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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 penned,

Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue; Nor never come in visor to my friend ;'

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song. Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,

Three-piled a 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

Henceforth my wooing mind shall be expressed

In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes.
And, to begin, wench, --so God help me, la !-
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.
Ros. Sans sans, I pray you.

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.

Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens to us.
Biron. Our states are forfeit; seek not to undo us.

Ros. It is not so ; for how can this be true, That you stand forfeit, being those that sue? 5 1 Mistress.

? A metaphor from the pile of velvet. 3 i. e. without French words, I pray you.

4 This was the inscription put upon the doors of houses infected with the plague. The tokens of the plague were the first spots or discolorations of the skin.

5 That is, how can those be liable to forfeiture that begin the process? The quibble lies in the ambiguity of the word sue, which signifies to proceed to law, and to petition.

Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with you.
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.
King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude trans-

gression, Some fair excuse. Prin.

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

King. Madam, I was.

And were you well advised ?
King. I was, fair madam.



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

King. That more than all the world I did respect her. Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will reject

her. King. Upon mine honor, no. Prin.

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

King. Despise me when I break this oath of mine. Prin. I will; and therefore keep it.—Rosaline, What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

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

lover. Prin. God give thee joy of him! The noble lord Most honorably doth uphold his word. King. What mean you, madam ? By my life, my

troth, I never swore this lady such an oath.

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

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

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

Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain.

1 i. e. you care not, or do not regard forswearing.

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

That smiles his cheek in jeers, and knows the trick
To make my lady laugh, when she's disposed, -
Told our intents before ; which once disclosed,
The ladies did change favors; and then we,
Following the signs, wooed but the sign of she.
Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forsworn; in will and error.3
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 squire, 4

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 allowed ;
Die when you will, a smock shall be


You leer upon me, do you? There's an eye
Wounds like a leaden sword.

Full merrily
Hath this brave manege, this career, been run.
Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have done.

Welcome, pure wit! Thou partest a fair fray.

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

Biron. What, are there but three ?

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

And three times thrice is nine.


1 An agreement, a conspiracy. See As You Like It, Act ii. Sc. 2. 2 The old copies res yeares : the emendation is Theobald's. 3 i. e. first in will, and afterwards in error.

4 From esquierre (Fr.), rule, or square. The sense is similar to the proverbial saying-He has got the length of her foot.

5 That is, you are an allowed or a licensed fool or jester.

Cost. Not so, sir; under correction, sir ; I hope it

is not so. You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir ; we know

what we know. I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir, — Biron.

Is not nine. Cost. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount. Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for

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

Biron. How much is it?

Cost. O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount. For my own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one man,-e'en one poor man. Pompion the Great, sir.

Biron. Art thou one of the worthies?

Cost. It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion the Great. For mine own part, I know not the degree of the worthy; but I am to stand for him.

Biron. Go, bid them prepare.
Cost. We will turn it finely off, sir ; we will take

[Exit CostaRD. King. Birón, they will shame us; let them not ap

proach. Biron. We are shame-proof, my lord; and 'tis some

policy To have one show worse than the king's and his

company King. I say, they shall not come. Prin. Nay, my good lord, let me o’errule you

now; That sport best pleases that doth least know how.

some care.

1 In the old common law was a writ de idiota inquirendo, under which if a man was legally proved an idiot, the profits of his lands, and the custody of his person, might be granted by the king to any subject. Such a person, when this grant was asked, was said to be begged for a fool. One of the legal tests appears to have been, to try whether the party could answer a simple arithmetical question.

Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
Die in the zeal of them which it presents,
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
When great things laboring perish in their birth.

Biron. A right description of our sport, my lord.

Enter ARMADO. Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of words. [ARMADO converses with the King, and delivers

him a paper.] Prin. Doth this man serve God? Biron. Why ask you? Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making.

Arm. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch; for, I protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical; too, too vain ; too, too vain. But we will put it, as they say, to fortuna della guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement."

[Exit ARMADO. King. Here is like to be a good presence of worthies. He presents Hector of Troy ; the swain, Pompey the Great; the parish curate, Alexander; Armado's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas Machabæus. 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. King. You are deceived,o'tis not so.

1 The old copies read

“ Dies in the zeal of that which it presents." The emendation in the text is Malone's, and he thus endeavors to give this obscure passage a meaning. The word it, I believe, refers to sport. That sport, says the princess, pleases best, where the actors are least skilful; where zeal strives to please, and the contents, or great things attempted, perish in the very act of being produced, from the ardent zeal of those who present the sportive entertainment. It, however, may refer to contents, and that word may mean the most material part of the exhibition. 2 This word is used again by Shakspeare in his 21st Sonnet:

"Making a couplement of proud compare." VOL. II.


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