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Ruminat, and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan t, I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice ; Vinegia, Vinegia! qui von te vedi, ei non te pregia. Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! who understandeth thee: not, loves thee not :-ut re fol la mi fa. Under pardon, Sir, what are the contents? Or rather, as Horace says in his: What ! my soul! verses ? Nath. Ay, Sir, and very learned,
Hol, Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse; Lege, Domine. Nath. If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear
to love? Ah, never faith could hold, if not to. Beauty
vow'd; Tho' to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove; Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers
bow'd, Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine
eyes ; Where all thofe pleasures live, that art would
comprehend : If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suf
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 dread
ful thunder ; Which, not to anger bent, is music, and sweet
fire. Celestial as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong, That sings heay’n's praise with such an earthly
tongue. Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss the accent. Let me supervise' the canzonet.
Here are only numbers ratify’d; but for the elegancy, facility,
+ He means Baptista Spagnolus, furnamed Mantuanus from the place of his birth, a writer of poems, who lived towards the end of the fifteenth century.
and golden cadence of poefy, caret. Ovidius Naso was the man, And why, indeed, Nafa; but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy? the jerks of invention ? imitari, is nothing : so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the try'd horse his rider. But, Damofella Virgin, was this directly to you?
Faq. Ay, Sir, from one Monsieur Biron, to one of the strange Queen's ladies,
Hol. I will overglance the superfcript. To the snowwhite 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 perfon written unto.
Tour Ladyship's in all desired employment, Biron. This Biron is one of the votaries with the King ; and here he hath fram'd a letter to a sequent of the stranger Queen's, which accidentally, or by the way of progresfion, hath mifcarry'd. Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the hand of the King; it may concern much; stay not thy compliment; I forgive thy duty : adieu.
faq. Good Coftard, go with me. Sir, God save
Coft. Have with thee, my girl.
[Exeunt Coft. and Jaq. Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously : and as a certain father faith
Hol. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colourable colours. But, to return to the verses; did they please you, Sir Nathaniel ?
Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.
Hol. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupil of mine; where if (being repaft) it shall please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the parents of the aforesaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto ; where will I prove thofe verses to be very unlearned, neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention. I beseech your society.
Nath. And thank you too : for society (faith the text) is the happiness of life.
Hol. And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it. Sir, I do invite you too ; [Ta Dull.] you shall not say me, Nay: Pauca berba. Away, the gentles are at their game, and we will to our recreation.
Enter Biron, with a paper in his hand, alone.
Biron. The King is hunting the deer, I am courfing myself. They have pitcht a toil, I am tuiling in a pitch; pitch, that defiles ; defile ! a foul word : well, set thee down, sorrow; for so they say the fool faid, and so say I, and I the fool. Well prov'd wit. By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax, it kills sheep, it kills me, I a sheep. Well prov?d again on 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; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lye, and lye in my throat. By heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhime, and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhime, and here my melancholy. Well, the hath one o' my fonnets 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 inHere comes. one with a paper; God give him grace to grone!
[He stands aside. Enter the King. King. Ay me!
Biron. Shot, by heav'n! proceed, sweet Cupid; thou hast .thumpt him with thy bird-bolt under the left pap : in faith, secrets.King. [reads.] So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives:
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 shin'ft in every tear that I do weep; No drop, but as a coach doth carry thee,
So rideft thou triumphing in my woe. Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my grief will shew; But do not love thyself, then thou wilt keep My tears for glasses, and still make me weep. O Queen of Queens, how far doft thou excel ! No thought can think, no tongue of mortal tell.How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper; Sweet leaves, Thade folly. Who is he comes here?
[The King steps afide.
Biron. Now in thy likeness one more fool appears.
Biron. I could put thee in comfort: not by two that Thou mak'st the triumviry, the three-corner-cap of
fociety, The shape of love's Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.
Long. I fear, these stubborn lines lack power to Ofweet Maria, Empress of my love, These numbers will tear, and write in prose,
Biron. 0, rhimes are guards on wanton Cupid's
Disfigure not his flop.
Long. The same shall go. [He reads the sonnet, Did 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 forfwore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee. My vow was earthy, thou a heav'nly love :
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me. Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then thou fair fun, which on my earth doft shine, Exhalt 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? Biron. This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a
deity; A green goose a goddess : pure, pure idolatry. God amend us, God amend, we are much out o’th' way.
Enter Dumain. Long. By whom shall I send this ?.
-company; ftay. Biron. All hid, all hid, an old infant play; Like a demy-god, here fit I in the sky, And wretched fools' secrets headfully o'er-eye: More sacks to the mill! O heav'ns, I have my
wish ; Dumain transform’d, four woodcocks in a dish ?
Dum, O most divine Kate !
[afide. Dum. By heav'n, the wonder of a mortal eye ! Biron. By earth, she is but corporal; there you lye.
[afide. Dum. Her amber hairs for foul have amber coted. Biron. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.
[afide Dum. As upright as the cedar.
Biron. Stoop, I say ;
Dum. As fair as day.