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O, would the King, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjur'd note ;
For none offend, where all alike do dote.

Long. Dumain, thy love is far from charity,
That in love's grief desir’st society: [.Advancing
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o’erheard, and taken napping so.
King. Come, sir, [Advancing.] you blush ; as his your

case is such ;
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, observ'd your fashion ;
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion :
Ah me! says one ; 0 Jove ! the other cries;
One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes :
You would for paradise break faith and troth;

[To Long. And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.

[To DUMAIN. What will Birón say, when that he shall hear A faith infring'd, which such a 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.

Biron. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.-Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me :

[Descends from the tree. 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 perjur'd, 'tis a hateful thing;
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonnetting.
But are you not asham'd ? 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.

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O me,

0, what a scene of foolery I have seen,
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!

with what strict patience have I sat,
To see a king transformed to a gnat!*
To see great Hercules whipping a gigg,
Andprofound Solomon to tune a jigg,
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys !--
Where lies thy grief, 0 tell me, good Dumain :
And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain ?-
And where my liege's ? all about the breast:
A caudle, ho !

King. Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view ?

Biron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you;
1, that am honest; 1, that hold it sin
To break the vow, I am engaged in ;
I am betray'd, by keeping company
With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme ?

groan for Joan ? 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 ?-

King. Soft ; Whither away so fast ?
A true man, or a thief, that gallops so?
Biron. I post from love ; good lover, let me go.

Jaq. God bless the King !
King. What present hast thou there?
Cost. Some certain treason.
King. What makes treason here?
Cost. Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

King. If it mar nothing neither,
The treason, and you, go in peace away together.

Jaq. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read; Our parson

misdoubts it ; 'twas treason, he said. [4] Mr. Tollet seems to think this contains an allusion to St. Matthew, xxiii. 24, where the metaphorical term of a gnat means a thing of least importance, or what is proverbially small.

Biron is abusing the King for his sonnetting like a minstrel, and compares him to a gnat, which always sings as it flies.

(5) Critic and Critical are used by our author in the same sense as cynic and cyni: cal, 'Iago, speaking of the fair sex declares he is nothing if not critical.




King. Biron, read it over. Giving him the letter. Where hadst thou it?

Jaq. Of Costard.
King. Where hadst thou it?
Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Aaramsaio
King. How now! what is in you ? why aost thou tear it?
Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy ; your grace needs not

fear it. Long. It did move him to passion, and therefore let's

hear it. Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.

[Picks up the pieces. Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do me shame.

[To CostARD Guilty, my lord, guilty ; I confess, I confess.

King. What?
Biron. That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up

the mess:
He, he, and you, my liege, and I,
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
0, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
Dum.. Now the number is even.

Biron. True, true ; we are four :Will these turtles be gone

? King. Hence, sirs; away. Cost. Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.

[Exeunt Costard and JAQ, Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us embrace !

As true we are, as flesh and blood can be : The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face,

Young blood will not obey an old decree : We cannot cross the cause why we were born Therefore, of all hands, must we be forsworn.

King. What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly

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 ?


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King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee now? My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon ;

She, an attending star, scarce seen a light. Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Birón:

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,

Fye, 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 !

King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony,
Biron. Is ebony like her ? O wood divine !

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. King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night; And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.?

Biron. Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light. O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt,

It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair, Should ravish doters with a false aspéct;

And therefore is she born to make black fair. Her favour turns the fashion of the days ;

For native blood is counted painting now; [6] Something like this is a stanza of sir Henry Wotton, of which the poetical reader will forgive the insertion :

“ You meaner beauties of the night,

“That poorly satisfy our eyes
“More by your number than your light,

“ You common people of the skies,

“ What are you when the sun shall rise ?" [7] In heraldry, a crest is a device placed above a coat of arms. Shakespeare therefore assumes the liberty to use it in a sense equivalent to top or utmost height, as he has used spire in Coriolanus.

[8] Usurping hair alludes to the fashion, which prevailed among ladies in our autbor's time, of wearing false hair or periwigs, as they were then called, before that kind of covering for the bead was worn by med. MALONE

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And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,

Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. Dum. To look like her, are chimney-sweepers black. Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted bright. King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack. Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light. Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain,

For fear their colours should be wash'd away. King. 'Twere good, your's did; for, sir, to tell you

plain, I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day. Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day here, King. No devil will fright thee then so much as she. Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. Long. Look, here's thy love : my foot and her face

[Showing his shoe. Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,

Her feet were much too dainty for such tread! Dum. O vile! then as she goes, what upward lies

The street should see as she walk'd overhead. King. But what of this ? Are we not all in love ? Biron, 0, nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn. king. Then leave this chat; and, good Birón, now

prove Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. Dum. Ay, marry, there ;--some flattery for this evi}.

Long. O, some authority how to proceed ;
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.

Dum. Some salve for perjury.

Biron. 0, 'tis more than need !-
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 vowd to study, lords,
In that each of you hath forsworn his book :
Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look ?

(9) Quillet is the peculiar word applied to law-chicane. I imagine the original to be this, in the French pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendant's answer, began with the words qui'il-est ;~from whence was formed the word quillet, to signify a false charge or

01 A man al arms, is a soldier armed at all points both offensively and delom sively. It is no more than, Ye soldiers of affection. JOHNSON.

an evasive answer.


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