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This article, my liege, your felf muft break;
To her decrepit, fick, and bed-rid father :
Or vainly comes th' admired Princess hither.
Biron. So ftudy evermore is overshot;
King. We muft of force difpenfe with this decree,
Biron. Neceffity will make us all forfworn
Three thousand times within this three years space:
Not by might mafter'd, but by special grace.
So to the laws at large I write my name,
Suggeftions are to others, as to me;
King. Ay, that there is; our Court, you know, is
With a refined traveller of Spain,
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
Biron. Armado is a moft illuftrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own Knight. Long. Coftard the fwain, and he, fhall be our sport; And, fo to study, three years are but fhort.
Enter Dull, and Coftard with a letter. Dull. Which is the King's own person? (5) Biron. This, fellow; what would'st?
Dull. I my felf reprehend his own perfon, for I am his Grace's Tharborough: but I would fee his own perfon in flesh and blood.
Biron. This is he.
Dull. Signior Arme, Arme commends you. There's villany abroad; this letter will tell you more.
Coft. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low foever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having; God grant us patience! (6)
(5) Dull. which is the Duke's own Perfon?] The King of Navarre is in feveral Paffages, thro' all the Copies, call'd the Duke: but as this must have sprung rather from the Inadvertence of the Editors, than a Forgetfulness in the Poet, I have every where, to avoid Confufion, reftor'd King to the Text.
(6) A high hope for a low heaven;] A low heaven, fure, is a very intricate Matter to conceive. But our accurate Editors feem to obferve the Rule of Horace, whenever a moot Point ftaggers them, dignus vindice nodus; and where they cannot overcome a Difficulty, they bring in Heaven to untie the Knot. As God grant us Patience immediately preceded, they thought, Heaven of Confequence muft follow. But, I dare warrant, I have retriev'd the Poet's true Reading; and the Meaning is this. "Tho' you hope for high Words, and fhould have "them, it will be but a low Acquifition at beft.". This our Poet
Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing? Long. To hear meekly, Sir, to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.
Biron. Well, Sir, be it as the stile fhall give us cause to climb in the merrinefs.
Coft. The matter is to me, Sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.
The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
Biron. In what manner?
Coft. In manner and form, following, Sir; all those three. I was feen with her in the Manor-house, fitting 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 fome form.
Biron. For the following, Sir?
Coft. As it fhall follow in my correction; and God defend the right! King. Will you hear the letter with attention? Biron. As we would hear an oracle.
calls a low Having: and it is a Subftantive, which he uses in feveral other Paffages.
Merry Wives of Windfor.
Not by my Confent, I promife You: the Gentleman is of no Having, be kept Company with the wild Prince and Poinz.
K. Henry VIII.
The greatest of your Having lacks a balf
And in many other places. So, amongst the older Romans, they made a Subftantive of Habentia, in the like Signification. Nonius Marcellus furnishes an Authority from Claudius Quadrigarius his Annals. Verebar enim ne Animos eorum inflaret habentia. For I was afraid left their Havings (i. e. their Riches, large Circumftances) should elate their Minds. St. Auflin likewife, in the lower Age of Latinity, ufes it in the fame Manner. And the Spaniards have from thence form'd their hazienda, which fignifies either Wealth, Poffeffions, Ability, or Business.
Coft. Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken after
Reat deputy, the welkin's vice-gerent, and fole dominator of Navarre, my foul's earth's God, and body's foftring patronCoft. Not a word of Coftard yet!
King. So it is
Coft. It may be fo; but if he fay it is fo, he is, in telling true, but fo.
Coft. Be to me, and every man that dares not fight! King. No words.
Coft. Of other men's fecrets, I beseech you.
King. So it is, Befieged with fable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black oppressing humour to the most wholefome phyfick of thy health-giving air; and as I am a gentleman, betook my felf to walk: The time, when? about the fixth hour, when beasts most graze, birds beft peck, and men fit down to that nourishment which is call'd fupper: fo much for the time, when. Now for the ground, which: which, I mean, I walkt upon; it is ycleped, thy parks Then for the place, where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obfcene and most prepofterous event, that draweth from my fnow-white pen the ebon-colour'd ink, which here tbou vieweft, beboldeft, furveyeft, or feeft. But to the place, where; It ftandeth north-north-east and by east from the weft corner of thy curious-knotted garden. There did I fee that low-fpirited fwain, that base minow of thy mirth, (Coft. Me?) that unletter'd Small-knowing fouls (Coft. Me?) that shallow vaffal, (Coft. Still me?) which, as I remember, hight Coftard; (Coft. O me!) forted and con forted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with, with,- O with,- -but with this Ipaffion to say wherewith:
Coft. With a wench.
King. With a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or for thy more understanding, a woman; him, I (as my ever-esteem'd duty pricks me on) have fent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy fweet Grace's officer,
Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing and eftimation.
Dull. Me, an't fhall please you: I am Anthony Dull. King. For Jaquenetta, (fo is the weaker vessel call'd) which I apprehended with the aforefaid fwain, I keep her as a vaffal of thy law's fury, and fhall at the leaft of thy Sweet notice bring her to tryal. Thine in all complements of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty,
Don Adriano de Armado.
Biron. This is not fo well as I look'd for, but the beft that ever I heard.
King. Ay; the best for the worst. But, firrah, what say you to this?
Coft. Sir, I confefs the wench.
King. Did you hear the proclamation?
Coft. I do confefs much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.
King. It was proclaim'd a year's imprisonment to be taken with a wench.
Coft. I was taken with none, Sir, I was taken with a damofel.
King. Well, it was proclaimed damofel.
Coft. This was no damofel neither, Sir, fhe was a virgin.
King. It is fo varied too, for it was proclaim'd virgin. Coft. If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.
King. This maid will not ferve your turn, Sir.
King. Sir, I will pronounce fentence; you shall fast a week with bran and water.
Coft. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.
King. And Don Armado fhall be your keeper. My lord Biron, fee him deliver'd o'er,
And go we, lords, to put in practice that,
Which each to other hath fo ftrongly fworn. [Exe. Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat, Thefe oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn. Sirrah, come on.