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Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow ; Air, would I might triumph so! But alack, my hand is sworn, Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn: Vow, alack, for youth unmeet; Youth so apt to pluck a sweet. Do not call it sin in me, That I am forsworn for thee: Thou for whom even Jove would swear, Juno but an Ethiop were; And deny himself for Jove, Turning mortal for thy love.This will I send; and something else more plain, That shall express my true love's fasting pain. 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 [advancing.] thy love is far from
That in love's grief desir'st society:
King. Come, sir, [advancing.] you blush; as
You chide at him, offending twice as much :
Too bitter is thy jest.
(1) Grief. (2) Cynic. (3) In trimming myself.
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view?
Biron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you, I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin To break the vow I am engaged in; I am betrayed, by keeping company With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy. When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme? Or groan for Joan? or spend a minute's time In pruning3 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?
Soft; Whither away so fast? A true man, or a thief, that gallops so? Biron. I post from love; good lover, let me go. Enter Jaquenetta and Costard.
Jaq. God bless the king!
What present hast thou there?
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 [To Costard.] you were born to do me shame.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.
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 Rosaline,
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? King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee
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,-
Fie, 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?
Dum. Ay, marry, there;-some flattery for this
Long. O, some authority how to proceed; Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil. Dum. Some salve for perjury. Ó, '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 vow'd to study, lords, In that each of you hath forsworn his book: Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look? For when would you, my lord, or you, or you, Have found the ground of study's excellence, Without the beauty of a woman's face? From women's eyes this doctrine I derive; They are the ground, the books, the académes, From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire. Why, universal plodding prisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries;
That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack,|| As motion, and long-during action, tires
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 aspect; And therefore is she born to make black fair. Her favour turns the fashion of the days;
For native blood is counted painting now; And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
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, yours 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
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men;
King. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the
Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them,
Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis'd,
Long. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
Biron. First, from the park let us conduct them
Then, homeward every man attach the hand
Hol. Bone?-bone, for benè: Priscian a little scratch'd; 'twill serve.
Enter Armado, Moth, and Costard.
Hol. Quare Chirra, not sirrah?
Cost. O, they have lived long in the alms-basket of words! I marvel, thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.6
Moth. Peace; the peal begins.
Arm. Monsieur, [To Hol.] are you not letter'd? Moth. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook :-What is a, b, spelt backward, with a horn on his head?
Hol. Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
Moth. Ba, most silly sheep, with a horn :-You hear his learning.
Hol. Quis, quis, thou consonant?
Moth. The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth, if I.
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, i.
Moth. The sheep: the other two concludes it;
Arm. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit: snip, snap, quick and home; it rejoiceth my intellect:
Moth. Offer'd by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.
Hol. What is the figure? what is the figure?
Hol. Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.
Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about your infamy circùm circà; A gig of a cuckold's horn!
Cost. An I had but one penny in the world, thou should'st have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou half-penny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an the heavens were so pleased, that thou wert but my bastard! what a joyful father would'st thou make me! Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they say.
Hol. O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for un
Arm. Arts-man, præambula; we will be singled from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the charge-houses on the top of the mountain? Hol. Or, mons, the hill.
Arm. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical.3 He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd,| as it were, too perigrinate, as I may call it. Nath. A most singular and choice epithet. [Takes out his table-book. Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasms, such insociable and point-de- Arm. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure vise companions; such rackers of orthography, as and affection, to congratulate the princess at her to speak, dout, fine, when he should say doubt; pavilion, in the posteriors of this day; which the det, when he should pronounce debt; d, e, b, trude multitude call the afternoon. not d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbour, vocatur, nebour; neigh, abbreviated, ne: This is abhominable (which he would call abominable,) it insinuateth me of insanie; Ne intelligis domine? to make frantic, lunatic. Nath. Laus deo, bone intelligo.
Hol. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the afternoon: the word is well cull'd, chose; sweet and apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.
Arm. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman; and my familiar, I do assure you, very good friend :
(6) A small inflammable substance, swallowed in a glass of wine.
(7) A hit.
Prin. Nothing but this? yes, as much love in rhyme
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
For what is inward! between us, let it pass :-I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy;-I beseech thee, apparel thy head; and among other importu- As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper, nate and most serious designs,—and of great im-Writ on both sides the leaf, margent and all; port, indeed, too;-but let that pass :-for I must | That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name. tell thee, it will please his grace (by the world) Ros. That was the way to make his god-head sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder; and with his royal finger, thus, dally with my excrement,2 with my mustachio: but sweet heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no fable; some certain special honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hath Kath. He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy; seen the world: but let that pass.-The very all of And so she died: had she been light, like you, all is,-but, sweet heart, I do implore secrecy,-Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit, that the king would have me present the princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antic, or fire-work. Now, understanding that the curate and your sweet self, are good at such eruptions, and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to crave your assistance.
She might have been a grandam ere she died:
Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark.
Hol. Sir, you shall present before her the nine worthies. Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some enter-Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument. tainment of time, some show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by our assistance,-the king's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman,-before the princess; I say,| none so fit as to present the nine worthies.
Kath. You'll mar the light, by taking it in snuff;8
Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough| to present them?
Hol. Joshua, yourself; myself, or this gallant gentleman, Judas Maccabæus; this swain, because of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the great; the page, Hercules.
Arm. Pardon, sir, error: he is not quantity enough for that worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.
Hol. Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules in minority: his enter and exit shall be strangling a snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.
Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the audience hiss, you may cry well done, Hercules! now thou crusheth the snake! that is the way to make an offence gracious; though few have the grace to do it.
Arm. For the rest of the worthies?--
Arm. We will have, if this fadge not, an antic.
Hol. Via,5 good man Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.
Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir.
Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play on the tabor to the worthies, and let them dance the hay.
Hol. Most dull, honest Dull, to our sport, away.
SCENE II-Another part of the same.
(1) Confidential (2) Beard.
Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i' the dark.
Ros. Great reason; for, Past cure is still past care.
I would, you knew:
Ros. Much, in the letters; nothing in the praise.
My red dominical, my golden letter:
Kath. A pox of that jest! and beshrew all shrows!
Kath. Madam, this glove.
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longa-
The letter is too long by half a mile.
Prin. I think no less: Dost thou not wish in
The chain were longer, and the letter short?
Prin. We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so.
O, that I knew he were but in by the week!
(7) Formerly a term of endearment. (8) In anger.
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. Boyet. O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace?
Prin. Thy news, Boyet?
That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear;
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't!
Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's
And quite divorce his memory from his part.
Prin. Therefore I do it; and, I make no doubt,
Moth. All hail! the richest beauties on the earth!
[The ladies turn their backs to him.
That ever turn'd their-backs-to mortal views!
Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!
Boyet. True; out, indeed.
Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
Not to behold
Biron. 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
Biron. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you
Ros. What would these strangers? know their
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
Boyet. What would you with the princess?
Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation.
Boyet. She says, you have it,and you may be gone.
To tread a measure with you on this grass.