LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST
Comments on this play
Enter FERDINAND king of Navarre, BIRON, LONGAVILLE and DUMAINFERDINAND
Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,LONGAVILLE
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavor of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors,--for so you are,
That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world's desires,--
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your names,
That his own hand may strike his honour down
That violates the smallest branch herein:
If you are arm'd to do as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
I am resolved; 'tis but a three years' fast:DUMAIN
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
My loving lord, Dumain is mortified:BIRON
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy.
I can but say their protestation over;FERDINAND
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, to live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances;
As, not to see a woman in that term,
Which I hope well is not enrolled there;
And one day in a week to touch no food
And but one meal on every day beside,
The which I hope is not enrolled there;
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night,
And not be seen to wink of all the day--
When I was wont to think no harm all night
And make a dark night too of half the day--
Which I hope well is not enrolled there:
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep!
Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.BIRON
Let me say no, my liege, an if you please:LONGAVILLE
I only swore to study with your grace
And stay here in your court for three years' space.
You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest.BIRON
By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.FERDINAND
What is the end of study? let me know.
Why, that to know, which else we should not know.BIRON
Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?FERDINAND
Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.BIRON
Come on, then; I will swear to study so,FERDINAND
To know the thing I am forbid to know:
As thus,--to study where I well may dine,
When I to feast expressly am forbid;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
When mistresses from common sense are hid;
Or, having sworn too hard a keeping oath,
Study to break it and not break my troth.
If study's gain be thus and this be so,
Study knows that which yet it doth not know:
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.
These be the stops that hinder study quiteBIRON
And train our intellects to vain delight.
Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,FERDINAND
Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
As, painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:
Light seeking light doth light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the eye indeed
By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed
And give him light that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun
That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks:
Small have continual plodders ever won
Save base authority from others' books
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
That give a name to every fixed star
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
And every godfather can give a name.
How well he's read, to reason against reading!DUMAIN
Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!LONGAVILLE
He weeds the corn and still lets grow the weeding.BIRON
The spring is near when green geese are a-breeding.DUMAIN
How follows that?BIRON
Fit in his place and time.DUMAIN
In reason nothing.BIRON
Something then in rhyme.FERDINAND
Biron is like an envious sneaping frost,BIRON
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
Well, say I am; why should proud summer boastFERDINAND
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.
So you, to study now it is too late,
Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.
Well, sit you out: go home, Biron: adieu.BIRON
No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you:FERDINAND
And though I have for barbarism spoke more
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper; let me read the same;
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.
How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!BIRON
[Reads] 'Item, That no woman shall come within aLONGAVILLE
mile of my court:' Hath this been proclaimed?
Four days ago.BIRON
Let's see the penalty.LONGAVILLE
Reads'On pain of losing her tongue.' Who devised this penalty?
Marry, that did I.BIRON
Sweet lord, and why?LONGAVILLE
To fright them hence with that dread penalty.BIRON
A dangerous law against gentility!FERDINAND
Reads'Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman
within the term of three years, he shall endure such
public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.'
This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For well you know here comes in embassy
The French king's daughter with yourself to speak--
A maid of grace and complete majesty--
About surrender up of Aquitaine
To her decrepit, sick and bedrid father:
Therefore this article is made in vain,
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.BIRON
So study evermore is overshot:FERDINAND
While it doth study to have what it would
It doth forget to do the thing it should,
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won as towns with fire, so won, so lost.
We must of force dispense with this decree;BIRON
She must lie here on mere necessity.
Necessity will make us all forswornFERDINAND
Three thousand times within this three years' space;
For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might master'd but by special grace:
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:
SubscribesAnd he that breaks them in the least degree
Stands in attainder of eternal shame:
Suggestions are to other as to me;
But I believe, although I seem so loath,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted?
Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is hauntedBIRON
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 complements, 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.
Armado is a most illustrious wight,LONGAVILLE
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;DULL
And so to study, three years is but short.
Enter DULL with a letter, and COSTARD
Which is the duke's own person?BIRON
This, fellow: what wouldst?DULL
I myself reprehend his own person, for I am hisBIRON
grace's tharborough: but I would see his own person
in flesh and blood.
This is he.DULL
Signior Arme--Arme--commends you. There's villanyCOSTARD
abroad: this letter will tell you more.
Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.FERDINAND
A letter from the magnificent Armado.BIRON
How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.LONGAVILLE
A high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!BIRON
To hear? or forbear laughing?LONGAVILLE
To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or toBIRON
Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause toCOSTARD
climb in the merriness.
The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.BIRON
The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
In what manner?COSTARD
In manner and form following, sir; all those three:BIRON
I was seen with her in the manor-house, sitting 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 some form.
For the following, sir?COSTARD
As it shall follow in my correction: and God defendFERDINAND
Will you hear this letter with attention?BIRON
As we would hear an oracle.COSTARD
Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.FERDINAND
[Reads] 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent andCOSTARD
sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god,
and body's fostering patron.'
Not a word of Costard yet.FERDINAND
[Reads] 'So it is,'--COSTARD
It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, inFERDINAND
telling true, but so.
Be to me and every man that dares not fight!FERDINAND
Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.FERDINAND
[Reads] 'So it is, besieged with sable-colouredCOSTARD
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 y-cleped thy park. Then
for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter
that obscene and 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 where; it 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,'--
[Reads] 'that unlettered small-knowing soul,'--COSTARD
[Reads] 'that shallow vassal,'--COSTARD
[Reads] 'which, as I remember, hight Costard,'--COSTARD
[Reads] 'sorted and consorted, contrary to thyCOSTARD
established proclaimed edict and continent canon,
which with,--O, with--but with this I passion to say
With a wench.FERDINAND
[Reads] 'with a child of our grandmother Eve, aDULL
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, Anthony
Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and
'Me, an't shall please you; I am Anthony Dull.FERDINAND
[Reads] 'For Jaquenetta,--so is the weaker vesselBIRON
called which I apprehended with the aforesaid
swain,--I keep her as a vessel of the 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.'
This is not so well as I looked for, but the bestFERDINAND
that ever I heard.
Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what sayCOSTARD
you to this?
Sir, I confess the wench.FERDINAND
Did you hear the proclamation?COSTARD
I do confess much of the hearing it but little ofFERDINAND
the marking of it.
It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, to be takenCOSTARD
with a wench.
I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damsel.FERDINAND
Well, it was proclaimed 'damsel.'COSTARD
This was no damsel, neither, sir; she was a virgin.FERDINAND
It is so varied, too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin.'COSTARD
If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.FERDINAND
This maid will not serve your turn, sir.COSTARD
This maid will serve my turn, sir.FERDINAND
Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fastCOSTARD
a week with bran and water.
I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.FERDINAND
And Don Armado shall be your keeper.BIRON
My Lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'er:
And go we, lords, to put in practise that
Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
Exeunt FERDINAND, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN
I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,COSTARD
These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
Sirrah, come on.
I suffer for the truth, sir; for true it is, I was
taken with 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!
ExeuntLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH
DONADRIANO DE ARMADO
Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spiritMOTH
A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.MOTH
No, no; O Lord, sir, no.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, myMOTH
By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Why tough senior? why tough senior?MOTH
Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epithetonMOTH
appertaining to thy young days, which we may
And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to yourARMADO
old time, which we may name tough.
DON ADRIANO DE
Pretty and apt.MOTH
How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? orADRIANO DE ARMADO
I apt, and my saying pretty?
Thou pretty, because little.MOTH
Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
And therefore apt, because quick.MOTH
Speak you this in my praise, master?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
In thy condign praise.MOTH
I will praise an eel with the same praise.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
What, that an eel is ingenious?MOTH
That an eel is quick.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I do say thou art quick in answers: thou heatest my blood.MOTH
I am answered, sir.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I love not to be crossed.MOTH
[Aside] He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love not him.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I have promised to study three years with the duke.MOTH
You may do it in an hour, sir.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
How many is one thrice told?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.MOTH
You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I confess both: they are both the varnish of aMOTH
Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum ofADRIANO DE ARMADO
deuce-ace amounts to.
It doth amount to one more than two.MOTH
Which the base vulgar do call three.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now hereADRIANO DE ARMADO
is three studied, ere ye'll thrice wink: and how
easy it is to put 'years' to the word 'three,' and
study three years in two words, the dancing horse
will tell you.
