every man with his affects is born,
   Not by might master'd but by special grace:
   If I break faith, this word shall speak for me;
   I am forsworn on 'mere necessity.'
   So to the laws at large I write my name:
   Subscribes
   And he that breaks them in the least degree
   Stands in attainder of eternal shame:
   Suggestions are to other as to me;
   But I believe, although I seem so loath,
   I am the last that will last keep his oath.
   But is there no quick recreation granted?

FERDINAND

   Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
   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;
   One whom the music of his own vain tongue
   Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
   A man of complements, whom right and wrong
   Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
   This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
   For interim to our studies shall relate
   In high-born words the worth of many a knight
   From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate.
   How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
   But, I protest, I love to hear him lie
   And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

BIRON

   Armado is a most illustrious wight,
   A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.

LONGAVILLE

   Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;
   And so to study, three years is but short.
   Enter DULL with a letter, and COSTARD

DULL

   Which is the duke's own person?

BIRON

   This, fellow: what wouldst?

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.

BIRON

   This is he.

DULL

   Signior Arme--Arme--commends you. There's villany
   abroad: this letter will tell you more.

COSTARD

   Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.

FERDINAND

   A letter from the magnificent Armado.

BIRON

   How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

LONGAVILLE

   A high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!

BIRON

   To hear? or forbear laughing?

LONGAVILLE

   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.

COSTARD

   The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.
   The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

BIRON

   In what manner?

COSTARD

   In manner and form following, sir; all those three:
   I was seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with
   her upon the form, and taken following her into the
   park; which, put together, is in manner and form
   following. Now, sir, for the manner,--it is the
   manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,--
   in some form.

BIRON

   For the following, sir?

COSTARD

   As it shall follow in my correction: and God defend
   the right!

FERDINAND

   Will you hear this letter with attention?

BIRON

   As we would hear an oracle.

COSTARD

   Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent and
   sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god,
   and body's fostering patron.'

COSTARD

   Not a word of Costard yet.

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'So it is,'--

COSTARD

   It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in
   telling true, but so.

FERDINAND

   Peace!

COSTARD

   Be to me and every man that dares not fight!

FERDINAND

   No words!

COSTARD

   Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'So it is, besieged with sable-coloured
   melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour
   to the most wholesome physic 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 y-cleped thy park. Then
   for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter
   that obscene and 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,'--

COSTARD

   Me?

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'that unlettered small-knowing soul,'--

COSTARD

   Me?

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'that shallow vassal,'--

COSTARD

   Still me?

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'which, as I remember, hight Costard,'--

COSTARD

   O, me!

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'sorted and consorted, contrary to thy
   established proclaimed edict and continent canon,
   which with,--O, with--but with this I passion to say
   wherewith,--

COSTARD

   With a wench.

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'with a child of our grandmother Eve, a
   female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a
   woman. 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, Anthony
   Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and
   estimation.'

DULL

   'Me, an't shall please you; I am Anthony Dull.

FERDINAND

   [Reads] 'For Jaquenetta,--so is the weaker vessel
   called which I apprehended with the aforesaid
   swain,--I keep her as a vessel of the 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

   This is not so well as I looked for, but the best
   that ever I heard.

FERDINAND

   Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say
   you to this?

COSTARD

   Sir, I confess the wench.

FERDINAND

   Did you hear the proclamation?

COSTARD

   I do confess much of the hearing it but little of
   the marking of it.

FERDINAND

   It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, to be taken
   with a wench.

COSTARD

   I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damsel.

FERDINAND

   Well, it was proclaimed 'damsel.'

COSTARD

   This was no damsel, neither, sir; she was a virgin.

FERDINAND

   It is so varied, too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin.'

COSTARD

   If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.

FERDINAND

   This maid will not serve your turn, sir.

COSTARD

   This maid will serve my turn, sir.

FERDINAND

   Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast
   a week with bran and water.

COSTARD

   I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

FERDINAND

   And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
   My Lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'er:
   And go we, lords, to put in practise that
   Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
   Exeunt FERDINAND, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN

BIRON

   I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,
   These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
   Sirrah, come on.

COSTARD

   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
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

SCENE II. The same.

   Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH 
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
   grows melancholy?

MOTH

   A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.

MOTH

   No, no; O Lord, sir, no.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my
   tender juvenal?

MOTH

   By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Why tough senior? why tough senior?

MOTH

   Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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.
   DON ADRIANO DE

ARMADO

   Pretty and apt.

MOTH

   How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or
   I apt, and my saying pretty?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Thou pretty, because little.

MOTH

   Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   And therefore apt, because quick.

MOTH

   Speak you this in my praise, master?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   In thy condign praise.

MOTH

   I will praise an eel with the same praise.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   What, that an eel is ingenious?

MOTH

   That an eel is quick.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I do say thou art quick in answers: thou heatest my blood.

MOTH

   I am answered, sir.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I love not to be crossed.

MOTH

   [Aside] He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love not him.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I have promised to study three years with the duke.

MOTH

   You may do it in an hour, sir.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Impossible.

MOTH

   How many is one thrice told?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.

MOTH

   You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I confess both: they are both the varnish of a
   complete man.

MOTH

   Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of
   deuce-ace amounts to.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   It doth amount to one more than two.

MOTH

   Which the base vulgar do call three.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   True.

MOTH

   Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here
   is three studied, ere ye'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.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   A most fine figure!

MOTH

   To prove you a cipher.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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
   outswear Cupid. Comfort, me, boy: what great men
   have been in love?

MOTH

   Hercules, master.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name
   more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good
   repute and carriage.

MOTH

   Samson, master: he was a man of good carriage, great
   carriage, for he carried the town-gates on his back
   like a porter: and he was in love.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   O well-knit Samson! strong-jointed Samson! I do
   excel thee in my rapier as much as thou didst me in
   carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was Samson's
   love, my dear Moth?

MOTH

   A woman, master.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Of what complexion?

MOTH

   Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Tell me precisely of what complexion.

MOTH

   Of the sea-water green, sir.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Is that one of the four complexions?

MOTH

   As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Green indeed is the colour of lovers; but to have a
   love of that colour, methinks Samson had small reason
   for it. He surely affected her for her wit.

MOTH

   It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   My love is most immaculate white and red.

MOTH

   Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under
   such colours.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Define, define, well-educated infant.

MOTH

   My father's wit and my mother's tongue, assist me!
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty and
   pathetical!

MOTH

   If she be made of white and red,
   Her faults will ne'er be known,
   For blushing cheeks by faults are bred
   And fears by pale white shown:
   Then if she fear, or be to blame,
   By this you shall not know,
   For still her cheeks possess the same
   Which native she doth owe.
   A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
   white and red.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I will have that 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

   [Aside] To be whipped; and yet a better love than
   my master.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.

MOTH

   And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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 suffer him to 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.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!

JAQUENETTA

   Man?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I will visit thee at the lodge.

JAQUENETTA

   That's hereby.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I know where it is situate.

JAQUENETTA

   Lord, how wise you are!
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I will tell thee wonders.

JAQUENETTA

   With that face?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I love thee.

JAQUENETTA

   So I heard you say.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   And so, farewell.

JAQUENETTA

   Fair weather after you!

DULL

   Come, Jaquenetta, away!
   Exeunt DULL and JAQUENETTA
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou
   be pardoned.

COSTARD

   Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a
   full stomach.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Thou shalt be heavily punished.

COSTARD

   I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they
   are but lightly rewarded.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Take away this villain; shut him up.

MOTH

   Come, you transgressing slave; away!

COSTARD

   Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, being loose.

MOTH

   No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.

COSTARD

   Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation
   that I have seen, some shall see.

MOTH

   What shall some see?

COSTARD

   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
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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 falsehood, 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 was Samson 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 sonnet. Devise, wit;
   write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.
   Exit
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

ACT II SCENE I. The same.

   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,
   To whom he sends, and what's his embassy:
   Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem,
   To parley with the sole inheritor
   Of all perfections that a man may owe,
   Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
   Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
   Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
   As Nature was in making graces dear
   When she did starve the general world beside
   And prodigally gave them all to you.

PRINCESS

   Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
   Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
   Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
   Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues:
   I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
   Than you much willing to be counted wise
   In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
   But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
   You are not ignorant, all-telling fame
   Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow,
   Till painful study shall outwear three years,
   No woman may approach his silent court:
   Therefore to's seemeth it a needful course,
   Before we enter his forbidden gates,
   To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
   Bold of your worthiness, we single you
   As our best-moving fair solicitor.
   Tell him, the daughter of the King of France,
   On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
   Importunes personal conference with his grace:
   Haste, signify so much; while we attend,
   Like humble-visaged suitors, his high will.

BOYET

   Proud of employment, willingly I go.

PRINCESS

   All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
   Exit BOYET
   Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
   That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?

First Lord

   Lord Longaville is one.

PRINCESS

   Know you the man?

MARIA

   I know him, madam: at a marriage-feast,
   Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
   Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized
   In Normandy, saw I this Longaville:
   A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd;
   Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms:
   Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
   The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss,
   If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,
   Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will;
   Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
   It should none spare that come within his power.

PRINCESS

   Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so?

MARIA

   They say so most that most his humours know.

PRINCESS

   Such short-lived wits do wither as they grow.
   Who are the rest?

