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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 others as to me;
But, I believe, although I seem so loth,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted ?
King. 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 compliments, 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.

Long. Costard, the swain, and he shall be our sport;
And, so to study, three years is but short.

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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 :10 but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

Biron. This is he.

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Dull. Signior Arm-Arm-commends you. There's villany abroad ; this letter will tell you more.

Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.
King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having.11 God grant us patience !
Biron. To hear ? or forbear laughing ?12

Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately ; or to forbear both.

Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.13

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

Biron. In what manner ?

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her 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 ?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!

King. Will you hear this letter with attention ?
Biron. As we would hear an oracle.
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

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

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
King. So it is'-
Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true,

upon the

but so.

King. Peace!
Cost. Be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
King. No words !
Cost. Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome 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 ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But to the place, whereit 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,'

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Cost. Me.
King. —That unletter'd small-knowing soul,'
Cost. Me.
King. --That shallow vassal,'
Cost. Still me.
King. — Which, as I remember, hight Costard,'
Cost. O me!

King. Sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with—with—O with—but with this I passion to say wherewith,'

Cost. With a wench.

King. — 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, Antony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.'

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

King. For Jaquenetta (so is the weaker vessel called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain), I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty,

Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO.'

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

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

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.
King. Did you hear the proclamation ?

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

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

Cost. I was taken with none, sir; I was taken with a damosel.
King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel.
Cost. This was no damosel neither, sir; she was a virgin.
King. It is so varied too; for it was proclaimed, virgin.
Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity : I was taken with a maid.
King. This will not serve your turn, sir.
Cost. This will serve my turn, sir.

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

Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper.-
My Lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'er.---
And go we, lords, to put in practice that
Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.-

[Exeunt King, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN. Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,

These oaths and laws will prove an idle scom.Sirrah, come on. Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir: for true it is, I was taken with

Ι 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.

SCENE II.-Another part of the Park.

Enter ARMADO and Moth.15 Arm. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of great spirit grows melancholy?

Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
Arm. Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.
Moth. No, no; O lord, sir, no.

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

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

Arm. Why tough senior ? why tough senior ?
Moth. Why tender juvenal ? why tender juvenal ?

Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.

Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old time, which we may name tough.

Arm. Pretty and apt.

Moth. How mean you, sir; I pretty and my saying apt? or I apt and my saying pretty?

Arm. Thou pretty, because little.
Moth. Little pretty, because little ? Wherefore apt ?
Arm. And therefore apt, because quick.
Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master ?
Arm. In thy condign praise.
Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise.
Arm. What? that an eel is ingenious ?
Moth. That an eel is quick.

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

Moth. I am answered, sir.
Arm. I love not to be crossed.
Moth. He speaks the mere contrary-crosses love not him.16

[Aside.

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