A most fine figure!MOTH
To prove you a cipher.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I will hereupon confess I am in love: and as it isMOTH
base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a
base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour
of affection would deliver me from the reprobate
thought of it, I would take Desire prisoner, and
ransom him to any French courtier for a new-devised
courtesy. I think scorn to sigh: methinks I should
outswear Cupid. Comfort, me, boy: what great men
have been in love?
Hercules, master.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, nameMOTH
more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good
repute and carriage.
Samson, master: he was a man of good carriage, greatADRIANO DE ARMADO
carriage, for he carried the town-gates on his back
like a porter: and he was in love.
O well-knit Samson! strong-jointed Samson! I doMOTH
excel thee in my rapier as much as thou didst me in
carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was Samson's
love, my dear Moth?
A woman, master.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Of what complexion?MOTH
Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Tell me precisely of what complexion.MOTH
Of the sea-water green, sir.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Is that one of the four complexions?MOTH
As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Green indeed is the colour of lovers; but to have aMOTH
love of that colour, methinks Samson had small reason
for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
My love is most immaculate white and red.MOTH
Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked underADRIANO DE ARMADO
Define, define, well-educated infant.MOTH
My father's wit and my mother's tongue, assist me!ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty andMOTH
If she be made of white and red,ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Her faults will ne'er be known,
For blushing cheeks by faults are bred
And fears by pale white shown:
Then if she fear, or be to blame,
By this you shall not know,
For still her cheeks possess the same
Which native she doth owe.
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
white and red.
Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?MOTH
The world was very guilty of such a ballad someADRIANO DE ARMADO
three ages since: but I think now 'tis not to be
found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for
the writing nor the tune.
I will have that subject newly writ o'er, that I mayMOTH
example my digression by some mighty precedent.
Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in the
park with the rational hind Costard: she deserves well.
[Aside] To be whipped; and yet a better love thanADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.MOTH
And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I say, sing.MOTH
Forbear till this company be past.DULL
Enter DULL, COSTARD, and JAQUENETTA
Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep CostardADRIANO DE ARMADO
safe: and you must suffer him to take no delight
nor no penance; but a' must fast three days a week.
For this damsel, I must keep her at the park: she
is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well.
I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!JAQUENETTA
Man?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I will visit thee at the lodge.JAQUENETTA
That's hereby.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I know where it is situate.JAQUENETTA
Lord, how wise you are!ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I will tell thee wonders.JAQUENETTA
With that face?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I love thee.JAQUENETTA
So I heard you say.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
And so, farewell.JAQUENETTA
Fair weather after you!DULL
Come, Jaquenetta, away!ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Exeunt DULL and JAQUENETTADON
Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thouCOSTARD
Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on aADRIANO DE ARMADO
Thou shalt be heavily punished.COSTARD
I am more bound to you than your fellows, for theyADRIANO DE ARMADO
are but lightly rewarded.
Take away this villain; shut him up.MOTH
Come, you transgressing slave; away!COSTARD
Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, being loose.MOTH
No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.COSTARD
Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolationMOTH
that I have seen, some shall see.
What shall some see?COSTARD
Nay, nothing, Master Moth, but what they look upon.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their
words; and therefore I will say nothing: I thank
God I have as little patience as another man; and
therefore I can be quiet.
Exeunt MOTH and COSTARDDON
I do affect the very ground, which is base, where
her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, which
is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, which
is a great argument of falsehood, if I love. And
how can that be true love which is falsely
attempted? Love is a familiar; Love is a devil:
there is no evil angel but Love. Yet was Samson so
tempted, and he had an excellent strength; yet was
Solomon so seduced, and he had a very good wit.
Cupid's butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules' club;
and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier.
The first and second cause will not serve my turn;
the passado he respects not, the duello he regards
not: his disgrace is to be called boy; but his
glory is to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust rapier!
be still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea,
he loveth. Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme,
for I am sure I shall turn sonnet. Devise, wit;
write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.
ExitLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter the PRINCESS of France, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, Lords, and other AttendantsBOYET
Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits:PRINCESS
Consider who the king your father sends,
To whom he sends, and what's his embassy:
Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem,
To parley with the sole inheritor
Of all perfections that a man may owe,
Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
As Nature was in making graces dear
When she did starve the general world beside
And prodigally gave them all to you.
Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,BOYET
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues:
I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
Than you much willing to be counted wise
In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
You are not ignorant, all-telling fame
Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow,
Till painful study shall outwear three years,
No woman may approach his silent court:
Therefore to's seemeth it a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness, we single you
As our best-moving fair solicitor.
Tell him, the daughter of the King of France,
On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
Importunes personal conference with his grace:
Haste, signify so much; while we attend,
Like humble-visaged suitors, his high will.
Proud of employment, willingly I go.PRINCESS
All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.First Lord
Exit BOYETWho are the votaries, my loving lords,
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
Lord Longaville is one.PRINCESS
Know you the man?MARIA
I know him, madam: at a marriage-feast,PRINCESS
Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized
In Normandy, saw I this Longaville:
A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd;
Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms:
Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss,
If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,
Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will;
Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
It should none spare that come within his power.
Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so?MARIA
They say so most that most his humours know.PRINCESS
Such short-lived wits do wither as they grow.KATHARINE
Who are the rest?
The young Dumain, a well-accomplished youth,ROSALINE
Of all that virtue love for virtue loved:
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alencon's once;
And much too little of that good I saw
Is my report to his great worthiness.
Another of these students at that timePRINCESS
Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
Biron they call him; but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal:
His eye begets occasion for his wit;
For every object that the one doth catch
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor,
Delivers in such apt and gracious words
That aged ears play truant at his tales
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
God bless my ladies! are they all in love,First Lord
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
Here comes Boyet.PRINCESS
Now, what admittance, lord?BOYET
Navarre had notice of your fair approach;FERDINAND
And he and his competitors in oath
Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady,
Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt:
He rather means to lodge you in the field,
Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
To let you enter his unpeopled house.
Here comes Navarre.
Enter FERDINAND, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BIRON, and Attendants
Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.PRINCESS
'Fair' I give you back again; and 'welcome' I haveFERDINAND
not yet: the roof of this court is too high to be
yours; and welcome to the wide fields too base to be mine.
You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.PRINCESS
I will be welcome, then: conduct me thither.FERDINAND
Hear me, dear lady; I have sworn an oath.PRINCESS
Our Lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn.FERDINAND
Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.PRINCESS
Why, will shall break it; will and nothing else.FERDINAND
Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.PRINCESS
Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,FERDINAND
Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
I hear your grace hath sworn out house-keeping:
Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
And sin to break it.
But pardon me. I am too sudden-bold:
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.PRINCESS
You will the sooner, that I were away;BIRON
For you'll prove perjured if you make me stay.
Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?ROSALINE
Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?BIRON
I know you did.ROSALINE
How needless was it then to ask the question!BIRON
You must not be so quick.ROSALINE
'Tis 'long of you that spur me with such questions.BIRON
Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.ROSALINE
Not till it leave the rider in the mire.BIRON
What time o' day?ROSALINE
The hour that fools should ask.BIRON
Now fair befall your mask!ROSALINE
Fair fall the face it covers!BIRON
And send you many lovers!ROSALINE
Amen, so you be none.BIRON
Nay, then will I be gone.FERDINAND
Madam, your father here doth intimatePRINCESS
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns;
Being but the one half of an entire sum
Disbursed by my father in his wars.
But say that he or we, as neither have,
Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid
A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which,
One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
Although not valued to the money's worth.
If then the king your father will restore
But that one half which is unsatisfied,
We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
For here he doth demand to have repaid
A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have his title live in Aquitaine;
Which we much rather had depart withal
And have the money by our father lent
Than Aquitaine so gelded as it is.
Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
A yielding 'gainst some reason in my breast
And go well satisfied to France again.
You do the king my father too much wrongFERDINAND
And wrong the reputation of your name,
In so unseeming to confess receipt
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.
I do protest I never heard of it;PRINCESS
And if you prove it, I'll repay it back
Or yield up Aquitaine.
We arrest your word.FERDINAND
Boyet, you can produce acquittances
For such a sum from special officers
Of Charles his father.
