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Enter Princess, and Ladies.
Prin. Weet 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.
Rof. Madam, came nothing else along with that?
Prin. Nothing but this ? yes, as much love in rhyme,
As would be cram'd up in a sheet of paper,
Writ on both sides the leaf, margent and all,
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.
Ref. That was the way to make his godhead wax,
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
Cath. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.
Rof. You'll ne'er be friends with him ; he kill'd your sister.
Cath. 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 The died.
And so may you ; for a light heart lives long.
Rol. What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?
Cath. A light condition, in a beauty dark.
Rof. We need more light to find your meaning out.
Cath. 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'th' dark.
Cath. So do not you ; for you are a light wench.
Ros. Indeed, I weigh not you, and therefore light.
Cath. You weigh me not; o, that's, you care not for me.
Rof. 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?
Rof. I would, you knew.
And 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 numb’ring too,
I were the faireft goddess on the ground.
I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs
0, he hath drawn my picture in his letter.
Prin. Any thing like?
Rof. Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
Prin. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.
Cath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book.
Rof: Ware pencils, ho ! let me not die your debter,
My red dominical, my golden letter!
0, that your face were not so full of O's!
Cath. Pox of that jest! and I beshrew all Ihrews.
Prin. But, Catharine, what was sent you from Dumain?
Cath. Madam, this glove.
Prin. Did he not send you twain ?
Cath. Yes, madam, that he did; and sent moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover: ·
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compil'd, profound fimplicity.
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longaville :
The letter is too long by half a mile.
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.
Rof. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
Thať same Biron I'll torture ere I go.
O, that I knew he were but in by th’ week !
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seck,
And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes,
Meaning to check Catharine for her painting, pencil being a painting-brush.
And shape his service all to my behests,
And make him proud to make me proud with jests :
So 'portent-like would I o’ersway, his state,
That he should be my fool, and I his fạte."
Prin. None are fo, surely caught, when they are catch'do
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.
Rof. The blood of youth burns not in such excefs,
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
Mar. Folly in fools bears, not so, ftrong a note, As fool’ry in the wise, when wit doth dote: Since all the power
, thereof it doth apply, To prove by wit worth in fimplicity.
Ş ÇENE IV.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth, is in his face.
Boyet. 0, I am stab’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 disguis’d,
Armed in arguments; you'll be surpriz’d;
Muster your wits, stand in your own defence,
your heads like cowards, and fly hence.
Prin. Saint Dennis, to faint Cupid ! what are they
That charge their breath against us? fay, scout, say.
Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore,
I thought to close mine eyes fome half an hour;
When, lo! to interrupt my purpos’d rest,
Toward that shade I might behold address’d
- Portents have been always look’d upon not only as the tokens and signals, but the instruments also, of destiny. See a note in Meas. for Meas. Aft. 3. Sc. I.
The king and his companions; warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
And over-heard, what you shall over-hear :
That, by and by, difguis’d they will be here.
Their hérald is a pretty knavifh page,
That well by heart hath conn’d his embaffage.
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 fhalt thou see;
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.
The boy reply'd, an angel is not evil ;
I should have fear'd her, had the been a devil.
With that all laugh’d, and clap’d. him on the shoulder,
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
One rubb’d his elbow thus; and feer’d, and swore,
A better speech was never spoke before.
Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cry’d, via! we will do't, come what will come.
The third he caper'd, and cry'd, all goes
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
To check their folly with passion's solemn tears.
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us ?
Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparel'd thus,
Like Muscovites, or Ruffans, as I guess.
Their purpose is to parley, 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 Biron take me for Rosaline.
And change your favours too, so shall your
loves Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.
Rof. Come on then; wear the favours most in sight.
Cath. 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 unbofom 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.
Rof. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Prin. No; to the death we will not move a foot ;
Nor to their pen'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. Sound.
Boyet. The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the maskers come.
S CE N E V.
Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, Dumain, and attendants,
disguis'd like Muscovites. Moth with mufick, as for a masquerade.
Moth. All hail the richest beauties on the earth !
Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffata.