Enter the Princess, Katharine, Rosaline, and Maria
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.
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.
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.
Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd. But Rosaline, you have a favour too: Who sent it? and what is it?
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!
'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!
Yes, madam, and moreover Some thousand verses of a faithful lover, A huge translation of hypocrisy, Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Enter Blackamoors with music; Moth; Ferdinand, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain, in Russian habits, and masked
A holy parcel of the fairest dames.
The Ladies turn their backs to him
That ever turn'd their—backs—to mortal views!
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.
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.
If to come hither you have measured miles, And many miles, the princess bids you tell How many inches doth fill up one mile.
How many weary steps, Of many weary miles you have o'ergone, Are number'd in the travel of one mile?
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.
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.
Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change. Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange.
Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.
Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.
Since you are strangers and come here by chance, We'll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.
They converse apart
Nay then, two treys, and if you grow so nice, Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice! There's half-a-dozen sweets.
They converse apart
They converse apart
Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks! Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.
They converse apart
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.
Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.
Exeunt Ferdinand, Lords, and Blackamoors
Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at?
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.
Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps. But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.
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.
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.
Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud; Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
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.
Re-enter Ferdinand, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain, in their proper habits
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
There, then, that vizard; that superfluous case That hid the worse and show'd the better face.
Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look you pale? Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.
Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.
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,—
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.
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.
We are shame-proof, my lord: and tis some policy To have one show worse than the king's and his company.
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.
Enter 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
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!
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.
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.
Enter Costard, for Pompey
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.
Enter Sir Nathaniel, for Alexander
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,—
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
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.
Judas I am,—
Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer. And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance.
Enter Don Adriano de Armado, for Hector
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,—
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.
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.
Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is quick by him and hanged for Pompey that is dead by him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You must be purged too, your sins are rack'd, You are attaint with faults and perjury: Therefore if you my favour mean to get, A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, But seek the weary beds of people sick.]
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.
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.
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.
To move wild laughter in the throat of death? It cannot be; it is impossible: Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
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.
Our wooing doth not end like an old play; Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy Might well have made our sport a comedy.
Re-enter 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.
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.
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!
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.
The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You that way: we this way.