KATHARINE

   The young Dumain, a well-accomplished youth,
   Of all that virtue love for virtue loved:
   Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
   For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
   And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
   I saw him at the Duke Alencon's once;
   And much too little of that good I saw
   Is my report to his great worthiness.

ROSALINE

   Another of these students at that time
   Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
   Biron they call him; but a merrier man,
   Within the limit of becoming mirth,
   I never spent an hour's talk withal:
   His eye begets occasion for his wit;
   For every object that the one doth catch
   The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
   Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor,
   Delivers in such apt and gracious words
   That aged ears play truant at his tales
   And younger hearings are quite ravished;
   So sweet and voluble is his discourse.

PRINCESS

   God bless my ladies! are they all in love,
   That every one her own hath garnished
   With such bedecking ornaments of praise?

First Lord

   Here comes Boyet.
   Re-enter BOYET

PRINCESS

   Now, what admittance, lord?

BOYET

   Navarre had notice of your fair approach;
   And he and his competitors in oath
   Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady,
   Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt:
   He rather means to lodge you in the field,
   Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
   Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
   To let you enter his unpeopled house.
   Here comes Navarre.
   Enter FERDINAND, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BIRON, and Attendants

FERDINAND

   Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.

PRINCESS

   'Fair' I give you back again; and 'welcome' I have
   not yet: the roof of this court is too high to be
   yours; and welcome to the wide fields too base to be mine.

FERDINAND

   You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.

PRINCESS

   I will be welcome, then: conduct me thither.

FERDINAND

   Hear me, dear lady; I have sworn an oath.

PRINCESS

   Our Lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn.

FERDINAND

   Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.

PRINCESS

   Why, will shall break it; will and nothing else.

FERDINAND

   Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.

PRINCESS

   Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
   Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
   I hear your grace hath sworn out house-keeping:
   Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
   And sin to break it.
   But pardon me. I am too sudden-bold:
   To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
   Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
   And suddenly resolve me in my suit.

FERDINAND

   Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.

PRINCESS

   You will the sooner, that I were away;
   For you'll prove perjured if you make me stay.

BIRON

   Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?

ROSALINE

   Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?

BIRON

   I know you did.

ROSALINE

   How needless was it then to ask the question!

BIRON

   You must not be so quick.

ROSALINE

   'Tis 'long of you that spur me with such questions.

BIRON

   Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.

ROSALINE

   Not till it leave the rider in the mire.

BIRON

   What time o' day?

ROSALINE

   The hour that fools should ask.

BIRON

   Now fair befall your mask!

ROSALINE

   Fair fall the face it covers!

BIRON

   And send you many lovers!

ROSALINE

   Amen, so you be none.

BIRON

   Nay, then will I be gone.

FERDINAND

   Madam, your father here doth intimate
   The payment of a hundred thousand crowns;
   Being but the one half of an entire sum
   Disbursed by my father in his wars.
   But say that he or we, as neither have,
   Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid
   A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which,
   One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
   Although not valued to the money's worth.
   If then the king your father will restore
   But that one half which is unsatisfied,
   We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
   And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
   But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
   For here he doth demand to have repaid
   A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
   On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
   To have his title live in Aquitaine;
   Which we much rather had depart withal
   And have the money by our father lent
   Than Aquitaine so gelded as it is.
   Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
   From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
   A yielding 'gainst some reason in my breast
   And go well satisfied to France again.

PRINCESS

   You do the king my father too much wrong
   And wrong the reputation of your name,
   In so unseeming to confess receipt
   Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.

FERDINAND

   I do protest I never heard of it;
   And if you prove it, I'll repay it back
   Or yield up Aquitaine.

PRINCESS

   We arrest your word.
   Boyet, you can produce acquittances
   For such a sum from special officers
   Of Charles his father.

FERDINAND

   Satisfy me so.

BOYET

   So please your grace, the packet is not come
   Where that and other specialties are bound:
   To-morrow you shall have a sight of them.

FERDINAND

   It shall suffice me: at which interview
   All liberal reason I will yield unto.
   Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
   As honour without breach of honour may
   Make tender of to thy true worthiness:
   You may not come, fair princess, in my gates;
   But here without you shall be so received
   As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,
   Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
   Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell:
   To-morrow shall we visit you again.

PRINCESS

   Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace!

FERDINAND

   Thy own wish wish I thee in every place!
   Exit

BIRON

   Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.

ROSALINE

   Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.

BIRON

   I would you heard it groan.

ROSALINE

   Is the fool sick?

BIRON

   Sick at the heart.

ROSALINE

   Alack, let it blood.

BIRON

   Would that do it good?

ROSALINE

   My physic says 'ay.'

BIRON

   Will you prick't with your eye?

ROSALINE

   No point, with my knife.

BIRON

   Now, God save thy life!

ROSALINE

   And yours from long living!

BIRON

   I cannot stay thanksgiving.
   Retiring

DUMAIN

   Sir, I pray you, a word: what lady is that same?

BOYET

   The heir of Alencon, Katharine her name.

DUMAIN

   A gallant lady. Monsieur, fare you well.
   Exit

LONGAVILLE

   I beseech you a word: what is she in the white?

BOYET

   A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.

LONGAVILLE

   Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.

BOYET

   She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a shame.

LONGAVILLE

   Pray you, sir, whose daughter?

BOYET

   Her mother's, I have heard.

LONGAVILLE

   God's blessing on your beard!

BOYET

   Good sir, be not offended.
   She is an heir of Falconbridge.

LONGAVILLE

   Nay, my choler is ended.
   She is a most sweet lady.

BOYET

   Not unlike, sir, that may be.
   Exit LONGAVILLE

BIRON

   What's her name in the cap?

BOYET

   Rosaline, by good hap.

BIRON

   Is she wedded or no?

BOYET

   To her will, sir, or so.

BIRON

   You are welcome, sir: adieu.

BOYET

   Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
   Exit BIRON

MARIA

   That last is Biron, the merry madcap lord:
   Not a word with him but a jest.

BOYET

   And every jest but a word.

PRINCESS

   It was well done of you to take him at his word.

BOYET

   I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.

MARIA

   Two hot sheeps, marry.

BOYET

   And wherefore not ships?
   No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.

MARIA

   You sheep, and I pasture: shall that finish the jest?

BOYET

   So you grant pasture for me.
   Offering to kiss her

MARIA

   Not so, gentle beast:
   My lips are no common, though several they be.

BOYET

   Belonging to whom?

MARIA

   To my fortunes and me.

PRINCESS

   Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree:
   This civil war of wits were much better used
   On Navarre and his book-men; for here 'tis abused.

BOYET

   If my observation, which very seldom lies,
   By the heart's still rhetoric disclosed with eyes,
   Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.

PRINCESS

   With what?

BOYET

   With that which we lovers entitle affected.

PRINCESS

   Your reason?

BOYET

   Why, all his behaviors did make their retire
   To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire:
   His heart, like an agate, with your print impress'd,
   Proud with his form, in his eye pride express'd:
   His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
   Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
   All senses to that sense did make their repair,
   To feel only looking on fairest of fair:
   Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
   As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
   Who, tendering their own worth from where they were glass'd,
   Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd:
   His face's own margent did quote such amazes
   That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
   I'll give you Aquitaine and all that is his,
   An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.

PRINCESS

   Come to our pavilion: Boyet is disposed.

BOYET

   But to speak that in words which his eye hath
   disclosed.
   I only have made a mouth of his eye,
   By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.

ROSALINE

   Thou art an old love-monger and speakest skilfully.

MARIA

   He is Cupid's grandfather and learns news of him.

ROSALINE

   Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is but grim.

BOYET

   Do you hear, my mad wenches?

MARIA

   No.

BOYET

   What then, do you see?

ROSALINE

   Ay, our way to be gone.

BOYET

   You are too hard for me.
   Exeunt
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

ACT III SCENE I. The same.

   Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH 
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.

MOTH

   Concolinel.
   Singing
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sweet air! Go, tenderness of years; take this key,
   give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately
   hither: I must employ him in a letter to my love.

MOTH

   Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   How meanest thou? brawling in French?

MOTH

   No, my complete master: but to jig off a tune at
   the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, humour
   it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and
   sing a note, sometime through the throat, as if you
   swallowed love with singing love, sometime through
   the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling
   love; with your hat penthouse-like o'er the shop of
   your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly
   doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands in
   your pocket like a man after the old painting; and
   keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away.
   These are complements, these are humours; these
   betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without
   these; and make them men of note--do you note
   me?--that most are affected to these.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   How hast thou purchased this experience?

MOTH

   By my penny of observation.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   But O,--but O,--

MOTH

   'The hobby-horse is forgot.'
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Callest thou my love 'hobby-horse'?

MOTH

   No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your
   love perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Almost I had.

MOTH

   Negligent student! learn her by heart.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   By heart and in heart, boy.

MOTH

   And out of heart, master: all those three I will prove.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   What wilt thou prove?

MOTH

   A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, upon
   the instant: by heart you love her, because your
   heart cannot come by her; in heart you love her,
   because your heart is in love with her; and out of
   heart you love her, being out of heart that you
   cannot enjoy her.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I am all these three.

MOTH

   And three times as much more, and yet nothing at
   all.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Fetch hither the swain: he must carry me a letter.

MOTH

   A message well sympathized; a horse to be ambassador
   for an ass.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Ha, ha! what sayest thou?

