Page images

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. 0! never will I trust to speeches penn'd,

Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue; Nor never come in visor to my friend; Nor woo , in rhyme, like a blind harper's

song: Taffata phrases, silken terms precise,

Three-pild 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.

Ros. Sans SANS, I pray you,

Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage :-bear with me, I am sick;
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see ;-;
Write, Lord have mercy on us, on those three;
They are infected, in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your

eyes : These lords are visited; you are not free, For the Lord's tokens on you do I see,


my friend ;] i.e. mistress. · Three-pil'd hyperboles,] A metaphor from the pile of velvet.

* Write, Lord have mercy on us,] This was the inscription put upon the doors of the houses infected with the plague, to which Biron compares the love of himself and his companions; and pursuing the metaphor finds the tokens likewise on the ladies. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolorations, by which the infection is known to be received. Johnson,

Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens

to us.

Biron. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Ros. It is not so; For how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?

Biron. Peace ; for I will not have to do with you.
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an end.
King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude

Some fair excuse.

The fairest is confession.
Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd ?

King. Madam, I was.

And were you well advis'd ?
King. I was, fair madam.

When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
King. That more than all the world I did respect

Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will

reject her. King. Upon mine honour, no. Prin.

Peace, peace, forbear; Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.»

King. Despise me, when I break this bath of mine.

Prin. I will : and therefore keep it :-Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

Ros. Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
As precious eye-sight; and did value me
Above this world : adding thereto, moreover,
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.

3 —you force not to forswear.] You force not is the same with you make no difficulty. This is a very just observation. The crime which has been once committed, is committed again with less reluctance. Joussox.

Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord Most honourably doth uphold his word. King. What mean you, madam? by my life, my

troth, I never swore this lady such an oath.

Ros. By heaven, you did ; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this : but take it, sir, again.

King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wcar; And lord Birón, I thank him, is my dear :What; will you have me, or your pearl again?

Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain. I see the trick on't ;-Here was a consent,* (Knowing aforehand of our merriment,) To dash it like a Christmas comedy : Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,' Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some

Dick,That smiles his cheek in years; and knows the trick To make my lady laugh, when she's dispos’d, — Told our intents before: which once disclos'd, 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 Boyet. Forestal our sport, to make us thus untrue? Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire,

And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,

Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?

[ocr errors]

a consent,] i.e. a conspiracy.
zany,] A zany is a buffoon, a merry Andrew.
his cheek in years ;] In years, signifies, into wrinkles.
by the squire,] From esquierre, French, a rule, or square.

You put our page out: Go, you are allow'd ; 8
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shrowd.
You leer upon me, do you? there's an eye,
Wounds like a leaden sword.

Full merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.
Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have


Enter COSTARD. Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray,

Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know, Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no.

Biron. What, are there but three?

No, sir; but it is vara fine,
For every one pursents three.

And three times thrice is nine, Cost. Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope,

it is not so: You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir ; we

know what we know : I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,Biron.

Is not nine. Cost. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount. Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for

nine. Cost. O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get

your living by reckoning, sir. Biron. How much is it?

Cost. O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for my own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect & Go, you are allow'd;) i. e. you may say what


will. 9 You cannot beg us,] That is, we are not fools, or lunatics; our next relations cannot beg the wardship of our persons and fortunes.

some care.


one man,--e'en one poor man; Pompion the great, sir.

Biron. Art thou one of the worthies :

Cost. It pleased them, to think me worthy of Pen.pion the great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of the worthy; but I am to stand for him.

Biron. Go, bid them prepare.
Cost. We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take

[Exit COSTARD. King. Biron, they will shame us, let them not Biron. We are shame-proof, my lord: and 'tis

some policy To have one show worse than the king's and his

company. King. I say, they shall not come. Prin. Nay, my good lord, let me o'er-rule you

now; That sport best pleases, that doth least know how : Where zeal strives to content, and the contents Die in the zeal of them which it presents, Their form confounded makes most form in mirth When great things labouring perish in their birth. Biron. A right description of our sport, my lord.

Enter ARMADO. Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expence of thy royal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of words. [Armado converses with the King, and delivers

him a paper. Prin. Doth this man serve God? Biron. Why ask you? Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making.

Arm. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch: for, I protest, the school-master is exceeding fantastical ; too, too vain; too, too vain : But

« PreviousContinue »