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Writ on both sides the leaf, margent and all;
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.
Ros. That was the way to make his god-head wax ;*
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
Kath. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.
Ros. You'll ne'er be friends with him; he kill'd your sister.
Kath. 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 have been a grandam ere she died:
And so may you for a light heart lives long.
Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse,† of this light word?
Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark.
Ros. We need more light to find your meaning out.
Kath. You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff;‡
Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument.
Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i'the dark.
Kath. So do not you; for you are a light wench.
Ros. Indeed, I weigh not you; and therefore light.
Kath. You weigh me not-O, that's you care not for me.
Ros. Great reason: for, Past cure is still past care.
Prin. Well bandied both; a set§ of wit well play'd.
But, Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?
Ros. 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 Birón:
The numbers true; and were the numb'ring 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!
Prin. Anything like?
Ros. Much, in the letters; nothing in the praise.
Prin. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.
Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book.
Ros. 'Ware pencils! How, let me not die your debtor, My red dominical, my golden letter:
O, that your face were not so full of O's!
Kath. A pox of that jest!|| and beshrew all shrows!
Prin. But what has sent to you from fair Dumain?
Kath. Madam, this glove.
Prin. Did he not send you twain ?
Kath. Yes, madam; and, moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover:
A huge translation of hypocrisy.
Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longaville;
The letter is too long by half a mile.
† A term of endearment.
§ A term from tennis.
The small-pox, with which Katharine's face being pitted, made it "full
Prin. I think no less: Dost thou not wish in heart,
The chain were longer, and the letter short?
Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
Prin. We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so.
Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
That same Birón 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 behests;
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
So portent-like would I o'ersway his state,
That he should be my fool, and I his fate."
Prin. 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.
Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such excess,
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
Mar. 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.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
Boyet. O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace?
Prin. 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.
Prin. Saint Dennis 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 address'd
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:
* I. e. secured by hiring for a week.
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 check their folly, passion's solemn tears.
Prin. 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.
Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd :-
For, ladies, we will 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 Birón take me for Rosaline.-
And change you favours too; so shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.
Ros. Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.
Kath. But, in this changing, what is your intent?
Prin. 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 display'd, to talk, and greet.
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Prin. 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.
Prin. 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 the KING, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in Russian habits, and masked; MOTH, Musicians, and Attendants. Moth. "All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!" Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffata.* 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. "Their eyes," villain, "their eyes." Moth. That ever turned their eyes to mortal views! Out-"
Boyet. True; out, indeed.
Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
Not to behold
Biron. "Once to behold," rogue.
Moth. "Once to behold 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.
Ros. 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.
Ros. What would they, say they?
Boyet. Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
Ros. Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.
Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be gone.
King. Say to her, we have measured many miles,
To tread a measuret with her on this grass.
Boyet. They say, that they have measured many a mile, To tread a measure with you on this grass.
Ros. 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 do fill up one inile.
Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.
Boyet. She hears herself.
Ros. How many weary steps,
*I. e. their taffata masks.
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.
Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
King. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars to shine
(Those clouds removed), upon our wat❜ry eyne.*
Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.
King. Then, in our measure, do but vouchsafe one change: Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange.
Ros. Play, music, then: nay, you must do it soon. [Music plays. Not yet;-no dance:-thus change I like the moon.
King. Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged? Ros. You took the moon at full; but now she's changed. King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.
Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it.
King. But your legs should do it.
Ros. Since you are strangers, and come here by chance, We'll not be nice: take hands-we will not dance.
King. Why take we hands then?
Ros. Only to part friends
Court'sy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
King. More measure of this measure; be not nice.
Ros. We can afford no more at such a price.
King. Prize you yourselves; What buys your company?
Ros. Your absence only.
King. That can never be.
Ros. Then cannot we be bought: and so adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you!
King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.
Ros. In private then.
King. I am best pleased with that.
[They converse apart. Biron. White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee. Prin. 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.
Prin. Seventh sweet, adieu!
Since you can cog,† I'll play no more with you.
Biron. One word in secret.
Prin. Let it not be sweet.
Biron. Thou griev'st my gall.
Prin. Gall? bitter.
Biron. Therefore meet.
Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?
+ Falsify dice; lie.