MOTH

   Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,
   for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   The way is but short: away!

MOTH

   As swift as lead, sir.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   The meaning, pretty ingenious?
   Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?

MOTH

   Minime, honest master; or rather, master, no.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I say lead is slow.

MOTH

   You are too swift, sir, to say so:
   Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
   He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he:
   I shoot thee at the swain.

MOTH

   Thump then and I flee.
   Exit
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   A most acute juvenal; voluble and free of grace!
   By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face:
   Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place.
   My herald is return'd.
   Re-enter MOTH with COSTARD

MOTH

   A wonder, master! here's a costard broken in a shin.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Some enigma, some riddle: come, thy l'envoy; begin.

COSTARD

   No enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy; no salve in the
   mail, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! no
   l'envoy, no l'envoy; no salve, sir, but a plantain!
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly
   thought my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes
   me to ridiculous smiling. O, pardon me, my stars!
   Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l'envoy, and
   the word l'envoy for a salve?

MOTH

   Do the wise think them other? is not l'envoy a salve?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   No, page: it is an epilogue or discourse, to make plain
   Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
   I will example it:
   The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
   Were still at odds, being but three.
   There's the moral. Now the l'envoy.

MOTH

   I will add the l'envoy. Say the moral again.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
   Were still at odds, being but three.

MOTH

   Until the goose came out of door,
   And stay'd the odds by adding four.
   Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
   my l'envoy.
   The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
   Were still at odds, being but three.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Until the goose came out of door,
   Staying the odds by adding four.

MOTH

   A good l'envoy, ending in the goose: would you
   desire more?

COSTARD

   The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that's flat.
   Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
   To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and loose:
   Let me see; a fat l'envoy; ay, that's a fat goose.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Come hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?

MOTH

   By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
   Then call'd you for the l'envoy.

COSTARD

   True, and I for a plantain: thus came your
   argument in;
   Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought;
   And he ended the market.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   But tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?

MOTH

   I will tell you sensibly.

COSTARD

   Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth: I will speak that l'envoy:
   I Costard, running out, that was safely within,
   Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   We will talk no more of this matter.

COSTARD

   Till there be more matter in the shin.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.

COSTARD

   O, marry me to one Frances: I smell some l'envoy,
   some goose, in this.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,
   enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured,
   restrained, captivated, bound.

COSTARD

   True, true; and now you will be my purgation and let me loose.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and,
   in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this:
   bear this significant
   Giving a letter
   to the country maid Jaquenetta:
   there is remuneration; for the best ward of mine
   honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.
   Exit

MOTH

   Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.

COSTARD

   My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony Jew!
   Exit MOTH
   Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration!
   O, that's the Latin word for three farthings: three
   farthings--remuneration.--'What's the price of this
   inkle?'--'One penny.'--'No, I'll give you a
   remuneration:' why, it carries it. Remuneration!
   why, it is a fairer name than French crown. I will
   never buy and sell out of this word.
   Enter BIRON

BIRON

   O, my good knave Costard! exceedingly well met.

COSTARD

   Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man
   buy for a remuneration?

BIRON

   What is a remuneration?

COSTARD

   Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.

BIRON

   Why, then, three-farthing worth of silk.

COSTARD

   I thank your worship: God be wi' you!

BIRON

   Stay, slave; I must employ thee:
   As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave,
   Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.

COSTARD

   When would you have it done, sir?

BIRON

   This afternoon.

COSTARD

   Well, I will do it, sir: fare you well.

BIRON

   Thou knowest not what it is.

COSTARD

   I shall know, sir, when I have done it.

BIRON

   Why, villain, thou must know first.

COSTARD

   I will come to your worship to-morrow morning.

BIRON

   It must be done this afternoon.
   Hark, slave, it is but this:
   The princess comes to hunt here in the park,
   And in her train there is a gentle lady;
   When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
   And Rosaline they call her: ask for her;
   And to her white hand see thou do commend
   This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon; go.
   Giving him a shilling

COSTARD

   Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration,
   a'leven-pence farthing better: most sweet gardon! I
   will do it sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration!
   Exit

BIRON

   And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love's whip;
   A very beadle to a humorous sigh;
   A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;
   A domineering pedant o'er the boy;
   Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
   This whimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy;
   This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
   Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
   The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
   Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
   Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
   Sole imperator and great general
   Of trotting 'paritors:--O my little heart:--
   And I to be a corporal of his field,
   And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!
   What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!
   A woman, that is like a German clock,
   Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
   And never going aright, being a watch,
   But being watch'd that it may still go right!
   Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all;
   And, among three, to love the worst of all;
   A wightly wanton with a velvet brow,
   With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes;
   Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
   Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard:
   And I to sigh for her! to watch for her!
   To pray for her! Go to; it is a plague
   That Cupid will impose for my neglect
   Of his almighty dreadful little might.
   Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue and groan:
   Some men must love my lady and some Joan.
   Exit
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

ACT IV SCENE I. The same.

   Enter the PRINCESS, and her train, a Forester, BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE 

PRINCESS

   Was that the king, that spurred his horse so hard
   Against the steep uprising of the hill?

BOYET

   I know not; but I think it was not he.

PRINCESS

   Whoe'er a' was, a' show'd a mounting mind.
   Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch:
   On Saturday we will return to France.
   Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
   That we must stand and play the murderer in?

Forester

   Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
   A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.

PRINCESS

   I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
   And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot.

Forester

   Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.

PRINCESS

   What, what? first praise me and again say no?
   O short-lived pride! Not fair? alack for woe!

Forester

   Yes, madam, fair.

PRINCESS

   Nay, never paint me now:
   Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
   Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:
   Fair payment for foul words is more than due.

Forester

   Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.

PRINCESS

   See see, my beauty will be saved by merit!
   O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
   A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
   But come, the bow: now mercy goes to kill,
   And shooting well is then accounted ill.
   Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
   Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
   If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
   That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
   And out of question so it is sometimes,
   Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
   When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
   We bend to that the working of the heart;
   As I for praise alone now seek to spill
   The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.

BOYET

   Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
   Only for praise sake, when they strive to be
   Lords o'er their lords?

PRINCESS

   Only for praise: and praise we may afford
   To any lady that subdues a lord.

BOYET

   Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
   Enter COSTARD

COSTARD

   God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?

PRINCESS

   Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.

COSTARD

   Which is the greatest lady, the highest?

PRINCESS

   The thickest and the tallest.

COSTARD

   The thickest and the tallest! it is so; truth is truth.
   An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
   One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
   Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickest here.

PRINCESS

   What's your will, sir? what's your will?

COSTARD

   I have a letter from Monsieur Biron to one Lady Rosaline.

PRINCESS

   O, thy letter, thy letter! he's a good friend of mine:
   Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve;
   Break up this capon.

BOYET

   I am bound to serve.
   This letter is mistook, it importeth none here;
   It is writ to Jaquenetta.

PRINCESS

   We will read it, I swear.
   Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.
   Reads

BOYET

   'By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;
   true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that
   thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
   than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have
   commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The
   magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set
   eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar
   Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly say,
   Veni, vidi, vici; which to annothanize in the
   vulgar,--O base and obscure vulgar!--videlicet, He
   came, saw, and overcame: he came, one; saw two;
   overcame, three. Who came? the king: why did he
   come? to see: why did he see? to overcome: to
   whom came he? to the beggar: what saw he? the
   beggar: who overcame he? the beggar. The
   conclusion is victory: on whose side? the king's.
   The captive is enriched: on whose side? the
   beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial: on whose
   side? the king's: no, on both in one, or one in
   both. I am the king; for so stands the comparison:
   thou the beggar; for so witnesseth thy lowliness.
   Shall I command thy love? I may: shall I enforce
   thy love? I could: shall I entreat thy love? I
   will. What shalt thou exchange for rags? robes;
   for tittles? titles; for thyself? me. Thus,
   expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot,
   my eyes on thy picture. and my heart on thy every
   part. Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
   DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.'
   Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
   'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
   Submissive fall his princely feet before,
   And he from forage will incline to play:
   But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
   Food for his rage, repasture for his den.

PRINCESS

   What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
   What vane? what weathercock? did you ever hear better?

BOYET

   I am much deceived but I remember the style.

PRINCESS

   Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.

BOYET

   This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
   A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
   To the prince and his bookmates.

PRINCESS

   Thou fellow, a word:
   Who gave thee this letter?

COSTARD

   I told you; my lord.

PRINCESS

   To whom shouldst thou give it?

COSTARD

   From my lord to my lady.

PRINCESS

   From which lord to which lady?

COSTARD

   From my lord Biron, a good master of mine,
   To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.

PRINCESS

   Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
   To ROSALINE
   Here, sweet, put up this: 'twill be thine another day.
   Exeunt PRINCESS and train

BOYET

   Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?

ROSALINE

   Shall I teach you to know?

BOYET

   Ay, my continent of beauty.

ROSALINE

   Why, she that bears the bow.
   Finely put off!

BOYET

   My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
   Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
   Finely put on!

ROSALINE

   Well, then, I am the shooter.

BOYET

   And who is your deer?

ROSALINE

   If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
   Finely put on, indeed!

MARIA

   You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes
   at the brow.

BOYET

   But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?

ROSALINE

   Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was
   a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as
   touching the hit it?

BOYET

   So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
   woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
   wench, as touching the hit it.

