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ACT V. SCENE III. 


Enter BOYET

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.

 BOYET.

O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her Grace?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Thy news, Boyet?

 BOYET.

Prepare, madam, prepare!
Arm, wenches, arm! Encounters mounted are
Against your peace. Love doth approach disguis'd,
Armed in arguments; you'll be surpris'd.
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Saint Dennis to Saint Cupid! What are they
That charge their breath against us? Say, scout, say.

 BOYET.

Under the cool shade of a sycamore
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour;
When, lo, to interrupt my purpos'd rest,
Toward that shade I might behold addrest
The King and his companions; warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
And overheard what you shall overhear-
That, by and by, disguis'd they will be here.
Their herald is a pretty knavish page,
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage.
Action and accent did they teach him there:
'Thus must thou speak' and 'thus thy body bear,'
And ever and anon they made a doubt
Presence majestical would put him out;
'For' quoth the King 'an angel shalt thou see;
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.'
The boy replied 'An angel is not evil;
I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.'
With that all laugh'd, and clapp'd him on the shoulder,
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
One rubb'd his elbow, thus, and fleer'd, and swore
A better speech was never spoke before.
Another with his finger and his thumb
Cried 'Via! we will do't, come what will come.'
The third he caper'd, and cried 'All goes well.'
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
With that they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

But what, but what, come they to visit us?

 BOYET.

They do, they do, and are apparell'd thus,
Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
Their purpose is to parley, court, and dance;
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress; which they'll know
By favours several which they did bestow.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

And will they so? The gallants shall be task'd,
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
And then the King will court thee for his dear;
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine,
So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline.
And change you favours too; so shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.

 ROSALINE.

Come on, then, wear the favours most in sight.

 KATHARINE.

But, in this changing, what is your intent?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

The effect of my intent is to cross theirs.
They do it but in mocking merriment,
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their several counsels they unbosom shall
To loves mistook, and so be mock'd withal
Upon the next occasion that we meet
With visages display'd to talk and greet.

 ROSALINE.

But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

No, to the death, we will not move a foot,
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace;
But while 'tis spoke each turn away her face.

 BOYET.

Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart,
And quite divorce his memory from his part.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt
The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out.
There's no such sport as sport by sport o'erthrown,
To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own;
So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
And they well mock'd depart away with shame.

[Trumpet sounds within]

 BOYET.

The trumpet sounds; be mask'd; the maskers come.

[The LADIES mask]

Enter BLACKAMOORS music, MOTH as Prologue, the

 

KING and his LORDS as maskers, in the guise of Russians

 MOTH.

All hail, the richest heauties on the earth!

 BOYET.

Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.

 MOTH.

A holy parcel of the fairest dames

[The LADIES turn their backs to him]

 

That ever turn'd their- backs- to mortal views!

 BEROWNE.

Their eyes, villain, their eyes.

 MOTH.

That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!
Out-

 BOYET.

True; out indeed.

 MOTH.

Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
Not to behold-

 BEROWNE.

Once to behold, rogue.

 MOTH.

Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes- with your
sun-beamed eyes-

 BOYET.

They will not answer to that epithet;
You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.'

 MOTH.

They do not mark me, and that brings me out.

 BEROWNE.

Is this your perfectness? Be gone, you rogue.

Exit MOTH

 ROSALINE.

What would these strangers? Know their minds, Boyet.
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
That some plain man recount their purposes.
Know what they would.

 BOYET.

What would you with the Princess?

 BEROWNE.

Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

 ROSALINE.

What would they, say they?

 BOYET.

Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

 ROSALINE.

Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.

 BOYET.

She says you have it, and you may be gone.

 KING.

Say to her we have measur'd many miles
To tread a measure with her on this grass.

 BOYET.

They say that they have measur'd many a mile
To tread a measure with you on this grass.

 ROSALINE.

It is not so. Ask them how many inches
Is in one mile? If they have measured many,
The measure, then, of one is eas'ly told.

 BOYET.

If to come hither you have measur'd miles,
And many miles, the Princess bids you tell
How many inches doth fill up one mile.

 BEROWNE.

Tell her we measure them by weary steps.

 BOYET.

She hears herself.

 ROSALINE.

How many weary steps
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone
Are numb'red in the travel of one mile?

 BEROWNE.

