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That we may
Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you; Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
do it still without account. Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face, That we, like savages, may worship it.
Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
King. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do! Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine (Those clouds removed) upon our watery eyne.
Ros. O vain petitioner! Beg a greater matter; Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. King. Then in our measure vouchsafe but one
change; Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange. Ros. Play, music, then ; nay, you must do it soon.
[Music plays. Not yet.—No dance ;—thus change I like the moon. King. Will you not dance ? How come you thus
estranged? Ros. You took the moon at full; but now she's
Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it.
But your legs should do it. Ros. Since you are strangers, and come here by
chance, We'll not be nice. Take hands we will not dance.
King. Why take we hands, then ?
Only to part friends.Court'sy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
King. More measure of this measure; be not nice.
Ros. Your absence only.
That can never be.
King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.
I am best pleased with that.
[They converse apart. Biron. White-handed mistress, one sweet word
with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.
Biron. Nay then, two treys, (an if you grow so nice,) Metheglin, wort, and malmsey.-Well run, dice ! There's half a dozen sweets. Prin.
Seventh sweet, adieu ! Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.
Biron. One word in secret.
Let it not be sweet.
Gall ? Bitter. Biron.
[They converse apart. Dum. Will
vouchsafe with me to change a word ? Mar. Name it. Dum.
Fair lady,– Mar.
Say you so ? Fair lord, Take that for your fair lady.
[They converse apart.
Long. You have a double tongue within your mask, And would afford my speechless visor half. Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman.—Is not veal a
No, a fair lord calf.
No, I'll not be
half. Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.
Please it you,
1 To cog is to lie or cheat; hence, to cog the dicc.
Long. Look how you butt yourself in these sharp
mocks! Will you give horns, chaste lady? Do not so.
Kath. Then die a calf, before your horns do grow. Long. One word in private with you, ere I die. Kath. Bleat softly, then; the butcher hears you cry.
[They converse apart
. Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
Ås 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. Ros. Not one word more, my maids; break off,
break off. Biron. By Heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff! King. Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.
[Exeunt King, Lords, Moth,
Music, and Attendants. Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites.Are these the breed of wits so wondered at? Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths
puffed out. Ros. Well-liking' wits they have ; gross, gross ;
fat, fat. Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout ! Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night?
Or ever, but in visors, show their faces ? This pert
Birón was out of countenance quite. Ros. 0! They were all in lamentable cases ! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Prin. Birón did swear himself out of all suit.
Mar. Dumain was at my service, and his sword. No point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute.
Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart; And trow you what he called me?
1 Well-liking is the same as well-conditioned, fat.
2 No point ; a quibble on the French adverb of negation, as before, Act ii. Sc. 1.
Go, sickness, as thou art ! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute
caps. But will you hear? The king is my love sworn.
Prin. And quick Birón hath plighted faith to me.
Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear.
Prin. Will they return?
They will, they will, God knows;
stood. Boyet. Fair ladies, masked, are roses in their bud. Dismasked, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels veiling clouds, or roses blown.
Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do,
Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advised,
1 An act was passed the 13th of Elizabeth (1571) "for the continuance of making and wearing woollen caps, in behalf of the trade of cappers, providing that all above the age of six years (except the nobility and some others) should, on Sabbath days and holidays, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and dressed in England, upon penalty of ten groats.”
2 Features, countenances. 3 Ladies unmasked are like angels veiling clouds, or letting those clouds which obscured their brightness sink before them. VOL. II.
Boyet. Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at hand. Prin. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land.
[Exeunt Princess, Ros., KATH., and Maria.
Enter the King, Biron, LONGAVILLE, and Dumain, in
habits. King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the
princess ? Boyet. Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty, Command me any service to her thither? King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one
word. Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.
[Exit. Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas; And utters it again when Jove doth please. He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares At wakes and wassels, 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. He can carve too, and lisp. Why this is he That kissed away his hand in courtesy; This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, , That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice In honorable terms; nay, he can sing, A meanmost 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 whalës bone ;3
| Wassels ; festive meetings, drinking-bouts; from the Saxon washal, be in health, which was the form of drinking a health ; the customary answer to which was drine-hæl, I drink your health. The wasselcup, wassel-bowl, wassel-bread, wassel-candle, were all aids or accompaniments to festivity.
2 The tenor in music.
3 Whalës bone; the Saxon genitive case. It is a common comparison in the old poets. This bone was the tooth of the horse-whale. morse, or walrus, now superseded by ivory.