ROSALINE

   Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
   Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

BOYET

   An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
   An I cannot, another can.
   Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE

COSTARD

   By my troth, most pleasant: how both did fit it!

MARIA

   A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.

BOYET

   A mark! O, mark but that mark! A mark, says my lady!
   Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.

MARIA

   Wide o' the bow hand! i' faith, your hand is out.

COSTARD

   Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.

BOYET

   An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

COSTARD

   Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.

MARIA

   Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.

COSTARD

   She's too hard for you at pricks, sir: challenge her to bowl.

BOYET

   I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
   Exeunt BOYET and MARIA

COSTARD

   By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown!
   Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down!
   O' my troth, most sweet jests! most incony
   vulgar wit!
   When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
   were, so fit.
   Armado o' th' one side,--O, a most dainty man!
   To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
   To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a'
   will swear!
   And his page o' t' other side, that handful of wit!
   Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
   Sola, sola!
   Shout within
   Exit COSTARD, running
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

SCENE II. The same.

   Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL 

SIR NATHANIEL

   Very reverend sport, truly; and done in the testimony
   of a good conscience.

HOLOFERNES

   The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in blood; ripe
   as the pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in
   the ear of caelo, the sky, the welkin, the heaven;
   and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra,
   the soil, the land, the earth.

SIR NATHANIEL

   Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly
   varied, like a scholar at the least: but, sir, I
   assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.

HOLOFERNES

   Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.

DULL

   'Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.

HOLOFERNES

   Most barbarous intimation! yet a kind of
   insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of
   explication; facere, as it were, replication, or
   rather, ostentare, to show, as it were, his
   inclination, after his undressed, unpolished,
   uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or rather,
   unlettered, or ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to
   insert again my haud credo for a deer.

DULL

   I said the deer was not a haud credo; twas a pricket.

HOLOFERNES

   Twice-sod simplicity, his coctus!
   O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!

SIR NATHANIEL

   Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred
   in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he
   hath not drunk ink: his intellect is not
   replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in
   the duller parts:
   And such barren plants are set before us, that we
   thankful should be,
   Which we of taste and feeling are, for those parts that
   do fructify in us more than he.
   For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool,
   So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school:
   But omne bene, say I; being of an old father's mind,
   Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.

DULL

   You two are book-men: can you tell me by your wit
   What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not five
   weeks old as yet?

HOLOFERNES

   Dictynna, goodman Dull; Dictynna, goodman Dull.

DULL

   What is Dictynna?

SIR NATHANIEL

   A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.

HOLOFERNES

   The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
   And raught not to five weeks when he came to
   five-score.
   The allusion holds in the exchange.

DULL

   'Tis true indeed; the collusion holds in the exchange.

HOLOFERNES

   God comfort thy capacity! I say, the allusion holds
   in the exchange.

DULL

   And I say, the pollusion holds in the exchange; for
   the moon is never but a month old: and I say beside
   that, 'twas a pricket that the princess killed.

HOLOFERNES

   Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph
   on the death of the deer? And, to humour the
   ignorant, call I the deer the princess killed a pricket.

SIR NATHANIEL

   Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge; so it shall
   please you to abrogate scurrility.

HOLOFERNES

   I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.
   The preyful princess pierced and prick'd a pretty
   pleasing pricket;
   Some say a sore; but not a sore, till now made
   sore with shooting.
   The dogs did yell: put L to sore, then sorel jumps
   from thicket;
   Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
   If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores
   one sorel.
   Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.

SIR NATHANIEL

   A rare talent!

DULL

   [Aside] If a talent be a claw, look how he claws
   him with a talent.

HOLOFERNES

   This is a gift that I have, simple, simple; a
   foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures,
   shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions,
   revolutions: these are begot in the ventricle of
   memory, nourished in the womb of pia mater, and
   delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But the
   gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am
   thankful for it.

SIR NATHANIEL

   Sir, I praise the Lord for you; and so may my
   parishioners; for their sons are well tutored by
   you, and their daughters profit very greatly under
   you: you are a good member of the commonwealth.

HOLOFERNES

   Mehercle, if their sons be ingenuous, they shall
   want no instruction; if their daughters be capable,
   I will put it to them: but vir sapit qui pauca
   loquitur; a soul feminine saluteth us.
   Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD

JAQUENETTA

   God give you good morrow, master Parson.

HOLOFERNES

   Master Parson, quasi pers-on. An if one should be
   pierced, which is the one?

COSTARD

   Marry, master schoolmaster, he that is likest to a hogshead.

HOLOFERNES

   Piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of conceit in a
   tuft of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough
   for a swine: 'tis pretty; it is well.

JAQUENETTA

   Good master Parson, be so good as read me this
   letter: it was given me by Costard, and sent me
   from Don Armado: I beseech you, read it.

HOLOFERNES

   Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra
   Ruminat,--and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I
   may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice;
   Venetia, Venetia,
   Chi non ti vede non ti pretia.
   Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! who understandeth thee
   not, loves thee not. Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa.
   Under pardon, sir, what are the contents? or rather,
   as Horace says in his--What, my soul, verses?

SIR NATHANIEL

   Ay, sir, and very learned.

HOLOFERNES

   Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.

SIR NATHANIEL

   [Reads]
   If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
   Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd!
   Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove:
   Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like
   osiers bow'd.
   Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
   Where all those pleasures live that art would
   comprehend:
   If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;
   Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
   All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
   Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire:
   Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
   Which not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
   Celestial as thou art, O, pardon, love, this wrong,
   That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.

HOLOFERNES

   You find not the apostraphas, and so miss the
   accent: let me supervise the canzonet. Here are
   only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy,
   facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret.
   Ovidius Naso was the man: and why, indeed, Naso,
   but for smelling out the odouriferous flowers of
   fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari is nothing:
   so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper,
   the tired horse his rider. But, damosella virgin,
   was this directed to you?

JAQUENETTA

   Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron, one of the strange
   queen's lords.

HOLOFERNES

   I will overglance the superscript: 'To the
   snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady
   Rosaline.' I will look again on the intellect of
   the letter, for the nomination of the party writing
   to the person written unto: 'Your ladyship's in all
   desired employment, BIRON.' Sir Nathaniel, this
   Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here
   he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger
   queen's, which accidentally, or by the way of
   progression, hath miscarried. Trip and go, my
   sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the
   king: it may concern much. Stay not thy
   compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu.

JAQUENETTA

   Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!

COSTARD

   Have with thee, my girl.
   Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA

SIR NATHANIEL

   Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very
   religiously; and, as a certain father saith,--

HOLOFERNES

   Sir tell me not of the father; I do fear colourable
   colours. But to return to the verses: did they
   please you, Sir Nathaniel?

SIR NATHANIEL

   Marvellous well for the pen.

HOLOFERNES

   I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupil
   of mine; where, if, before repast, it shall please
   you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my
   privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid
   child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where I
   will prove those verses to be very unlearned,
   neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention: I
   beseech your society.

SIR NATHANIEL

   And thank you too; for society, saith the text, is
   the happiness of life.

HOLOFERNES

   And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.
   To DULL
   Sir, I do invite you too; you shall not
   say me nay: pauca verba. Away! the gentles are at
   their game, and we will to our recreation.
   Exeunt
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

SCENE III. The same.

   Enter BIRON, with a paper 

BIRON

   The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing
   myself: they have pitched a toil; I am toiling in
   a pitch,--pitch that defiles: defile! a foul
   word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so they say
   the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool: well
   proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as
   Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep:
   well proved again o' my side! I will not love: if
   I do, hang me; i' faith, I will not. O, but her
   eye,--by this light, but for her eye, I would not
   love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing
   in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By
   heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme
   and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme,
   and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my
   sonnets already: the clown bore it, the fool sent
   it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter
   fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care
   a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one
   with a paper: God give him grace to groan!
   Stands aside
   Enter FERDINAND, with a paper

FERDINAND

   Ay me!

BIRON

   [Aside] Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid:
   thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the
   left pap. In faith, secrets!

FERDINAND

   [Reads]
   So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
   To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
   As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
   The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows:
   Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
   Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
   As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
   Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep:
   No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
   So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
   Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
   And they thy glory through my grief will show:
   But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
   My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
   O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,
   No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
   How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper:
   Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
   Steps aside
   What, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear.

BIRON

   Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
   Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper

LONGAVILLE

   Ay me, I am forsworn!

BIRON

   Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.

FERDINAND

   In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!

BIRON

   One drunkard loves another of the name.

LONGAVILLE

   Am I the first that have been perjured so?

BIRON

   I could put thee in comfort. Not by two that I know:
   Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
   The shape of Love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.

LONGAVILLE

   I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move:
   O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
   These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.

BIRON

   O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose:
   Disfigure not his slop.

LONGAVILLE

   This same shall go.
   Reads
   Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
   'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
   Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
   Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
   A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
   Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
   My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
   Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me.
   Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is:
   Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
   Exhalest this vapour-vow; in thee it is:
   If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
   If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
   To lose an oath to win a paradise?

BIRON

   This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity,
   A green goose a goddess: pure, pure idolatry.
   God amend us, God amend! we are much out o' the way.

LONGAVILLE

   By whom shall I send this?--Company! stay.
   Steps aside

BIRON

   All hid, all hid; an old infant play.
   Like a demigod here sit I in the sky.
   And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'ereye.
   More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!
   Enter DUMAIN, with a paper
   Dumain transform'd! four woodcocks in a dish!