Satisfy me so.BOYET
So please your grace, the packet is not comeFERDINAND
Where that and other specialties are bound:
To-morrow you shall have a sight of them.
It shall suffice me: at which interviewPRINCESS
All liberal reason I will yield unto.
Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
As honour without breach of honour may
Make tender of to thy true worthiness:
You may not come, fair princess, in my gates;
But here without you shall be so received
As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,
Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell:
To-morrow shall we visit you again.
Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace!FERDINAND
Thy own wish wish I thee in every place!BIRON
Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.ROSALINE
Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.BIRON
I would you heard it groan.ROSALINE
Is the fool sick?BIRON
Sick at the heart.ROSALINE
Alack, let it blood.BIRON
Would that do it good?ROSALINE
My physic says 'ay.'BIRON
Will you prick't with your eye?ROSALINE
No point, with my knife.BIRON
Now, God save thy life!ROSALINE
And yours from long living!BIRON
I cannot stay thanksgiving.DUMAIN
Sir, I pray you, a word: what lady is that same?BOYET
The heir of Alencon, Katharine her name.DUMAIN
A gallant lady. Monsieur, fare you well.LONGAVILLE
I beseech you a word: what is she in the white?BOYET
A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.LONGAVILLE
Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.BOYET
She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a shame.LONGAVILLE
Pray you, sir, whose daughter?BOYET
Her mother's, I have heard.LONGAVILLE
God's blessing on your beard!BOYET
Good sir, be not offended.LONGAVILLE
She is an heir of Falconbridge.
Nay, my choler is ended.BOYET
She is a most sweet lady.
Not unlike, sir, that may be.BIRON
What's her name in the cap?BOYET
Rosaline, by good hap.BIRON
Is she wedded or no?BOYET
To her will, sir, or so.BIRON
You are welcome, sir: adieu.BOYET
Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.MARIA
That last is Biron, the merry madcap lord:BOYET
Not a word with him but a jest.
And every jest but a word.PRINCESS
It was well done of you to take him at his word.BOYET
I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.MARIA
Two hot sheeps, marry.BOYET
And wherefore not ships?MARIA
No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
You sheep, and I pasture: shall that finish the jest?BOYET
So you grant pasture for me.MARIA
Offering to kiss her
Not so, gentle beast:BOYET
My lips are no common, though several they be.
Belonging to whom?MARIA
To my fortunes and me.PRINCESS
Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree:BOYET
This civil war of wits were much better used
On Navarre and his book-men; for here 'tis abused.
If my observation, which very seldom lies,PRINCESS
By the heart's still rhetoric disclosed with eyes,
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
With that which we lovers entitle affected.PRINCESS
Why, all his behaviors did make their retirePRINCESS
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire:
His heart, like an agate, with your print impress'd,
Proud with his form, in his eye pride express'd:
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
All senses to that sense did make their repair,
To feel only looking on fairest of fair:
Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
Who, tendering their own worth from where they were glass'd,
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd:
His face's own margent did quote such amazes
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
I'll give you Aquitaine and all that is his,
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
Come to our pavilion: Boyet is disposed.BOYET
But to speak that in words which his eye hathROSALINE
I only have made a mouth of his eye,
By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
Thou art an old love-monger and speakest skilfully.MARIA
He is Cupid's grandfather and learns news of him.ROSALINE
Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is but grim.BOYET
Do you hear, my mad wenches?MARIA
What then, do you see?ROSALINE
Ay, our way to be gone.BOYET
You are too hard for me.
ExeuntLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH
DONADRIANO DE ARMADO
Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.MOTH
Concolinel.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet air! Go, tenderness of years; take this key,MOTH
give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately
hither: I must employ him in a letter to my love.
Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
How meanest thou? brawling in French?MOTH
No, my complete master: but to jig off a tune atADRIANO DE ARMADO
the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, humour
it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and
sing a note, sometime through the throat, as if you
swallowed love with singing love, sometime through
the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling
love; with your hat penthouse-like o'er the shop of
your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly
doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands in
your pocket like a man after the old painting; and
keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away.
These are complements, these are humours; these
betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without
these; and make them men of note--do you note
me?--that most are affected to these.
How hast thou purchased this experience?MOTH
By my penny of observation.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
But O,--but O,--MOTH
'The hobby-horse is forgot.'ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Callest thou my love 'hobby-horse'?MOTH
No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and yourADRIANO DE ARMADO
love perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
Almost I had.MOTH
Negligent student! learn her by heart.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
By heart and in heart, boy.MOTH
And out of heart, master: all those three I will prove.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
What wilt thou prove?MOTH
A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, uponADRIANO DE ARMADO
the instant: by heart you love her, because your
heart cannot come by her; in heart you love her,
because your heart is in love with her; and out of
heart you love her, being out of heart that you
cannot enjoy her.
I am all these three.MOTH
And three times as much more, and yet nothing atADRIANO DE ARMADO
Fetch hither the swain: he must carry me a letter.MOTH
A message well sympathized; a horse to be ambassadorADRIANO DE ARMADO
for an ass.
Ha, ha! what sayest thou?MOTH
Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,ADRIANO DE ARMADO
for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
The way is but short: away!MOTH
As swift as lead, sir.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The meaning, pretty ingenious?MOTH
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?
Minime, honest master; or rather, master, no.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I say lead is slow.MOTH
You are too swift, sir, to say so:ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
Sweet smoke of rhetoric!MOTH
He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he:
I shoot thee at the swain.
Thump then and I flee.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
A most acute juvenal; voluble and free of grace!MOTH
By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face:
Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place.
My herald is return'd.
Re-enter MOTH with COSTARD
A wonder, master! here's a costard broken in a shin.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Some enigma, some riddle: come, thy l'envoy; begin.COSTARD
No enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy; no salve in theADRIANO DE ARMADO
mail, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! no
l'envoy, no l'envoy; no salve, sir, but a plantain!
By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy sillyMOTH
thought my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes
me to ridiculous smiling. O, pardon me, my stars!
Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l'envoy, and
the word l'envoy for a salve?
Do the wise think them other? is not l'envoy a salve?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
No, page: it is an epilogue or discourse, to make plainMOTH
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
I will example it:
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
There's the moral. Now the l'envoy.
I will add the l'envoy. Say the moral again.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,MOTH
Were still at odds, being but three.
Until the goose came out of door,ADRIANO DE ARMADO
And stay'd the odds by adding four.
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
Until the goose came out of door,MOTH
Staying the odds by adding four.
A good l'envoy, ending in the goose: would youCOSTARD
The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that's flat.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and loose:
Let me see; a fat l'envoy; ay, that's a fat goose.
Come hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?MOTH
By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.COSTARD
Then call'd you for the l'envoy.
True, and I for a plantain: thus came yourADRIANO DE ARMADO
Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought;
And he ended the market.
But tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?MOTH
I will tell you sensibly.COSTARD
Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth: I will speak that l'envoy:ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I Costard, running out, that was safely within,
Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
We will talk no more of this matter.COSTARD
Till there be more matter in the shin.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.COSTARD
O, marry me to one Frances: I smell some l'envoy,ADRIANO DE ARMADO
some goose, in this.
By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,COSTARD
enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured,
restrained, captivated, bound.
True, true; and now you will be my purgation and let me loose.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and,MOTH
in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this:
bear this significant
Giving a letterto the country maid Jaquenetta:
there is remuneration; for the best ward of mine
honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.
Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.COSTARD
My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony Jew!BIRON
Exit MOTHNow will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration!
O, that's the Latin word for three farthings: three
farthings--remuneration.--'What's the price of this
inkle?'--'One penny.'--'No, I'll give you a
remuneration:' why, it carries it. Remuneration!
why, it is a fairer name than French crown. I will
never buy and sell out of this word.
O, my good knave Costard! exceedingly well met.COSTARD
Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a manBIRON
buy for a remuneration?
What is a remuneration?COSTARD
Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.BIRON
Why, then, three-farthing worth of silk.COSTARD
I thank your worship: God be wi' you!BIRON
Stay, slave; I must employ thee:COSTARD
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave,
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
When would you have it done, sir?BIRON
Well, I will do it, sir: fare you well.BIRON
Thou knowest not what it is.COSTARD
I shall know, sir, when I have done it.BIRON
Why, villain, thou must know first.COSTARD
I will come to your worship to-morrow morning.BIRON
It must be done this afternoon.COSTARD
Hark, slave, it is but this:
The princess comes to hunt here in the park,
And in her train there is a gentle lady;
When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
And Rosaline they call her: ask for her;
And to her white hand see thou do commend
This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon; go.