We number nothing that we spend for you;
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,
That we, like savages, may worship it.

 ROSALINE.

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.

 ROSALINE.

O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now requests but moonshine in the water.

 KING.

Then in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange.

 ROSALINE.

Play, music, then. Nay, you must do it soon.
Not yet? No dance! Thus change I like the moon.

 KING.

Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?

 ROSALINE.

You took the moon at full; but now she's changed.

 KING.

Yet still she is the Moon, and I the Man.
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.

 ROSALINE.

Our ears vouchsafe it.

 KING.

But your legs should do it.

 ROSALINE.

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?

 ROSALINE.

Only to part friends.
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.

 KING.

More measure of this measure; be not nice.

 ROSALINE.

We can afford no more at such a price.

 KING.

Price you yourselves. What buys your company?

 ROSALINE.

Your absence only.

 KING.

That can never be.

 ROSALINE.

Then cannot we be bought; and so adieu-
Twice to your visor and half once to you.

 KING.

If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.

 ROSALINE.

In private then.

 KING.

I am best pleas'd with that

[They converse apart]

 BEROWNE.

White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.

 BEROWNE.

Nay, then, two treys, an if you grow so nice,
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey; well run dice!
There's half a dozen sweets.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Seventh sweet, adieu!
Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.

 BEROWNE.

One word in secret.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Let it not be sweet.

 BEROWNE.

Thou grievest my gall.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Gall! bitter.

 BEROWNE.

Therefore meet

[They converse apart]

 DUMAIN.

Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?

 MARIA.

Name it.

 DUMAIN.

Fair lady-

 MARIA.

Say you so? Fair lord-
Take that for your fair lady.

 DUMAIN.

Please it you,
As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.

[They converse apart]

 KATHARINE.

What, was your vizard made without a tongue?

 LONGAVILLE.

I know the reason, lady, why you ask.

 KATHARINE.

O for your reason! Quickly, sir; I long.

 LONGAVILLE.

You have a double tongue within your mask,
And would afford my speechless vizard half.

 KATHARINE.

'Veal' quoth the Dutchman. Is not 'veal' a calf?

 LONGAVILLE.

A calf, fair lady!

 KATHARINE.

No, a fair lord calf.

 LONGAVILLE.

Let's part the word.

 KATHARINE.

No, I'll not be your half.
Take all and wean it; it may prove an ox.

 LONGAVILLE.

Look how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks!
Will you give horns, chaste lady? Do not so.

 KATHARINE.

Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.

 LONGAVILLE.

One word in private with you ere I die.

 KATHARINE.

Bleat softly, then; the butcher hears you cry.

[They converse apart]

 BOYET.

The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
As 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.

 ROSALINE.

Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.

 BEROWNE.

By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!

 KING.

Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.

Exeunt KING, LORDS, and BLACKAMOORS

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.
Are these the breed of wits so wondered at?

 BOYET.

Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out.

 ROSALINE.

Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night?
Or ever but in vizards show their faces?
This pert Berowne was out of count'nance quite.

 ROSALINE.

They were all in lamentable cases!
The King was weeping-ripe for a good word.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Berowne did swear himself out of all suit.

 MARIA.

Dumain was at my service, and his sword.
'No point' quoth I; my servant straight was mute.

 KATHARINE.

Lord Longaville said I came o'er his heart;
And trow you what he call'd me?

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Qualm, perhaps.

 KATHARINE.

Yes, in good faith.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Go, sickness as thou art!

 ROSALINE.

Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.
But will you hear? The King is my love sworn.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

And quick Berowne hath plighted faith to me.

 KATHARINE.

And Longaville was for my service born.

 MARIA.

Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree.

 BOYET.

Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear:
Immediately they will again be here
In their own shapes; for it can never be
They will digest this harsh indignity.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Will they return?

 BOYET.

They will, they will, God knows,
And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows;
Therefore, change favours; and, when they repair,
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

How blow? how blow? Speak to be understood.

 BOYET.

Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud:
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do
If they return in their own shapes to woo?

 ROSALINE.

Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd,
Let's mock them still, as well known as disguis'd.
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguis'd 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.

 BOYET.

Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at hand.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er land.

Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, and MARIA

Re-enter the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN,

in their proper habits

 KING.

Fair sir, God save you! Where's 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

 BEROWNE.