DUMAIN

   O most divine Kate!

BIRON

   O most profane coxcomb!

DUMAIN

   By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!

BIRON

   By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie.

DUMAIN

   Her amber hair for foul hath amber quoted.

BIRON

   An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.

DUMAIN

   As upright as the cedar.

BIRON

   Stoop, I say;
   Her shoulder is with child.

DUMAIN

   As fair as day.

BIRON

   Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.

DUMAIN

   O that I had my wish!

LONGAVILLE

   And I had mine!

FERDINAND

   And I mine too, good Lord!

BIRON

   Amen, so I had mine: is not that a good word?

DUMAIN

   I would forget her; but a fever she
   Reigns in my blood and will remember'd be.

BIRON

   A fever in your blood! why, then incision
   Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision!

DUMAIN

   Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.

BIRON

   Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.

DUMAIN

   [Reads]
   On a day--alack the day!--
   Love, whose month is ever May,
   Spied a blossom passing fair
   Playing in the wanton air:
   Through the velvet leaves the wind,
   All unseen, can passage find;
   That the lover, sick to death,
   Wish himself the heaven's breath.
   Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
   Air, would I might triumph so!
   But, alack, my hand is sworn
   Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
   Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
   Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
   Do not call it sin in me,
   That I am forsworn for thee;
   Thou for whom Jove would swear
   Juno but an Ethiope were;
   And deny himself for Jove,
   Turning mortal for thy love.
   This will I send, and something else more plain,
   That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
   O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
   Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
   Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
   For none offend where all alike do dote.

LONGAVILLE

   [Advancing] Dumain, thy love is far from charity.
   You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
   To be o'erheard and taken napping so.

FERDINAND

   [Advancing] Come, sir, you blush; as his your case is such;
   You chide at him, offending twice as much;
   You do not love Maria; Longaville
   Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
   Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
   His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
   I have been closely shrouded in this bush
   And mark'd you both and for you both did blush:
   I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
   Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion:
   Ay me! says one; O Jove! the other cries;
   One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes:
   To LONGAVILLE
   You would for paradise break faith, and troth;
   To DUMAIN
   And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
   What will Biron say when that he shall hear
   Faith so infringed, which such zeal did swear?
   How will he scorn! how will he spend his wit!
   How will he triumph, leap and laugh at it!
   For all the wealth that ever I did see,
   I would not have him know so much by me.

BIRON

   Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
   Advancing
   Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me!
   Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
   These worms for loving, that art most in love?
   Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
   There is no certain princess that appears;
   You'll not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing;
   Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
   But are you not ashamed? nay, are you not,
   All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot?
   You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
   But I a beam do find in each of three.
   O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,
   Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow and of teen!
   O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
   To see a king transformed to a gnat!
   To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
   And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
   And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
   And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
   Where lies thy grief, O, tell me, good Dumain?
   And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
   And where my liege's? all about the breast:
   A caudle, ho!

FERDINAND

   Too bitter is thy jest.
   Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view?

BIRON

   Not you to me, but I betray'd by you:
   I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin
   To break the vow I am engaged in;
   I am betray'd, by keeping company
   With men like men of inconstancy.
   When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
   Or groan for love? or spend a minute's time
   In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
   Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
   A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
   A leg, a limb?

FERDINAND

   Soft! whither away so fast?
   A true man or a thief that gallops so?

BIRON

   I post from love: good lover, let me go.
   Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD

JAQUENETTA

   God bless the king!

FERDINAND

   What present hast thou there?

COSTARD

   Some certain treason.

FERDINAND

   What makes treason here?

COSTARD

   Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

FERDINAND

   If it mar nothing neither,
   The treason and you go in peace away together.

JAQUENETTA

   I beseech your grace, let this letter be read:
   Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.

FERDINAND

   Biron, read it over.
   Giving him the paper
   Where hadst thou it?

JAQUENETTA

   Of Costard.

FERDINAND

   Where hadst thou it?

COSTARD

   Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
   BIRON tears the letter

FERDINAND

   How now! what is in you? why dost thou tear it?

BIRON

   A toy, my liege, a toy: your grace needs not fear it.

LONGAVILLE

   It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.

DUMAIN

   It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.
   Gathering up the pieces

BIRON

   [To COSTARD] Ah, you whoreson loggerhead! you were
   born to do me shame.
   Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess.

FERDINAND

   What?

BIRON

   That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up the mess:
   He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I,
   Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
   O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.

DUMAIN

   Now the number is even.

BIRON

   True, true; we are four.
   Will these turtles be gone?

FERDINAND

   Hence, sirs; away!

COSTARD

   Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
   Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA

BIRON

   Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!
   As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
   The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
   Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
   We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
   Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.

FERDINAND

   What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?

BIRON

   Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
   That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
   At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
   Bows not his vassal head and strucken blind
   Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
   What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
   Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
   That is not blinded by her majesty?

FERDINAND

   What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?
   My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
   She an attending star, scarce seen a light.

BIRON

   My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron:
   O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
   Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty
   Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek,
   Where several worthies make one dignity,
   Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
   Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,--
   Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not:
   To things of sale a seller's praise belongs,
   She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
   A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
   Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
   Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
   And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy:
   O, 'tis the sun that maketh all things shine.

FERDINAND

   By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.

BIRON

   Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
   A wife of such wood were felicity.
   O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
   That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
   If that she learn not of her eye to look:
   No face is fair that is not full so black.

FERDINAND

   O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
   The hue of dungeons and the suit of night;
   And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.

BIRON

   Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
   O, if in black my lady's brows be deck'd,
   It mourns that painting and usurping hair
   Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
   And therefore is she born to make black fair.
   Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
   For native blood is counted painting now;
   And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
   Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.

DUMAIN

   To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.

LONGAVILLE

   And since her time are colliers counted bright.

FERDINAND

   And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.

DUMAIN

   Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.

BIRON

   Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
   For fear their colours should be wash'd away.

FERDINAND

   'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
   I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.

BIRON

   I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.

FERDINAND

   No devil will fright thee then so much as she.

DUMAIN

   I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.

LONGAVILLE

   Look, here's thy love: my foot and her face see.

BIRON

   O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
   Her feet were much too dainty for such tread!

DUMAIN

   O, vile! then, as she goes, what upward lies
   The street should see as she walk'd overhead.

FERDINAND

   But what of this? are we not all in love?

BIRON

   Nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn.

FERDINAND

   Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now prove
   Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.

DUMAIN

   Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil.

LONGAVILLE

   O, some authority how to proceed;
   Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.

DUMAIN

   Some salve for perjury.

BIRON

   'Tis more than need.
   Have at you, then, affection's men at arms.
   Consider what you first did swear unto,
   To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
   Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
   Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young;
   And abstinence engenders maladies.
   And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
   In that each of you have forsworn his book,
   Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
   For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
   Have found the ground of study's excellence
   Without the beauty of a woman's face?
   From women's eyes this doctrine I derive; They are the ground, the books, the academes From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire
   Why, universal plodding poisons up
   The nimble spirits in the arteries,
   As motion and long-during action tires
   The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
   Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
   You have in that forsworn the use of eyes
   And study too, the causer of your vow;
   For where is any author in the world
   Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
   Learning is but an adjunct to ourself
   And where we are our learning likewise is:
   Then when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
   Do we not likewise see our learning there?
   O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
   And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
   For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
   In leaden contemplation have found out
   Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
   Of beauty's tutors have enrich'd you with?
   Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;
   And therefore, finding barren practisers,
   Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil:
   But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
   Lives not alone immured in the brain;
   But, with the motion of all elements,
   Courses as swift as thought in every power,
   And gives to every power a double power,
   Above their functions and their offices.
   It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
   A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
   A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
   When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
   Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
   Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;
   Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
   For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
   Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
   Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
   As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
   And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
   Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
   Never durst poet touch a pen to write
   Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
   O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
   And plant in tyrants mild humility.
   From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
   They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
   They are the books, the arts, the academes,
   That show, contain and nourish all the world:
   Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
   Then fools you were these women to forswear,
   Or keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
   For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love,
   Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men,
   Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,
   Or women's sake, by whom we men are men,
   Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
   Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
   It is religion to be thus forsworn,
   For charity itself fulfills the law,
   And who can sever love from charity?

FERDINAND

   Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!

BIRON

   Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;
   Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advised,
   In conflict that you get the sun of them.

LONGAVILLE

   Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
   Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?

FERDINAND

   And win them too: therefore let us devise
   Some entertainment for them in their tents.

BIRON

   First, from the park let us conduct them thither;
   Then homeward every man attach the hand
   Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon
   We will with some strange pastime solace them,
   Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
   For revels, dances, masks and merry hours
   Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.

FERDINAND

   Away, away! no time shall be omitted
   That will betime, and may by us be fitted.

BIRON

   Allons! allons! Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;
   And justice always whirls in equal measure:
   Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
   If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
   Exeunt
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

ACT V SCENE I. The same.

   Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL 

HOLOFERNES

   Satis quod sufficit.

SIR NATHANIEL

   I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner
   have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without
   scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without
   impudency, learned without opinion, and strange with-
   out heresy. I did converse this quondam day with
   a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nomi-
   nated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

HOLOFERNES

   Novi hominem tanquam te: his humour is lofty, his
   discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye
   ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
   behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is
   too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it
   were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.

