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This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.
Ros. O, they were all in lamentable cases ! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Prin. Biron did swear himself out of all suit.
Mar. Dumain was at my service, and his sword : No point,1 quoth I: my servant straight was mute.
Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart;
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 Biron hath plighted faith to me.
Boy. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear :
Prin. Will they return?
They will, they will, God knows;
1 A quibble on the French adverb of negation.
Boy. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their bud : Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do, If they return in their own shapes to oo?
Ros. Good madam, if by me you 'll be advised, 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.
Boy. 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
proper habits. King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the
princess ? Boy. Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty, Command me any service to her thither ? King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one
word. Boy. I will ; and so will she, I know, my lord.
1 Letting those clouds, which obscured their brightness, sink from before them.'-Johnson.
Bir. 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 kiss'd 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 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 whales bone : 3 And consciences, that will not die in debt, Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my
heart, That put Armado's page out of his part !
| Rustic merry meetings.
Enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET ; ROSALINE,
MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants. Bir. See where it comes !-Behavior, what wert
thou, Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou
now? King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of
day! Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. Prin. Then wish me better; I will give you leave. King. We came to visit you, and purpose now
To lead you to our court : vouchsafe it then. Prin. This field shall hold me; and so hold your
Nor God nor I delight in perjured men. King. Rebuke me not for that which you pro
The virtue of your eye must break Prin. You nick-name virtue: vice you should
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
house's guest :
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear :
King. How, madam ? Russians ?
Ay, in truth, my lord.
Ros. Madam, speak true.-It is not so, my lord : My lady, (to the manner of the days) 1 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.
Bir. This jest is dry to me.--My gentle sweet, 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. Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my
eye, — Bir. I am a fool, and full of poverty.
Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
1 According to the fashion of the times.