Giving him a shilling
Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration,BIRON
a'leven-pence farthing better: most sweet gardon! I
will do it sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration!
And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love's whip;
A very beadle to a humorous sigh;
A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;
A domineering pedant o'er the boy;
Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
This whimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy;
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
Sole imperator and great general
Of trotting 'paritors:--O my little heart:--
And I to be a corporal of his field,
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!
What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!
A woman, that is like a German clock,
Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watch'd that it may still go right!
Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all;
And, among three, to love the worst of all;
A wightly wanton with a velvet brow,
With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes;
Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard:
And I to sigh for her! to watch for her!
To pray for her! Go to; it is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect
Of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue and groan:
Some men must love my lady and some Joan.
ExitLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter the PRINCESS, and her train, a Forester, BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINEPRINCESS
Was that the king, that spurred his horse so hardBOYET
Against the steep uprising of the hill?
I know not; but I think it was not he.PRINCESS
Whoe'er a' was, a' show'd a mounting mind.Forester
Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch:
On Saturday we will return to France.
Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
That we must stand and play the murderer in?
Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;PRINCESS
A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,Forester
And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot.
Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.PRINCESS
What, what? first praise me and again say no?Forester
O short-lived pride! Not fair? alack for woe!
Yes, madam, fair.PRINCESS
Nay, never paint me now:Forester
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:
Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.PRINCESS
See see, my beauty will be saved by merit!BOYET
O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
But come, the bow: now mercy goes to kill,
And shooting well is then accounted ill.
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
And out of question so it is sometimes,
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart;
As I for praise alone now seek to spill
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.
Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereigntyPRINCESS
Only for praise sake, when they strive to be
Lords o'er their lords?
Only for praise: and praise we may affordBOYET
To any lady that subdues a lord.
Here comes a member of the commonwealth.COSTARD
God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?PRINCESS
Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.COSTARD
Which is the greatest lady, the highest?PRINCESS
The thickest and the tallest.COSTARD
The thickest and the tallest! it is so; truth is truth.PRINCESS
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickest here.
What's your will, sir? what's your will?COSTARD
I have a letter from Monsieur Biron to one Lady Rosaline.PRINCESS
O, thy letter, thy letter! he's a good friend of mine:BOYET
Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve;
Break up this capon.
I am bound to serve.PRINCESS
This letter is mistook, it importeth none here;
It is writ to Jaquenetta.
We will read it, I swear.BOYET
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.
'By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;PRINCESS
true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that
thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have
commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The
magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set
eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar
Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly say,
Veni, vidi, vici; which to annothanize in the
vulgar,--O base and obscure vulgar!--videlicet, He
came, saw, and overcame: he came, one; saw two;
overcame, three. Who came? the king: why did he
come? to see: why did he see? to overcome: to
whom came he? to the beggar: what saw he? the
beggar: who overcame he? the beggar. The
conclusion is victory: on whose side? the king's.
The captive is enriched: on whose side? the
beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial: on whose
side? the king's: no, on both in one, or one in
both. I am the king; for so stands the comparison:
thou the beggar; for so witnesseth thy lowliness.
Shall I command thy love? I may: shall I enforce
thy love? I could: shall I entreat thy love? I
will. What shalt thou exchange for rags? robes;
for tittles? titles; for thyself? me. Thus,
expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot,
my eyes on thy picture. and my heart on thy every
part. Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.'
Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play:
But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
Food for his rage, repasture for his den.
What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?BOYET
What vane? what weathercock? did you ever hear better?
I am much deceived but I remember the style.PRINCESS
Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.BOYET
This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;PRINCESS
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the prince and his bookmates.
Thou fellow, a word:COSTARD
Who gave thee this letter?
I told you; my lord.PRINCESS
To whom shouldst thou give it?COSTARD
From my lord to my lady.PRINCESS
From which lord to which lady?COSTARD
From my lord Biron, a good master of mine,PRINCESS
To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.BOYET
To ROSALINEHere, sweet, put up this: 'twill be thine another day.
Exeunt PRINCESS and train
Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?ROSALINE
Shall I teach you to know?BOYET
Ay, my continent of beauty.ROSALINE
Why, she that bears the bow.BOYET
Finely put off!
My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,ROSALINE
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!
Well, then, I am the shooter.BOYET
And who is your deer?ROSALINE
If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.MARIA
Finely put on, indeed!
You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikesBOYET
at the brow.
But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?ROSALINE
Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that wasBOYET
a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as
touching the hit it?
So I may answer thee with one as old, that was aROSALINE
woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
wench, as touching the hit it.
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,BOYET
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
An I cannot, cannot, cannot,COSTARD
An I cannot, another can.
Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE
By my troth, most pleasant: how both did fit it!MARIA
A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.BOYET
A mark! O, mark but that mark! A mark, says my lady!MARIA
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.
Wide o' the bow hand! i' faith, your hand is out.COSTARD
Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.BOYET
An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.COSTARD
Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.MARIA
Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.COSTARD
She's too hard for you at pricks, sir: challenge her to bowl.BOYET
I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.COSTARD
Exeunt BOYET and MARIA
By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown!
Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down!
O' my troth, most sweet jests! most incony
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
were, so fit.
Armado o' th' one side,--O, a most dainty man!
To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a'
And his page o' t' other side, that handful of wit!
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
Exit COSTARD, runningLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULLSIR NATHANIEL
Very reverend sport, truly; and done in the testimonyHOLOFERNES
of a good conscience.
The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in blood; ripeSIR NATHANIEL
as the pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in
the ear of caelo, the sky, the welkin, the heaven;
and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra,
the soil, the land, the earth.
Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetlyHOLOFERNES
varied, like a scholar at the least: but, sir, I
assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.
Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.DULL
'Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.HOLOFERNES
Most barbarous intimation! yet a kind ofDULL
insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of
explication; facere, as it were, replication, or
rather, ostentare, to show, as it were, his
inclination, after his undressed, unpolished,
uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or rather,
unlettered, or ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to
insert again my haud credo for a deer.
I said the deer was not a haud credo; twas a pricket.HOLOFERNES
Twice-sod simplicity, his coctus!SIR NATHANIEL
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!
Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bredDULL
in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he
hath not drunk ink: his intellect is not
replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in
the duller parts:
And such barren plants are set before us, that we
thankful should be,
Which we of taste and feeling are, for those parts that
do fructify in us more than he.
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool,
So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school:
But omne bene, say I; being of an old father's mind,
Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
You two are book-men: can you tell me by your witHOLOFERNES
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not five
weeks old as yet?
Dictynna, goodman Dull; Dictynna, goodman Dull.DULL
What is Dictynna?SIR NATHANIEL
A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.HOLOFERNES
The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,DULL
And raught not to five weeks when he came to
The allusion holds in the exchange.
'Tis true indeed; the collusion holds in the exchange.HOLOFERNES
God comfort thy capacity! I say, the allusion holdsDULL
in the exchange.
And I say, the pollusion holds in the exchange; forHOLOFERNES
the moon is never but a month old: and I say beside
that, 'twas a pricket that the princess killed.
Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaphSIR NATHANIEL
on the death of the deer? And, to humour the
ignorant, call I the deer the princess killed a pricket.
Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge; so it shallHOLOFERNES
please you to abrogate scurrility.
I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.SIR NATHANIEL
The preyful princess pierced and prick'd a pretty
Some say a sore; but not a sore, till now made
sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell: put L to sore, then sorel jumps
Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores
Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.
A rare talent!DULL
[Aside] If a talent be a claw, look how he clawsHOLOFERNES
him with a talent.
This is a gift that I have, simple, simple; aSIR NATHANIEL
foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures,
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions,
revolutions: these are begot in the ventricle of
memory, nourished in the womb of pia mater, and
delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But the
gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am
thankful for it.
Sir, I praise the Lord for you; and so may myHOLOFERNES
parishioners; for their sons are well tutored by
you, and their daughters profit very greatly under
you: you are a good member of the commonwealth.