SIR NATHANIEL

   A most singular and choice epithet.
   Draws out his table-book

HOLOFERNES

   He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer
   than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
   fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and
   point-devise companions; such rackers of
   orthography, as to speak dout, fine, when he should
   say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt,--d,
   e, b, t, not d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf;
   half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebor; neigh
   abbreviated ne. This is abhominable,--which he
   would call abbominable: it insinuateth me of
   insanie: anne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.

SIR NATHANIEL

   Laus Deo, bene intelligo.

HOLOFERNES

   Bon, bon, fort bon, Priscian! a little scratch'd,
   'twill serve.

SIR NATHANIEL

   Videsne quis venit?

HOLOFERNES

   Video, et gaudeo.
   Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, MOTH, and COSTARD
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Chirrah!
   To MOTH

HOLOFERNES

   Quare chirrah, not sirrah?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Men of peace, well encountered.

HOLOFERNES

   Most military sir, salutation.

MOTH

   [Aside to COSTARD] They have been at a great feast
   of languages, and stolen the scraps.

COSTARD

   O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words.
   I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
   for thou art not so long by the head as
   honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
   swallowed than a flap-dragon.

MOTH

   Peace! the peal begins.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   [To HOLOFERNES] Monsieur, are you not lettered?

MOTH

   Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a,
   b, spelt backward, with the horn on his head?

HOLOFERNES

   Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.

MOTH

   Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his learning.

HOLOFERNES

   Quis, quis, thou consonant?

MOTH

   The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or
   the fifth, if I.

HOLOFERNES

   I will repeat them,--a, e, i,--

MOTH

   The sheep: the other two concludes it,--o, u.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet
   touch, a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick and
   home! it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit!

MOTH

   Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.

HOLOFERNES

   What is the figure? what is the figure?

MOTH

   Horns.

HOLOFERNES

   Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.

MOTH

   Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about
   your infamy circum circa,--a gig of a cuckold's horn.

COSTARD

   An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst
   have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very
   remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny
   purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an
   the heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my
   bastard, what a joyful father wouldst thou make me!
   Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers'
   ends, as they say.

HOLOFERNES

   O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Arts-man, preambulate, we will be singled from the
   barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the
   charge-house on the top of the mountain?

HOLOFERNES

   Or mons, the hill.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.

HOLOFERNES

   I do, sans question.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and
   affection to congratulate the princess at her
   pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the
   rude multitude call the afternoon.

HOLOFERNES

   The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is
   liable, congruent and measurable for the afternoon:
   the word is well culled, chose, sweet and apt, I do
   assure you, sir, I do assure.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my familiar,
   I do assure ye, very good friend: for what is
   inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech thee,
   remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee, apparel thy
   head: and among other important and most serious
   designs, and of great import indeed, too, but let
   that pass: for I must tell thee, it will please his
   grace, by the world, sometime to lean upon my poor
   shoulder, and with his royal finger, thus, dally
   with my excrement, with my mustachio; but, sweet
   heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no
   fable: some certain special honours it pleaseth his
   greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of
   travel, that hath seen the world; but let that pass.
   The very all of all is,--but, sweet heart, I do
   implore secrecy,--that the king would have me
   present the princess, sweet chuck, with some
   delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or
   antique, or firework. Now, understanding that the
   curate and your sweet self are good at such
   eruptions and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it
   were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to
   crave your assistance.

HOLOFERNES

   Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies.
   Sir, as concerning some entertainment of time, some
   show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by
   our assistants, at the king's command, and this most
   gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman, before
   the princess; I say none so fit as to present the
   Nine Worthies.

SIR NATHANIEL

   Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?

HOLOFERNES

   Joshua, yourself; myself and this gallant gentleman,
   Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
   limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the
   page, Hercules,--
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for
   that Worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.

HOLOFERNES

   Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules in
   minority: his enter and exit shall be strangling a
   snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.

MOTH

   An excellent device! so, if any of the audience
   hiss, you may cry 'Well done, Hercules! now thou
   crushest the snake!' that is the way to make an
   offence gracious, though few have the grace to do it.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   For the rest of the Worthies?--

HOLOFERNES

   I will play three myself.

MOTH

   Thrice-worthy gentleman!
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Shall I tell you a thing?

HOLOFERNES

   We attend.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   We will have, if this fadge not, an antique. I
   beseech you, follow.

HOLOFERNES

   Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.

DULL

   Nor understood none neither, sir.

HOLOFERNES

   Allons! we will employ thee.

DULL

   I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play
   On the tabour to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.

HOLOFERNES

   Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away!
   Exeunt
   LOVE'S LABOURS LOST

SCENE II. The same.

   Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE, and MARIA 

PRINCESS

   Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
   If fairings come thus plentifully in:
   A lady wall'd about with diamonds!
   Look you what I have from the loving king.

ROSALINE

   Madame, came nothing else along with that?

PRINCESS

   Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rhyme
   As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper,
   Writ o' both sides the leaf, margent and all,
   That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.

ROSALINE

   That was the way to make his godhead wax,
   For he hath been five thousand years a boy.

KATHARINE

   Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.

ROSALINE

   You'll ne'er be friends with him; a' kill'd your sister.

KATHARINE

   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.

ROSALINE

   What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?

KATHARINE

   A light condition in a beauty dark.

ROSALINE

   We need more light to find your meaning out.

KATHARINE

   You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
   Therefore I'll darkly end the argument.

ROSALINE

   Look what you do, you do it still i' the dark.

KATHARINE

   So do not you, for you are a light wench.

ROSALINE

   Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light.

KATHARINE

   You weigh me not? O, that's you care not for me.

ROSALINE

   Great reason; for 'past cure is still past care.'

PRINCESS

   Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd.
   But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
   Who sent it? and what is it?

ROSALINE

   I would you knew:
   An if my face were but as fair as yours,
   My favour were as great; be witness this.
   Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron:
   The numbers true; and, were the numbering too,
   I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
   I am compared to twenty thousand fairs.
   O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter!

PRINCESS

   Any thing like?

ROSALINE

   Much in the letters; nothing in the praise.

PRINCESS

   Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.

KATHARINE

   Fair as a text B in a copy-book.

ROSALINE

   'Ware pencils, ho! let me not die your debtor,
   My red dominical, my golden letter:
   O, that your face were not so full of O's!

KATHARINE

   A pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows.

PRINCESS

   But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumain?

KATHARINE

   Madam, this glove.

PRINCESS

   Did he not send you twain?

KATHARINE

   Yes, madam, and moreover
   Some thousand verses of a faithful lover,
   A huge translation of hypocrisy,
   Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.

MARIA

   This and these pearls to me sent Longaville:
   The letter is too long by half a mile.

PRINCESS

   I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart
   The chain were longer and the letter short?

MARIA

   Ay, or I would these hands might never part.

PRINCESS

   We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.

ROSALINE

   They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
   That same Biron I'll torture ere I go:
   O that I knew he were but in by the week!
   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 rhymes
   And shape his service wholly to my hests
   And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
   So perttaunt-like would I o'ersway his state
   That he should be my fool and I his fate.

PRINCESS

   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
   And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.

ROSALINE

   The blood of youth burns not with such excess
   As gravity's revolt to wantonness.

MARIA

   Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
   As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;
   Since all the power thereof it doth apply
   To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

PRINCESS

   Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
   Enter BOYET

BOYET

   O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace?

PRINCESS

   Thy news Boyet?

BOYET

   Prepare, madam, prepare!
   Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are
   Against your peace: Love doth approach disguised,
   Armed in arguments; you'll be surprised:
   Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
   Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

PRINCESS

   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
   I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour;
   When, lo! to interrupt my purposed rest,
   Toward that shade I might behold addrest
   The king and his companions: warily
   I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
   And overheard what you shall overhear,
   That, by and by, disguised 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;
   '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.'
   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
   A better speech was never spoke before;
   Another, with his finger and his thumb,
   Cried, '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.
   With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
   With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
   That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
   To cheque their folly, passion's solemn tears.

PRINCESS

   But what, but what, come they to visit us?

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
   By favours several which they did bestow.

PRINCESS

   And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd;
   For, ladies, we shall every one be mask'd;
   And not a man of them shall have the grace,
   Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.
   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 Biron take me for Rosaline.
   And change your favours too; so shall your loves
   Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.

ROSALINE

   Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.

KATHARINE

   But in this changing what is your intent?

PRINCESS

   The effect of my intent is to cross theirs:
   They do it but in mocking merriment;
   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 displayed, to talk and greet.

ROSALINE

   But shall we dance, if they desire to't?

PRINCESS

   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,
   And quite divorce his memory from his part.

PRINCESS

   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'erthrown,
   To make theirs ours and ours none but our own:
   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; FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in Russian habits, and masked

MOTH

   All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!--

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!

BIRON

   [Aside to MOTH] Their eyes, villain, their eyes!

MOTH

   That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!--Out--

BOYET

   True; out indeed.

MOTH

   Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
   Not to behold--

BIRON

   [Aside to MOTH] Once to behold, rogue.

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.

BIRON

   Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue!
   Exit MOTH

ROSALINE

   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.

BOYET

   What would you with the princess?

BIRON

   Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

ROSALINE

   What would they, say they?

BOYET

   Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

ROSALINE

   Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.

BOYET

   She says, you have it, and you may be gone.