This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease,
And utters it again when God doth please.
He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares
At wakes, and wassails, 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.
'A can carve too, and lisp; why this is he
That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy;
This is the ape of form, Monsieur the Nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable 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 flow'r that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whales-bone;
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!

Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET; ROSALINE,

MARIA, and KATHARINE

 BEROWNE.

See where it comes! Behaviour, what wert thou
Till this man show'd thee? And what art thou now?

 KING.

All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive.

 KING.

Construe my speeches better, if you may.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

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.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

This field shall hold me, and so hold your vow:
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur'd men.

 KING.

Rebuke me not for that which you provoke.
The virtue of your eye must break my oath.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

You nickname virtue: vice you should have
spoke;
For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
Now by my maiden honour, yet as pure
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,
I would not yield to be your house's guest;
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vowed with integrity.

 KING.

O, you have liv'd in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game;
A mess of Russians left us but of late.

 KING.

How, madam! Russians!

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Ay, in truth, my lord;
Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.

 ROSALINE.

Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord.
My lady, to the manner of the days,
In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
We four indeed confronted were with four
In Russian habit; here they stayed 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.

 BEROWNE.

This jest is dry to me. Fair 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.

 ROSALINE.

This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye-

 BEROWNE.

I am a fool, and full of poverty.

 ROSALINE.

But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

 BEROWNE.

O, I am yours, and all that I possess.

 ROSALINE.

All the fool mine?

 BEROWNE.

I cannot give you less.

 ROSALINE.

Which of the vizards was it that you wore?

 BEROWNE.

Where? when? what vizard? Why demand you this?

 ROSALINE.

There, then, that vizard; that superfluous case
That hid the worse and show'd the better face.

 KING.

We were descried; they'll mock us now downright.

 DUMAIN.

Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your Highness sad?

 ROSALINE.

Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.

 BEROWNE.

Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.
Can any face of brass hold longer out?
Here stand I, lady- dart thy skill at me,
Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout,
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance,
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will wish thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
O, never will I trust to speeches penn'd,
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue,
Nor never come in vizard to my friend,
Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song.
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical- these summer-flies
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation.
I do forswear them; and I here protest,
By this white glove- how white the hand, God knows!-
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd
In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes.
And, to begin, wench- so God help me, law!-
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.

 ROSALINE.

Sans 'sans,' I pray you.

 BEROWNE.

Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage; bear with me, I am sick;
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see-
Write 'Lord have mercy on us' on those three;
They are infected; in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes.
These lords are visited; you are not free,
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.

 BEROWNE.

Our states are forfeit; seek not to undo us.

 ROSALINE.

It is not so; for how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?

 BEROWNE.

Peace; for I will not have to do with you.

 ROSALINE.

Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.

 BEROWNE.

Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.

 KING.

Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
Some fair excuse.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

The fairest is confession.
Were not you here but even now, disguis'd?

 KING.

Madam, I was.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

And were you well advis'd?

 KING.

I was, fair madam.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

 KING.

That more than all the world I did respect her.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

When she shall challenge this, you will reject
her.

 KING.

Upon mine honour, no.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Peace, peace, forbear;
Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.

 KING.

Despise me when I break this oath of mine.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

I will; and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

 ROSALINE.

Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
As precious eyesight, and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto, moreover,
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

God give thee joy of him! The noble lord
Most honourably doth uphold his word.

 KING.

What mean you, madam? By my life, my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.

 ROSALINE.

By heaven, you did; and, to confirm it plain,
You gave me this; but take it, sir, again.

 KING.

My faith and this the Princess I did give;
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

 PRINCESS OF FRANCE.

Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear.
What, will you have me, or your pearl again?

 BEROWNE.

Neither of either; I remit both twain.
I see the trick on't: here was a consent,
Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick,
That smiles his cheek in years and knows the trick
To make my lady laugh when she's dispos'd,
Told our intents before; which once disclos'd,
The ladies did change favours; and then we,
Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she.
Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forsworn in will and error.
Much upon this it is; [To BOYET] and might not you
Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
Do not you know my lady's foot by th' squier,
And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
You put our page out. Go, you are allow'd;
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
You leer upon me, do you? There's an eye
Wounds like a leaden sword.

 BOYET.

Full merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.

 BEROWNE.

Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have done.

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