Mehercle, if their sons be ingenuous, they shallJAQUENETTA
want no instruction; if their daughters be capable,
I will put it to them: but vir sapit qui pauca
loquitur; a soul feminine saluteth us.
Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD
God give you good morrow, master Parson.HOLOFERNES
Master Parson, quasi pers-on. An if one should beCOSTARD
pierced, which is the one?
Marry, master schoolmaster, he that is likest to a hogshead.HOLOFERNES
Piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of conceit in aJAQUENETTA
tuft of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough
for a swine: 'tis pretty; it is well.
Good master Parson, be so good as read me thisHOLOFERNES
letter: it was given me by Costard, and sent me
from Don Armado: I beseech you, read it.
Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbraSIR NATHANIEL
Ruminat,--and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I
may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice;
Chi non ti vede non ti pretia.
Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! who understandeth thee
not, loves thee not. Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa.
Under pardon, sir, what are the contents? or rather,
as Horace says in his--What, my soul, verses?
Ay, sir, and very learned.HOLOFERNES
Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.SIR NATHANIEL
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd!
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove:
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like
Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
Where all those pleasures live that art would
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;
Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire:
Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
Which not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, O, pardon, love, this wrong,
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.
You find not the apostraphas, and so miss theJAQUENETTA
accent: let me supervise the canzonet. Here are
only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy,
facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret.
Ovidius Naso was the man: and why, indeed, Naso,
but for smelling out the odouriferous flowers of
fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari is nothing:
so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper,
the tired horse his rider. But, damosella virgin,
was this directed to you?
Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron, one of the strangeHOLOFERNES
I will overglance the superscript: 'To theJAQUENETTA
snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady
Rosaline.' I will look again on the intellect of
the letter, for the nomination of the party writing
to the person written unto: 'Your ladyship's in all
desired employment, BIRON.' Sir Nathaniel, this
Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here
he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger
queen's, which accidentally, or by the way of
progression, hath miscarried. Trip and go, my
sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the
king: it may concern much. Stay not thy
compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu.
Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!COSTARD
Have with thee, my girl.SIR NATHANIEL
Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA
Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, veryHOLOFERNES
religiously; and, as a certain father saith,--
Sir tell me not of the father; I do fear colourableSIR NATHANIEL
colours. But to return to the verses: did they
please you, Sir Nathaniel?
Marvellous well for the pen.HOLOFERNES
I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupilSIR NATHANIEL
of mine; where, if, before repast, it shall please
you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my
privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid
child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where I
will prove those verses to be very unlearned,
neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention: I
beseech your society.
And thank you too; for society, saith the text, isHOLOFERNES
the happiness of life.
And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.
To DULLSir, I do invite you too; you shall not
say me nay: pauca verba. Away! the gentles are at
their game, and we will to our recreation.
ExeuntLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter BIRON, with a paperBIRON
The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursingFERDINAND
myself: they have pitched a toil; I am toiling in
a pitch,--pitch that defiles: defile! a foul
word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so they say
the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool: well
proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as
Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep:
well proved again o' my side! I will not love: if
I do, hang me; i' faith, I will not. O, but her
eye,--by this light, but for her eye, I would not
love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing
in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By
heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme
and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme,
and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my
sonnets already: the clown bore it, the fool sent
it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter
fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care
a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one
with a paper: God give him grace to groan!
Enter FERDINAND, with a paper
[Aside] Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid:FERDINAND
thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the
left pap. In faith, secrets!
So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows:
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep:
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my grief will show:
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper:
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
Steps asideWhat, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear.
Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!LONGAVILLE
Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper
Ay me, I am forsworn!BIRON
Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.FERDINAND
In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!BIRON
One drunkard loves another of the name.LONGAVILLE
Am I the first that have been perjured so?BIRON
I could put thee in comfort. Not by two that I know:LONGAVILLE
Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
The shape of Love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.
I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move:BIRON
O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose:LONGAVILLE
Disfigure not his slop.
This same shall go.BIRON
ReadsDid not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me.
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is:
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
Exhalest this vapour-vow; in thee it is:
If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise?
This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity,LONGAVILLE
A green goose a goddess: pure, pure idolatry.
God amend us, God amend! we are much out o' the way.
By whom shall I send this?--Company! stay.BIRON
All hid, all hid; an old infant play.DUMAIN
Like a demigod here sit I in the sky.
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'ereye.
More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!
Enter DUMAIN, with a paperDumain transform'd! four woodcocks in a dish!
O most divine Kate!BIRON
O most profane coxcomb!DUMAIN
By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!BIRON
By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie.DUMAIN
Her amber hair for foul hath amber quoted.BIRON
An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.DUMAIN
As upright as the cedar.BIRON
Stoop, I say;DUMAIN
Her shoulder is with child.
As fair as day.BIRON
Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.DUMAIN
O that I had my wish!LONGAVILLE
And I had mine!FERDINAND
And I mine too, good Lord!BIRON
Amen, so I had mine: is not that a good word?DUMAIN
I would forget her; but a fever sheBIRON
Reigns in my blood and will remember'd be.
A fever in your blood! why, then incisionDUMAIN
Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision!
Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.BIRON
Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.DUMAIN
On a day--alack the day!--
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
For none offend where all alike do dote.
[Advancing] Dumain, thy love is far from charity.FERDINAND
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o'erheard and taken napping so.
[Advancing] Come, sir, you blush; as his your case is such;BIRON
You chide at him, offending twice as much;
You do not love Maria; Longaville
Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
I have been closely shrouded in this bush
And mark'd you both and for you both did blush:
I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion:
Ay me! says one; O Jove! the other cries;
One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes:
To LONGAVILLEYou would for paradise break faith, and troth;
To DUMAINAnd Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
What will Biron say when that he shall hear
Faith so infringed, which such zeal did swear?
How will he scorn! how will he spend his wit!
How will he triumph, leap and laugh at it!
For all the wealth that ever I did see,
I would not have him know so much by me.
Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.FERDINAND
AdvancingAh, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me!
Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
These worms for loving, that art most in love?
Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
There is no certain princess that appears;
You'll not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing;
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
But are you not ashamed? nay, are you not,
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot?
You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
But I a beam do find in each of three.
O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow and of teen!
O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
To see a king transformed to a gnat!
To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
Where lies thy grief, O, tell me, good Dumain?
And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
And where my liege's? all about the breast:
A caudle, ho!
Too bitter is thy jest.BIRON
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view?
Not you to me, but I betray'd by you:FERDINAND
I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin
To break the vow I am engaged in;
I am betray'd, by keeping company
With men like men of inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
Or groan for love? or spend a minute's time
In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
A leg, a limb?
Soft! whither away so fast?BIRON
A true man or a thief that gallops so?
I post from love: good lover, let me go.JAQUENETTA
Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD
God bless the king!FERDINAND
What present hast thou there?COSTARD
Some certain treason.FERDINAND
What makes treason here?COSTARD
Nay, it makes nothing, sir.FERDINAND
If it mar nothing neither,JAQUENETTA
The treason and you go in peace away together.
I beseech your grace, let this letter be read:FERDINAND
Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.
Biron, read it over.JAQUENETTA
Giving him the paperWhere hadst thou it?
Where hadst thou it?COSTARD
Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.FERDINAND
BIRON tears the letter
How now! what is in you? why dost thou tear it?BIRON
A toy, my liege, a toy: your grace needs not fear it.LONGAVILLE
It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.DUMAIN
It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.BIRON
Gathering up the pieces
[To COSTARD] Ah, you whoreson loggerhead! you wereFERDINAND
born to do me shame.
Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess.
That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up the mess:DUMAIN
He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I,
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
Now the number is even.BIRON
True, true; we are four.FERDINAND
Will these turtles be gone?
Hence, sirs; away!COSTARD
Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.BIRON
Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA
Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!FERDINAND
As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?BIRON
Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,FERDINAND
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
Bows not his vassal head and strucken blind
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
That is not blinded by her majesty?
What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?BIRON
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
She an attending star, scarce seen a light.
My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron:FERDINAND
O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty
Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek,
Where several worthies make one dignity,
Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,--
Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not:
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs,
She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy:
O, 'tis the sun that maketh all things shine.