FERDINAND

   Say to her, we have measured many miles
   To tread a measure with her on this grass.

BOYET

   They say, that they have measured many a mile
   To tread a measure with you on this grass.

ROSALINE

   It is not so. Ask them how many inches
   Is in one mile: if they have measured many,
   The measure then of one is easily told.

BOYET

   If to come hither you have measured miles,
   And many miles, the princess bids you tell
   How many inches doth fill up one mile.

BIRON

   Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.

BOYET

   She hears herself.

ROSALINE

   How many weary steps,
   Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,
   Are number'd in the travel of one mile?

BIRON

   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,
   That we, like savages, may worship it.

ROSALINE

   My face is but a moon, and clouded too.

FERDINAND

   Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
   Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
   Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.

ROSALINE

   O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
   Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.

FERDINAND

   Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
   Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange.

ROSALINE

   Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.
   Music plays
   Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.

FERDINAND

   Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?

ROSALINE

   You took the moon at full, but now she's changed.

FERDINAND

   Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
   The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.

ROSALINE

   Our ears vouchsafe it.

FERDINAND

   But your legs should do it.

ROSALINE

   Since you are strangers and come here by chance,
   We'll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.

FERDINAND

   Why take we hands, then?

ROSALINE

   Only to part friends:
   Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.

FERDINAND

   More measure of this measure; be not nice.

ROSALINE

   We can afford no more at such a price.

FERDINAND

   Prize you yourselves: what buys your company?

ROSALINE

   Your absence only.

FERDINAND

   That can never be.

ROSALINE

   Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;
   Twice to your visor, and half once to you.

FERDINAND

   If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.

ROSALINE

   In private, then.

FERDINAND

   I am best pleased with that.
   They converse apart

BIRON

   White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.

PRINCESS

   Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.

BIRON

   Nay then, two treys, and if you grow so nice,
   Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
   There's half-a-dozen sweets.

PRINCESS

   Seventh sweet, adieu:
   Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.

BIRON

   One word in secret.

PRINCESS

   Let it not be sweet.

BIRON

   Thou grievest my gall.

PRINCESS

   Gall! bitter.

BIRON

   Therefore meet.
   They converse apart

DUMAIN

   Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?

MARIA

   Name it.

DUMAIN

   Fair lady,--

MARIA

   Say you so? Fair lord,--
   Take that for your fair lady.

DUMAIN

   Please it you,
   As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
   They converse apart

KATHARINE

   What, was your vizard made without a tongue?

LONGAVILLE

   I know the reason, lady, why you ask.

KATHARINE

   O for your reason! quickly, sir; I long.

LONGAVILLE

   You have a double tongue within your mask,
   And would afford my speechless vizard half.

KATHARINE

   Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not 'veal' a calf?

LONGAVILLE

   A calf, fair lady!

KATHARINE

   No, a fair lord calf.

LONGAVILLE

   Let's part the word.

KATHARINE

   No, I'll not be your half
   Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.

LONGAVILLE

   Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks!
   Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.

KATHARINE

   Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.

LONGAVILLE

   One word in private with you, ere I die.

KATHARINE

   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.

ROSALINE

   Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.

BIRON

   By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!

FERDINAND

   Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.

PRINCESS

   Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.
   Exeunt FERDINAND, Lords, and Blackamoors
   Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at?

BOYET

   Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out.

ROSALINE

   Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.

PRINCESS

   O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
   Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?
   Or ever, but in vizards, show their faces?
   This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.

ROSALINE

   O, they were all in lamentable cases!
   The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.

PRINCESS

   Biron did swear himself out of all suit.

MARIA

   Dumain was at my service, and his sword:
   No point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute.

KATHARINE

   Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart;
   And trow you what he called me?

PRINCESS

   Qualm, perhaps.

KATHARINE

   Yes, in good faith.

PRINCESS

   Go, sickness as thou art!

ROSALINE

   Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.
   But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.

PRINCESS

   And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me.

KATHARINE

   And Longaville was for my service born.

MARIA

   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.

PRINCESS

   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 repair,
   Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.

PRINCESS

   How blow? how blow? speak to be understood.

BOYET

   Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud;
   Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
   Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.

PRINCESS

   Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do,
   If they return in their own shapes to woo?

ROSALINE

   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 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.

PRINCESS

   Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er land.
   Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, and MARIA
   Re-enter FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in their proper habits

FERDINAND

   Fair sir, God save you! Where's the princess?

BOYET

   Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty
   Command me any service to her thither?

FERDINAND

   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 pease,
   And utters it again when God doth please:
   He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares
   At wakes and wassails, 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;
   A' can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
   That kiss'd his hand away 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 show his teeth as white as whale's bone;
   And consciences, that will not die in debt,
   Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

FERDINAND

   A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
   That put Armado's page out of his part!

BIRON

   See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thou
   Till this madman show'd thee? and what art thou now?
   Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE

FERDINAND

   All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!

PRINCESS

   'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive.

FERDINAND

   Construe my speeches better, if you may.

PRINCESS

   Then wish me better; I will give you leave.

FERDINAND

   We came to visit you, and purpose now
   To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.

PRINCESS

   This field shall hold me; and so hold your vow:
   Nor God, nor I, delights in perjured men.

FERDINAND

   Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:
   The virtue of your eye must break my oath.

PRINCESS

   You nickname 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,
   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.

FERDINAND

   O, you have lived in desolation here,
   Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.

PRINCESS

   Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
   We have had pastimes here and pleasant game:
   A mess of Russians left us but of late.

FERDINAND

   How, madam! Russians!

PRINCESS

   Ay, in truth, my lord;
   Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.

ROSALINE

   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
   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.

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.

ROSALINE

   This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye,--

BIRON

   I am a fool, and full of poverty.

ROSALINE

   But that you take what doth to you belong,
   It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

BIRON

   O, I am yours, and all that I possess!

ROSALINE

   All the fool mine?

BIRON

   I cannot give you less.

ROSALINE

   Which of the vizards was it that you wore?

BIRON

   Where? when? what vizard? why demand you this?

ROSALINE

   There, then, that vizard; that superfluous case
   That hid the worse and show'd the better face.

FERDINAND

   We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.

DUMAIN

   Let us confess and turn it to a jest.

PRINCESS

   Amazed, my lord? why looks your highness sad?

ROSALINE

   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.
   O, never will I trust to speeches penn'd,
   Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue,
   Nor never come in vizard to my friend,
   Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song!
   Taffeta phrases, silken terms 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.

ROSALINE

   Sans sans, I 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 hearts 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.

PRINCESS

   No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.

BIRON

   Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us.

ROSALINE

   It is not so; for how can this be true,
   That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?

BIRON

   Peace! for I will not have to do with you.

ROSALINE

   Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.

BIRON

   Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.

FERDINAND

   Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
   Some fair excuse.

PRINCESS

   The fairest is confession.
   Were not you here but even now disguised?

FERDINAND

   Madam, I was.

PRINCESS

   And were you well advised?

FERDINAND

   I was, fair madam.

PRINCESS

   When you then were here,
   What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

FERDINAND

   That more than all the world I did respect her.

PRINCESS

   When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.

FERDINAND

   Upon mine honour, no.

PRINCESS

   Peace, peace! forbear:
   Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.

FERDINAND

   Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.

PRINCESS

   I will: and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
   What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

ROSALINE

   Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
   As precious eyesight, and did value me
   Above this world; adding thereto moreover
   That he would wed me, or else die my lover.

PRINCESS

   God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
   Most honourably doth unhold his word.

FERDINAND

   What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
   I never swore this lady such an oath.

ROSALINE

   By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain,
   You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.

FERDINAND

   My faith and this the princess I did give:
   I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

PRINCESS

   Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
   And Lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear.
   What, will you have me, or your pearl again?

BIRON

   Neither of either; I remit both twain.
   I see the trick on't: here was a consent,
   Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
   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 disposed,
   Told our intents before; which once disclosed,
   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.
   Much upon this it is: and might not you
   To BOYET
   Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
   Do not you know my lady's foot by the squier,
   And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
   And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
   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.

BOYET

   Full merrily
   Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.

BIRON

   Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.
   Enter COSTARD
   Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.

COSTARD

   O Lord, sir, they would know
   Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.

BIRON

   What, are there but three?

COSTARD

   No, sir; but it is vara fine,
   For every one pursents three.

BIRON

   And three times thrice is nine.

COSTARD

   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,--

BIRON

   Is not nine.

COSTARD

   Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount.

BIRON

   By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.

COSTARD

   O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your living
   by reckoning, sir.

BIRON

   How much is it?

COSTARD

   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.

BIRON

   Art thou one of the Worthies?

COSTARD

   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.

BIRON

   Go, bid them prepare.

COSTARD

   We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take
   some care.
   Exit

FERDINAND

   Biron, they will shame us: let them not approach.

BIRON

   We are shame-proof, my lord: and tis some policy
   To have one show worse than the king's and his company.

FERDINAND

   I say they shall not come.

PRINCESS

   Nay, my good lord, let me o'errule you now:
   That sport best pleases that doth least know how:
   Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
   Dies in the zeal of that which it presents:
   Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
   When great things labouring perish in their birth.

BIRON

   A right description of our sport, my lord.
   Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal
   sweet breath as will utter a brace of words.
   Converses apart with FERDINAND, and delivers him a paper

PRINCESS

   Doth this man serve God?

BIRON

   Why ask you?

