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ACT IV. SCENE I. 


The park

Enter the PRINCESS, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, LORDS, ATTENDANTS, and a FORESTER

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Was that the King that spurr'd his horse so
hard
Against the steep uprising of the hill?

 BOYET.

I know not; but I think it was not he.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Whoe'er 'a was, 'a show'd a mounting mind.
Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch;
On Saturday we will return to France.
Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
That we must stand and play the murderer in?

 FORESTER.

Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

I thank my beauty I am fair that shoot,
And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot.

 FORESTER.

Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
O short-liv'd pride! Not fair? Alack for woe!

 FORESTER.

Yes, madam, fair.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Nay, never paint me now;
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:

[ Giving him money]

 

Fair payment for foul words is more than due.

 FORESTER.

Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

See, see, my beauty will be sav'd by merit.
O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
But come, the bow. Now mercy goes to kill,
And shooting well is then accounted ill;
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
And, out of question, so it is sometimes:
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart;
As I for praise alone now seek to spill
The poor deer's blood that my heart means no ill.

 BOYET.

Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
Only for praise sake, when they strive to be
Lords o'er their lords?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Only for praise; and praise we may afford
To any lady that subdues a lord.

Enter COSTARD

 BOYET.

Here comes a member of the commonwealth.

 COSTARD.

God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that
have no heads.

 COSTARD.

Which is the greatest lady, the highest?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

The thickest and the tallest.

 COSTARD.

The thickest and the tallest! It is so; truth is truth.
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest here.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

What's your will, sir? What's your will?

 COSTARD.

I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one
Lady Rosaline.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

O, thy letter, thy letter! He's a good
friend of mine.
Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve.
Break up this capon.

 BOYET.

I am bound to serve.
This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
It is writ to Jaquenetta.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

We will read it, I swear.
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.

 BOYET.

[Reads] 'By heaven, that thou art fair is most infallible;
true that thou art beauteous; truth itself that thou art lovely.
More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer than truth
itself, have commiseration on thy heroical vassal. The
magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set eye upon the
pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it was that
might rightly say, 'Veni, vidi, vici'; which to annothanize in
the vulgar,- O base and obscure vulgar!- videlicet, He came, saw,
and overcame. He came, one; saw, two; overcame, three. Who came?-
the king. Why did he come?- to see. Why did he see?-to overcome.
To whom came he?- to the beggar. What saw he?- the beggar. Who
overcame he?- the beggar. The conclusion is victory; on whose
side?- the king's. The captive is enrich'd; on whose side?- the
beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial; on whose side?- the
king's. No, on both in one, or one in both. I am the king, for so
stands the comparison; thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy
lowliness. Shall I command thy love? I may. Shall I enforce thy
love? I could. Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou
exchange for rags?- robes, for tittles?- titles, for thyself?
-me. Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot, my
eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every part.
Thine in the dearest design of industry,
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.
'Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey;
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play.
But if thou strive, poor soul, what are thou then?
Food for his rage, repasture for his den.'

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?

 BOYET.

I am much deceived but I remember the style.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Else your memory is bad, going o'er it
erewhile.

 BOYET.

This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the Prince and his book-mates.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Thou fellow, a word.
Who gave thee this letter?

 COSTARD.

I told you: my lord.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

To whom shouldst thou give it?

 COSTARD.

From my lord to my lady.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

From which lord to which lady?

 COSTARD.

From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords,
away.
[To ROSALINE] Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine
another day. Exeunt PRINCESS and TRAIN

 BOYET.

Who is the shooter? who is the shooter?

 ROSALINE.

Shall I teach you to know?

 BOYET.

Ay, my continent of beauty.

 ROSALINE.

Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off!

 BOYET.

My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

 ROSALINE.

Well then, I am the shooter.

 BOYET.

And who is your deer?

 ROSALINE.

If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
Finely put on indeed!

 MARIA.

You Still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the
brow.

 BOYET.

But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?

 ROSALINE.

Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man
when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit
it?

 BOYET.

So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when
Queen Guinever of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit
it.

 ROSALINE.

[Singing]
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

 BOYET.

An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.

Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE

 COSTARD.

By my troth, most pleasant! How both did fit it!

 MARIA.

A mark marvellous well shot; for they both did hit it.

 BOYET.

A mark! O, mark but that mark! A mark, says my lady!
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.

 MARIA.

Wide o' the bow-hand! I' faith, your hand is out.

 COSTARD.

Indeed, 'a must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the
clout.

 BOYET.

An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

 COSTARD.

Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.

 MARIA.

Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.

 COSTARD.

She's too hard for you at pricks, sir; challenge her
to bowl.

 BOYET.

I fear too much rubbing; good-night, my good owl.

Exeunt BOYET and MARIA

 COSTARD.

By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown!
Lord, Lord! how the ladies and I have put him down!
O' my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit!
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were, so fit.
Armado a th' t'one side- O, a most dainty man!
To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly 'a will swear!
And his page a t' other side, that handful of wit!
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
Sola, sola! Exit COSTARD

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