By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.BIRON
Is ebony like her? O wood divine!FERDINAND
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:
No face is fair that is not full so black.
O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,BIRON
The hue of dungeons and the suit of night;
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.
Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.DUMAIN
O, if in black my lady's brows be deck'd,
It mourns that painting and usurping hair
Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
And therefore is she born to make black fair.
Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
For native blood is counted painting now;
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.LONGAVILLE
And since her time are colliers counted bright.FERDINAND
And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.DUMAIN
Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.BIRON
Your mistresses dare never come in rain,FERDINAND
For fear their colours should be wash'd away.
'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,BIRON
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.
I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.FERDINAND
No devil will fright thee then so much as she.DUMAIN
I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.LONGAVILLE
Look, here's thy love: my foot and her face see.BIRON
O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,DUMAIN
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread!
O, vile! then, as she goes, what upward liesFERDINAND
The street should see as she walk'd overhead.
But what of this? are we not all in love?BIRON
Nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn.FERDINAND
Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now proveDUMAIN
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil.LONGAVILLE
O, some authority how to proceed;DUMAIN
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
Some salve for perjury.BIRON
'Tis more than need.FERDINAND
Have at you, then, affection's men at arms.
Consider what you first did swear unto,
To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young;
And abstinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
In that each of you have forsworn his book,
Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of study's excellence
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive; They are the ground, the books, the academes From whence doth spring the true Promethean fireWhy, universal plodding poisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries,
As motion and long-during action tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes
And study too, the causer of your vow;
For where is any author in the world
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself
And where we are our learning likewise is:
Then when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
Do we not likewise see our learning there?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
Of beauty's tutors have enrich'd you with?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;
And therefore, finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil:
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain;
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world:
Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
Then fools you were these women to forswear,
Or keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love,
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men,
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men,
Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
It is religion to be thus forsworn,
For charity itself fulfills the law,
And who can sever love from charity?
Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!BIRON
Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;LONGAVILLE
Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advised,
In conflict that you get the sun of them.
Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:FERDINAND
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
And win them too: therefore let us deviseBIRON
Some entertainment for them in their tents.
First, from the park let us conduct them thither;FERDINAND
Then homeward every man attach the hand
Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon
We will with some strange pastime solace them,
Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
For revels, dances, masks and merry hours
Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.
Away, away! no time shall be omittedBIRON
That will betime, and may by us be fitted.
Allons! allons! Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;
And justice always whirls in equal measure:
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
ExeuntLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULLHOLOFERNES
Satis quod sufficit.SIR NATHANIEL
I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinnerHOLOFERNES
have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without
scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without
impudency, learned without opinion, and strange with-
out heresy. I did converse this quondam day with
a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nomi-
nated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.
Novi hominem tanquam te: his humour is lofty, hisSIR NATHANIEL
discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye
ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is
too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it
were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.
A most singular and choice epithet.HOLOFERNES
Draws out his table-book
He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finerSIR NATHANIEL
than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and
point-devise companions; such rackers of
orthography, as to speak dout, fine, when he should
say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt,--d,
e, b, t, not d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf;
half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebor; neigh
abbreviated ne. This is abhominable,--which he
would call abbominable: it insinuateth me of
insanie: anne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.
Laus Deo, bene intelligo.HOLOFERNES
Bon, bon, fort bon, Priscian! a little scratch'd,SIR NATHANIEL
Videsne quis venit?HOLOFERNES
Video, et gaudeo.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, MOTH, and COSTARDDON
Quare chirrah, not sirrah?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Men of peace, well encountered.HOLOFERNES
Most military sir, salutation.MOTH
[Aside to COSTARD] They have been at a great feastCOSTARD
of languages, and stolen the scraps.
O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words.MOTH
I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
swallowed than a flap-dragon.
Peace! the peal begins.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
[To HOLOFERNES] Monsieur, are you not lettered?MOTH
Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a,HOLOFERNES
b, spelt backward, with the horn on his head?
Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.MOTH
Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his learning.HOLOFERNES
Quis, quis, thou consonant?MOTH
The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; orHOLOFERNES
the fifth, if I.
I will repeat them,--a, e, i,--MOTH
The sheep: the other two concludes it,--o, u.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweetMOTH
touch, a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick and
home! it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit!
Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.HOLOFERNES
What is the figure? what is the figure?MOTH
Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.MOTH
Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip aboutCOSTARD
your infamy circum circa,--a gig of a cuckold's horn.
An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldstHOLOFERNES
have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very
remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny
purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an
the heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my
bastard, what a joyful father wouldst thou make me!
Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers'
ends, as they say.
O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Arts-man, preambulate, we will be singled from theHOLOFERNES
barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the
charge-house on the top of the mountain?
Or mons, the hill.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.HOLOFERNES
I do, sans question.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure andHOLOFERNES
affection to congratulate the princess at her
pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the
rude multitude call the afternoon.
The posterior of the day, most generous sir, isADRIANO DE ARMADO
liable, congruent and measurable for the afternoon:
the word is well culled, chose, sweet and apt, I do
assure you, sir, I do assure.
Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my familiar,HOLOFERNES
I do assure ye, very good friend: for what is
inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech thee,
remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee, apparel thy
head: and among other important and most serious
designs, and of great import indeed, too, but let
that pass: for I must tell thee, it will please his
grace, by the world, sometime to lean upon my poor
shoulder, and with his royal finger, thus, dally
with my excrement, with my mustachio; but, sweet
heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no
fable: some certain special honours it pleaseth his
greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of
travel, that hath seen the world; but let that pass.
The very all of all is,--but, sweet heart, I do
implore secrecy,--that the king would have me
present the princess, sweet chuck, with some
delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or
antique, or firework. Now, understanding that the
curate and your sweet self are good at such
eruptions and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it
were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to
crave your assistance.
Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies.SIR NATHANIEL
Sir, as concerning some entertainment of time, some
show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by
our assistants, at the king's command, and this most
gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman, before
the princess; I say none so fit as to present the
Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?HOLOFERNES
Joshua, yourself; myself and this gallant gentleman,ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the
Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough forHOLOFERNES
that Worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.
Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules inMOTH
minority: his enter and exit shall be strangling a
snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.
An excellent device! so, if any of the audienceADRIANO DE ARMADO
hiss, you may cry 'Well done, Hercules! now thou
crushest the snake!' that is the way to make an
offence gracious, though few have the grace to do it.
For the rest of the Worthies?--HOLOFERNES
I will play three myself.MOTH
Thrice-worthy gentleman!ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Shall I tell you a thing?HOLOFERNES
We attend.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
We will have, if this fadge not, an antique. IHOLOFERNES
beseech you, follow.
Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.DULL
Nor understood none neither, sir.HOLOFERNES
Allons! we will employ thee.DULL
I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will playHOLOFERNES
On the tabour to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.
Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away!
ExeuntLOVE'S LABOURS LOST
Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE, and MARIAPRINCESS
Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,ROSALINE
If fairings come thus plentifully in:
A lady wall'd about with diamonds!
Look you what I have from the loving king.
Madame, came nothing else along with that?PRINCESS
Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rhymeROSALINE
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.
That was the way to make his godhead wax,KATHARINE
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.ROSALINE
You'll ne'er be friends with him; a' kill'd your sister.KATHARINE
He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy;ROSALINE
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.
What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?KATHARINE
A light condition in a beauty dark.ROSALINE
We need more light to find your meaning out.KATHARINE
You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff;ROSALINE
Therefore I'll darkly end the argument.
Look what you do, you do it still i' the dark.KATHARINE
So do not you, for you are a light wench.ROSALINE
Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light.KATHARINE
You weigh me not? O, that's you care not for me.ROSALINE
Great reason; for 'past cure is still past care.'PRINCESS
Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd.ROSALINE
But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?
I would you knew:PRINCESS
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!
Any thing like?ROSALINE
Much in the letters; nothing in the praise.PRINCESS
Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.KATHARINE
Fair as a text B in a copy-book.ROSALINE
'Ware pencils, ho! let me not die your debtor,KATHARINE
My red dominical, my golden letter:
O, that your face were not so full of O's!
A pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows.PRINCESS
But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumain?KATHARINE
Madam, this glove.PRINCESS
Did he not send you twain?KATHARINE
Yes, madam, and moreoverMARIA
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover,
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.