PRINCESS

   He speaks not like a man of God's making.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   That is 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

FERDINAND

   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 Maccabaeus: And if
   these four Worthies in their first show thrive,
   These four will change habits, and present the other five.

BIRON

   There is five in the first show.

FERDINAND

   You are deceived; 'tis not so.

BIRON

   The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, 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.

FERDINAND

   The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.
   Enter COSTARD, for Pompey

COSTARD

   I Pompey am,--

BOYET

   You lie, you are not he.

COSTARD

   I Pompey am,--

BOYET

   With libbard's head on knee.

BIRON

   Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friends
   with thee.

COSTARD

   I Pompey am, Pompey surnamed the Big--

DUMAIN

   The Great.

COSTARD

   It is, 'Great,' sir:--
   Pompey surnamed the Great;
   That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make
   my foe to sweat:
   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.

PRINCESS

   Great thanks, great Pompey.

COSTARD

   'Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect: I
   made a little fault in 'Great.'

BIRON

   My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy.
   Enter SIR NATHANIEL, for Alexander

SIR NATHANIEL

   When in the world I lived, 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,--

BOYET

   Your nose says, no, you are not for it stands too right.

BIRON

   Your nose smells 'no' in this, most tender-smelling knight.

PRINCESS

   The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed, good Alexander.

SIR NATHANIEL

   When in the world I lived, I was the world's
   commander,--

BOYET

   Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Alisander.

BIRON

   Pompey the Great,--

COSTARD

   Your servant, and Costard.

BIRON

   Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.

COSTARD

   [To SIR 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.
   SIR 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.
   Enter HOLOFERNES, for Judas; and MOTH, for Hercules

HOLOFERNES

   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.
   Quoniam he seemeth in minority,
   Ergo I come with this apology.
   Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.
   MOTH retires
   Judas I am,--

DUMAIN

   A Judas!

HOLOFERNES

   Not Iscariot, sir.
   Judas I am, ycliped Maccabaeus.

DUMAIN

   Judas Maccabaeus clipt is plain Judas.

BIRON

   A kissing traitor. How art thou proved Judas?

HOLOFERNES

   Judas I am,--

DUMAIN

   The more shame for you, Judas.

HOLOFERNES

   What mean you, sir?

BOYET

   To make Judas hang himself.

HOLOFERNES

   Begin, sir; you are my elder.

BIRON

   Well followed: Judas was hanged on an elder.

HOLOFERNES

   I will not be put out of countenance.

BIRON

   Because thou hast no face.

HOLOFERNES

   What is this?

BOYET

   A cittern-head.

DUMAIN

   The head of a bodkin.

BIRON

   A Death's face in a ring.

LONGAVILLE

   The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen.

BOYET

   The pommel of Caesar's falchion.

DUMAIN

   The carved-bone face on a flask.

BIRON

   Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch.

DUMAIN

   Ay, and in a brooch of lead.

BIRON

   Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.
   And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance.

HOLOFERNES

   You have put me out of countenance.

BIRON

   False; we have given thee faces.

HOLOFERNES

   But you have out-faced them all.

BIRON

   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?

DUMAIN

   For the latter end of his name.

BIRON

   For the ass to the Jude; give it him:--Jud-as, away!

HOLOFERNES

   This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.

BOYET

   A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows dark, he may stumble.
   HOLOFERNES retires

PRINCESS

   Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited!
   Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, for Hector

BIRON

   Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes Hector in arms.

DUMAIN

   Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.

FERDINAND

   Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.

BOYET

   But is this Hector?

FERDINAND

   I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.

LONGAVILLE

   His leg is too big for Hector's.

DUMAIN

   More calf, certain.

BOYET

   No; he is best endued in the small.

BIRON

   This cannot be Hector.

DUMAIN

   He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
   Gave Hector a gift,--

DUMAIN

   A gilt nutmeg.

BIRON

   A lemon.

LONGAVILLE

   Stuck with cloves.

DUMAIN

   No, cloven.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Peace!--
   The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty
   Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion;
   A man so breathed, that certain he would fight; yea
   From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
   I am that flower,--

DUMAIN

   That mint.

LONGAVILLE

   That columbine.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.

LONGAVILLE

   I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.

DUMAIN

   Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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.

PRINCESS

   Speak, brave Hector: we are much delighted.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper.

BOYET

   [Aside to DUMAIN] Loves her by the foot,--

DUMAIN

   [Aside to BOYET] He may not by the yard.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,--

COSTARD

   The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she
   is two months on her way.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   What meanest thou?

COSTARD

   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.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shalt
   die.

COSTARD

   Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is
   quick by him and hanged for Pompey that is dead by
   him.

DUMAIN

   Most rare Pompey!

BOYET

   Renowned Pompey!

BIRON

   Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey!
   Pompey the Huge!

DUMAIN

   Hector trembles.

BIRON

   Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir them
   on! stir them on!

DUMAIN

   Hector will challenge him.

BIRON

   Ay, if a' have no man's blood in's belly than will
   sup a flea.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   By the north pole, I do challenge thee.

COSTARD

   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.

DUMAIN

   Room for the incensed Worthies!

COSTARD

   I'll do it in my shirt.

DUMAIN

   Most resolute Pompey!

MOTH

   Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. Do you
   not see Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean
   you? You will lose your reputation.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat
   in my shirt.

DUMAIN

   You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sweet bloods, I both may and will.

BIRON

   What reason have you for't?
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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 dishclout of Jaquenetta's, and that a' wears next
   his heart for a favour.
   Enter MERCADE

MERCADE

   God save you, madam!

PRINCESS

   Welcome, Mercade;
   But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.

MERCADE

   I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring
   Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father--

PRINCESS

   Dead, for my life!

MERCADE

   Even so; my tale is told.

BIRON

   Worthies, away! the scene begins to cloud.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   For mine 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

FERDINAND

   How fares your majesty?

PRINCESS

   Boyet, prepare; I will away tonight.

FERDINAND

   Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.

PRINCESS

   Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,
   For all your fair endeavors; and entreat,
   Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
   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!
   A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue:
   Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
   For my great suit so easily obtain'd.

FERDINAND

   The extreme parts of time extremely forms
   All causes to the purpose of his speed,
   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,
   Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,
   Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
   From what it purposed; since, to wail friends lost
   Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
   As to rejoice at friends but newly found.

PRINCESS

   I understand you not: my griefs are double.

BIRON

   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,
   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,
   Form'd by the eye and therefore, like the eye,
   Full of strange 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
   Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
   Have misbecomed 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
   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.

PRINCESS

   We have received your letters full of love;
   Your favours, the ambassadors of love;
   And, in our maiden council, rated them
   At courtship, pleasant jest and courtesy,
   As bombast and as lining to the time:
   But more devout than this in our respects
   Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
   In their own fashion, like a merriment.

DUMAIN

   Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.

LONGAVILLE

   So did our looks.

ROSALINE

   We did not quote them so.

FERDINAND

   Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
   Grant us your loves.

PRINCESS

   A time, methinks, too short
   To make a world-without-end bargain in.
   No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured much,
   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,
   Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
   There stay until the twelve celestial signs
   Have brought about the annual reckoning.
   If this austere insociable life
   Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
   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,
   And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine
   I will be thine; and till that instant shut
   My woeful self up in a mourning house,
   Raining the tears of lamentation
   For the remembrance of my father's death.
   If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
   Neither entitled in the other's heart.

FERDINAND

   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!
   Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.

DUMAIN

   But what to me, my love? but what to me? A wife?

KATHARINE

   A beard, fair health, and honesty;
   With three-fold love I wish you all these three.

DUMAIN

   O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?

KATHARINE

   Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a day
   I'll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say:
   Come when the king doth to my lady come;
   Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.

DUMAIN

   I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.

KATHARINE

   Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again.

LONGAVILLE

   What says Maria?

MARIA

   At the twelvemonth's end
   I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.

LONGAVILLE

   I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.

MARIA

   The liker you; few taller are so young.

BIRON

   Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;
   Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
   What humble suit attends thy answer there:
   Impose some service on me for thy love.

ROSALINE

   Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron,
   Before I saw you; and the world's large tongue
   Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks,
   Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
   Which you on all estates will execute
   That lie within the mercy of your wit.
   To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
   And therewithal to win me, if you please,
   Without the which I am not to be won,
   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 endeavor of your wit
   To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

BIRON

   To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
   It cannot be; it is impossible:
   Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

ROSALINE

   Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
   Whose influence is begot of that loose grace
   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,
   Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
   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.

BIRON

   A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall,
   I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.

PRINCESS

   [To FERDINAND] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.

FERDINAND

   No, madam; we will bring you on your way.

BIRON

   Our wooing doth not end like an old play;
   Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy
   Might well have made our sport a comedy.

FERDINAND

   Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
   And then 'twill end.

BIRON

   That's too long for a play.
   Re-enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,--

PRINCESS

   Was not that Hector?

DUMAIN

   The worthy knight of Troy.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   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.

FERDINAND

   Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   Holla! approach.
   Re-enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and others
   This side is Hiems, Winter, this Ver, the Spring;
   the one maintained by the owl, the other by the
   cuckoo. Ver, begin.
   THE SONG
   SPRING.
   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, 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, cuckoo: O word of fear,
   Unpleasing to a married ear!
   WINTER.
   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.
   DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO

   The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of
   Apollo. You that way: we this way.
   Exeunt

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