This and these pearls to me sent Longaville:PRINCESS
The letter is too long by half a mile.
I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heartMARIA
The chain were longer and the letter short?
Ay, or I would these hands might never part.PRINCESS
We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.ROSALINE
They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.PRINCESS
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,ROSALINE
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.
The blood of youth burns not with such excessMARIA
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
Folly in fools bears not so strong a notePRINCESS
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;
Since all the power thereof it doth apply
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.
Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.BOYET
O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace?PRINCESS
Thy news Boyet?BOYET
Prepare, madam, prepare!PRINCESS
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 theyBOYET
That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
Under the cool shade of a sycamorePRINCESS
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.
But what, but what, come they to visit us?BOYET
They do, they do: and are apparell'd thus.PRINCESS
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;ROSALINE
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.
Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.KATHARINE
But in this changing what is your intent?PRINCESS
The effect of my intent is to cross theirs:ROSALINE
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.
But shall we dance, if they desire to't?PRINCESS
No, to the death, we will not move a foot;BOYET
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace,
But while 'tis spoke each turn away her face.
Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart,PRINCESS
And quite divorce his memory from his part.
Therefore I do it; and I make no doubtBOYET
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
The trumpet sounds: be mask'd; the maskers come.MOTH
The Ladies mask
Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in Russian habits, and masked
All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!--BOYET
Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.MOTH
A holy parcel of the fairest dames.BIRON
The Ladies turn their backs to himThat ever turn'd their--backs--to mortal views!
[Aside to MOTH] Their eyes, villain, their eyes!MOTH
That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!--Out--BOYET
True; out indeed.MOTH
Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafeBIRON
Not to behold--
[Aside to MOTH] Once to behold, rogue.MOTH
Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,BOYET
--with your sun-beamed eyes--
They will not answer to that epithet;MOTH
You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.'
They do not mark me, and that brings me out.BIRON
Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue!ROSALINE
What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet:BOYET
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will:
That some plain man recount their purposes
Know what they would.
What would you with the princess?BIRON
Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.ROSALINE
What would they, say they?BOYET
Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.ROSALINE
Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.BOYET
She says, you have it, and you may be gone.FERDINAND
Say to her, we have measured many milesBOYET
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
They say, that they have measured many a mileROSALINE
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
It is not so. Ask them how many inchesBOYET
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,BIRON
And many miles, the princess bids you tell
How many inches doth fill up one mile.
Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.BOYET
She hears herself.ROSALINE
How many weary steps,BIRON
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:ROSALINE
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.
My face is but a moon, and clouded too.FERDINAND
Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!ROSALINE
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.
O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;FERDINAND
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.
Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.ROSALINE
Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange.
Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.FERDINAND
Music playsNot yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.
Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?ROSALINE
You took the moon at full, but now she's changed.FERDINAND
Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.ROSALINE
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.
Our ears vouchsafe it.FERDINAND
But your legs should do it.ROSALINE
Since you are strangers and come here by chance,FERDINAND
We'll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.
Why take we hands, then?ROSALINE
Only to part friends:FERDINAND
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
More measure of this measure; be not nice.ROSALINE
We can afford no more at such a price.FERDINAND
Prize you yourselves: what buys your company?ROSALINE
Your absence only.FERDINAND
That can never be.ROSALINE
Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;FERDINAND
Twice to your visor, and half once to you.
If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.ROSALINE
In private, then.FERDINAND
I am best pleased with that.BIRON
They converse apart
White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.PRINCESS
Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.BIRON
Nay then, two treys, and if you grow so nice,PRINCESS
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
There's half-a-dozen sweets.
Seventh sweet, adieu:BIRON
Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.
One word in secret.PRINCESS
Let it not be sweet.BIRON
Thou grievest my gall.PRINCESS
They converse apart
Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?MARIA
Say you so? Fair lord,--DUMAIN
Take that for your fair lady.
Please it you,KATHARINE
As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
They converse apart
What, was your vizard made without a tongue?LONGAVILLE
I know the reason, lady, why you ask.KATHARINE
O for your reason! quickly, sir; I long.LONGAVILLE
You have a double tongue within your mask,KATHARINE
And would afford my speechless vizard half.
Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not 'veal' a calf?LONGAVILLE
A calf, fair lady!KATHARINE
No, a fair lord calf.LONGAVILLE
Let's part the word.KATHARINE
No, I'll not be your halfLONGAVILLE
Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.
Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks!KATHARINE
Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.
Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.LONGAVILLE
One word in private with you, ere I die.KATHARINE
Bleat softly then; the butcher hears you cry.BOYET
They converse apart
The tongues of mocking wenches are as keenROSALINE
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.
Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.BIRON
By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!FERDINAND
Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.PRINCESS
Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.BOYET
Exeunt FERDINAND, Lords, and BlackamoorsAre these the breed of wits so wonder'd at?
Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out.ROSALINE
Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.PRINCESS
O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!ROSALINE
Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?
Or ever, but in vizards, show their faces?
This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.
O, they were all in lamentable cases!PRINCESS
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Biron did swear himself out of all suit.MARIA
Dumain was at my service, and his sword:KATHARINE
No point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute.
Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart;PRINCESS
And trow you what he called me?
Yes, in good faith.PRINCESS
Go, sickness as thou art!ROSALINE
Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.PRINCESS
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.
And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me.KATHARINE
And Longaville was for my service born.MARIA
Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree.BOYET
Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear:PRINCESS
Immediately they will again be here
In their own shapes; for it can never be
They will digest this harsh indignity.
Will they return?BOYET
They will, they will, God knows,PRINCESS
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.
How blow? how blow? speak to be understood.BOYET
Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud;PRINCESS
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do,ROSALINE
If they return in their own shapes to woo?
Good madam, if by me you'll be advised,BOYET
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.
Ladies, withdraw: the gallants are at hand.PRINCESS
Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er land.FERDINAND
Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, and MARIA
Re-enter FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in their proper habits
Fair sir, God save you! Where's the princess?BOYET
Gone to her tent. Please it your majestyFERDINAND
Command me any service to her thither?
That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.BOYET
I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.BIRON
This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease,FERDINAND
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.
A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,BIRON
That put Armado's page out of his part!
See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thouFERDINAND
Till this madman show'd thee? and what art thou now?
Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE
All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!PRINCESS
'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive.FERDINAND
Construe my speeches better, if you may.PRINCESS
Then wish me better; I will give you leave.FERDINAND
We came to visit you, and purpose nowPRINCESS
To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.
This field shall hold me; and so hold your vow:FERDINAND
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjured men.
Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:PRINCESS
The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
You nickname virtue; vice you should have spoke;FERDINAND
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.
O, you have lived in desolation here,PRINCESS
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;FERDINAND
We have had pastimes here and pleasant game:
A mess of Russians left us but of late.
How, madam! Russians!PRINCESS
Ay, in truth, my lord;ROSALINE
Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.
Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord:BIRON
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,ROSALINE
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.
This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye,--BIRON
I am a fool, and full of poverty.ROSALINE
But that you take what doth to you belong,BIRON
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
O, I am yours, and all that I possess!ROSALINE
All the fool mine?BIRON
I cannot give you less.ROSALINE
Which of the vizards was it that you wore?BIRON
Where? when? what vizard? why demand you this?ROSALINE
There, then, that vizard; that superfluous caseFERDINAND
That hid the worse and show'd the better face.
We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.DUMAIN
Let us confess and turn it to a jest.PRINCESS
Amazed, my lord? why looks your highness sad?ROSALINE
Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look you pale?BIRON
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.Here stand I
Can any face of brass hold longer out?
lady, dart thy skill at me;ROSALINE
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.
Sans sans, I pray you.BIRON
Yet I have a trickPRINCESS
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.
No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.BIRON
Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us.ROSALINE
It is not so; for how can this be true,BIRON
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
Peace! for I will not have to do with you.ROSALINE
Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.BIRON
Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.FERDINAND
Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgressionPRINCESS
Some fair excuse.
The fairest is confession.FERDINAND
Were not you here but even now disguised?
Madam, I was.PRINCESS
And were you well advised?FERDINAND
I was, fair madam.PRINCESS
When you then were here,FERDINAND
What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
That more than all the world I did respect her.PRINCESS
When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.FERDINAND
Upon mine honour, no.PRINCESS
Peace, peace! forbear:FERDINAND
Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.PRINCESS
I will: and therefore keep it. Rosaline,ROSALINE
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
Madam, he swore that he did hold me dearPRINCESS
As precious eyesight, and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto moreover
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
God give thee joy of him! the noble lordFERDINAND
Most honourably doth unhold his word.
What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,ROSALINE
I never swore this lady such an oath.
By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain,FERDINAND
You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.
My faith and this the princess I did give:PRINCESS
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;BIRON
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.BOYET
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
To BOYETForestall 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.
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.
Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.COSTARD
Enter COSTARDWelcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.
O Lord, sir, they would knowBIRON
Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.
What, are there but three?COSTARD
No, sir; but it is vara fine,BIRON
For every one pursents three.
And three times thrice is nine.COSTARD
Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope it is not so.BIRON
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir we know
what we know:
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,--
Is not nine.COSTARD
Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount.BIRON
By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.COSTARD
O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your livingBIRON
by reckoning, sir.
How much is it?COSTARD
O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors,BIRON
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.
Art thou one of the Worthies?COSTARD
It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion theBIRON
Great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of
the Worthy, but I am to stand for him.
Go, bid them prepare.COSTARD
We will turn it finely off, sir; we will takeFERDINAND
Biron, they will shame us: let them not approach.BIRON
We are shame-proof, my lord: and tis some policyFERDINAND
To have one show worse than the king's and his company.
I say they shall not come.PRINCESS
Nay, my good lord, let me o'errule you now:BIRON
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.
A right description of our sport, my lord.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADODON
Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royalPRINCESS
sweet breath as will utter a brace of words.
Converses apart with FERDINAND, and delivers him a paper
Doth this man serve God?BIRON
Why ask you?PRINCESS
He speaks not like a man of God's making.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
That is all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch; for,FERDINAND
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. HeBIRON
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.
There is five in the first show.FERDINAND
You are deceived; 'tis not so.BIRON
The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the foolFERDINAND
and the boy:--
Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.
The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.COSTARD
Enter COSTARD, for Pompey
I Pompey am,--BOYET
You lie, you are not he.COSTARD
I Pompey am,--BOYET
With libbard's head on knee.BIRON
Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friendsCOSTARD
I Pompey am, Pompey surnamed the Big--DUMAIN
It is, 'Great,' sir:--PRINCESS
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.
Great thanks, great Pompey.COSTARD
'Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect: IBIRON
made a little fault in 'Great.'
My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy.SIR NATHANIEL
Enter SIR NATHANIEL, for Alexander
When in the world I lived, I was the world'sBOYET
By east, west, north, and south, I spread my
My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander,--
Your nose says, no, you are not for it stands too right.BIRON
Your nose smells 'no' in this, most tender-smelling knight.PRINCESS
The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed, good Alexander.SIR NATHANIEL
When in the world I lived, I was the world'sBOYET
Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Alisander.BIRON
Pompey the Great,--COSTARD
Your servant, and Costard.BIRON
Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.COSTARD
[To SIR NATHANIEL] O, sir, you have overthrownHOLOFERNES
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 retiresThere, 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,DUMAIN
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.
MOTH retiresJudas I am,--
Not Iscariot, sir.DUMAIN
Judas I am, ycliped Maccabaeus.
Judas Maccabaeus clipt is plain Judas.BIRON
A kissing traitor. How art thou proved Judas?HOLOFERNES
Judas I am,--DUMAIN
The more shame for you, Judas.HOLOFERNES
What mean you, sir?BOYET
To make Judas hang himself.HOLOFERNES
Begin, sir; you are my elder.BIRON
Well followed: Judas was hanged on an elder.HOLOFERNES
I will not be put out of countenance.BIRON
Because thou hast no face.HOLOFERNES
What is this?BOYET
The head of a bodkin.BIRON
A Death's face in a ring.LONGAVILLE
The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen.BOYET
The pommel of Caesar's falchion.DUMAIN
The carved-bone face on a flask.BIRON
Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch.DUMAIN
Ay, and in a brooch of lead.BIRON
Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.HOLOFERNES
And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance.
You have put me out of countenance.BIRON
False; we have given thee faces.HOLOFERNES
But you have out-faced them all.BIRON
An thou wert a lion, we would do so.BOYET
Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.DUMAIN
And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay?
For the latter end of his name.BIRON
For the ass to the Jude; give it him:--Jud-as, away!HOLOFERNES
This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.BOYET
A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows dark, he may stumble.PRINCESS
Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited!BIRON
Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, for Hector
Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes Hector in arms.DUMAIN
Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.FERDINAND
Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.BOYET
But is this Hector?FERDINAND
I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.LONGAVILLE
His leg is too big for Hector's.DUMAIN
More calf, certain.BOYET
No; he is best endued in the small.BIRON
This cannot be Hector.DUMAIN
He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,DUMAIN
Gave Hector a gift,--
A gilt nutmeg.BIRON
Stuck with cloves.DUMAIN
No, cloven.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
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,--
That columbine.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.LONGAVILLE
I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.DUMAIN
Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks,PRINCESS
beat not the bones of the buried: when he breathed,
he was a man. But I will forward with my device.
To the PRINCESSSweet royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing.
Speak, brave Hector: we are much delighted.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper.BOYET
[Aside to DUMAIN] Loves her by the foot,--DUMAIN
[Aside to BOYET] He may not by the yard.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,--COSTARD
The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; sheADRIANO DE ARMADO
is two months on her way.
What meanest thou?COSTARD
Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the poorADRIANO DE ARMADO
wench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in
her belly already: tis yours.
Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shaltCOSTARD
Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that isDUMAIN
quick by him and hanged for Pompey that is dead by
Most rare Pompey!BOYET
Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey!DUMAIN
Pompey the Huge!
Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir themDUMAIN
on! stir them on!
Hector will challenge him.BIRON
Ay, if a' have no man's blood in's belly than willADRIANO DE ARMADO
sup a flea.
By the north pole, I do challenge thee.COSTARD
I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man:DUMAIN
I'll slash; I'll do it by the sword. I bepray you,
let me borrow my arms again.
Room for the incensed Worthies!COSTARD
I'll do it in my shirt.DUMAIN
Most resolute Pompey!MOTH
Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. Do youADRIANO DE ARMADO
not see Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean
you? You will lose your reputation.
Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combatDUMAIN
in my shirt.
You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet bloods, I both may and will.BIRON
What reason have you for't?ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I goBOYET
woolward for penance.
True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want ofMERCADE
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.
God save you, madam!PRINCESS
But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.
I am sorry, madam; for the news I bringPRINCESS
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father--
Dead, for my life!MERCADE
Even so; my tale is told.BIRON
Worthies, away! the scene begins to cloud.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I haveFERDINAND
seen the day of wrong through the little hole of
discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier.
How fares your majesty?PRINCESS
Boyet, prepare; I will away tonight.FERDINAND
Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.PRINCESS
Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,FERDINAND
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 formsPRINCESS
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.
I understand you not: my griefs are double.BIRON
Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief;PRINCESS
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;DUMAIN
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.
Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.LONGAVILLE
So did our looks.ROSALINE
We did not quote them so.FERDINAND
Now, at the latest minute of the hour,PRINCESS
Grant us your loves.
A time, methinks, too shortFERDINAND
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,DUMAIN
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.
But what to me, my love? but what to me? A wife?KATHARINE
A beard, fair health, and honesty;DUMAIN
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?KATHARINE
Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a dayDUMAIN
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.
I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.KATHARINE
Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again.LONGAVILLE
What says Maria?MARIA
At the twelvemonth's endLONGAVILLE
I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.MARIA
The liker you; few taller are so young.BIRON
Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;ROSALINE
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,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?ROSALINE
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,BIRON
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.
A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall,PRINCESS
I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
[To FERDINAND] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.FERDINAND
No, madam; we will bring you on your way.BIRON
Our wooing doth not end like an old play;FERDINAND
Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy
Might well have made our sport a comedy.
Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,BIRON
And then 'twill end.
That's too long for a play.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Re-enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADODON
Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,--PRINCESS
Was not that Hector?DUMAIN
The worthy knight of Troy.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I amFERDINAND
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.
Call them forth quickly; we will do so.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Holla! approach.ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Re-enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and othersThis 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.