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No woman may approach his silent court:
Therefore to us seemeth it a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness, we single you
As our best-moving fair solicitor:
Tell him, the daughter of the king of France,
On serious business, craving quick despatch,
Importunes personal conference with his grace.
Haste, signify so much; while we attend,
Like humble-visag'd suitors, his high will.
Boyet. Proud of employment, willingly I go.
Pbin. All pride is willingpride,and yours is so.— Who are the votaries, my loving lords, That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke? a
1 Loud. Longaville is one.
Pars. Know you the man?
Man. I know him, madam; at a marriage feast, Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized In Normandy, saw I this Longaville: A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd; Well fitted in theb arts, glorious in arms; Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well. The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss (If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil), Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will; Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
It should none spare that come within his power. Pam. Some merry mocking lord, belike: is'tso? Mab. They say so most, that most his humours know.
Pbin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they
grow. Who are the rest?
Kath. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd
Of all that virtue love, for virtue lov'd:
Eos. Another of these students at that time
C) Folio, 1623. the. (t) Folio, 1623, at.
» — this virtuous duke ?] The titles of king and duke were used indifferently both by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
Pbin. God bless my ladies! are they all in love
Mab. Here comes Boyet.
Pbin. Now, what admittance, lord'?
Boyet. Navarre had notice of your fair approach; And he and his competitors in oath Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady, Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt, He rather means to lodge you in the field, (Like one that comes here to besiege his court,) TlrSn seek a dispensation for his oath, To let you enter his unpeopled house. Here comes Navarre. [The Ladies mask.
Enter King, Longaville, Dumain, Bison, and Attendants.
King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
Pbin. Fair, I give you back again; and welcome I have not yet: the roof of this court is too high to be yours; and welcome to the wide fields too base to be mine.
King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
Pbin. I will be welcome then; conduct me thither.
King. Hear me, dear lady,—I have sworn an oath.
Phin. Our Lady help my lord! he 'll be forsworn. King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
Pbin. Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing else.
King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.
PniN. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise, Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance. I hear, your grace hath sworn-out house-keeping: 'T is deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord, And sin to break it: But pardon me, I am too sudden-bold; To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me. Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming, And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
[Gives a paper.
King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
Pbin. You will the sooner, that I were away;
b Well fitted in the artt— ] The older copies omit the article, which was supplied in the second folio.
For you'll prove perjur'd, if you make me stay. Bibon. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Bmo.v. I know you did.
Ros. How needless was it then to ask the
question! Braoif. You must not be so quick. Ros. 'T is long of you that spur me with such
Bibon. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.
Ros. Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
Birox. What time o' day?
Ros. The hour that fools should ask.
Biiion. Now fair befall your mask!
Ros. Fair fall the face it covers!
Biiion. And send you many lovers!
Ros. Amen, so you be none.
Biron. Nay, then will I be gone.
Kino. Madam, your father here doth intimate The payment of a hundred thousand crowns; Being but the one-half of an entire sum, Disbursed by my father in his wars. But say, that he, or we, (as neither have,) Receiv'd that sum; yet there remains unpaid A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which, One part of Aquitain is bound to us, Although not valued to the money's worth. If then the king your father will restore But that one-half which is unsatisfied,
We will give up our right in Aquitain,
And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
For here he doth demand to have repaid
An hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have his title live in Aquitain;
Which we much rather had depart* withal,
And have the money by our father lent,
Than Aquitain so gelded as it is.
Dear princess, were not his requests so far
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
A yielding, 'gainst some reason in my breast,
And go well satisfied to France again.
Prin. You do the king my father too much wrong,
And wrong the reputation of your name,
In so unseeming to confess receipt
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.
King. I do protest, I never heard of it;
Prin. We arrest your word:—
Boyet, you can produce acquittances,
Kino. Satisfy me so.
Boyet. So please your grace, the packet is not come,
Where that and other specialties are bound;
Kino. It shall suffice me: at which interview,
Prin. Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace!
Kino. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place! [Exeunt Kino and his train.
BrnoN. Lady, I will commend you to my own heart.b
Ros. 'Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.
Biron. I would you heard it groan.
(*) First folio, would I. (t) First folio, further.
» Depart withal,—] Depart, for part. "Which we would much rather part with."
tr Lady, I will commend you to my own heart.) In the folio, 1623, this speech, and the speeches of Biron immediately following, are given to Boyet.
Ros. Alack, let it blood.
Boyet. The heir of Alencon, Rosaline her name.
Bum. A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well.
Long. I beseech you a word: What is she in the white?
Boyet. A woman sometimes, an * you saw her in the light.
Long. Perchance, light in the light: I desire her name.
Boyet. She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a shame.
Long. Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
Boyet. Her mother's, I have heard.
Lono. God's blessing on your beard!
Boyet. Good sir, be not offended: She is an heir of Falconbridgc.
Long. Nay, my choler is ended. She is a most sweet lady.
Boyet, Not unlike, sir; that may be.
Biron. What's her name, in the cap?
Boyet. Katharine, by good hap.
Biron. Is she wedded, or no?
Boyet. To her will, sir, or so.
Biron. You are welcome, sir; adieu!
Boyet. Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
[Exit Biron.—Ladies vnmask.
Mar. That last is Biron, the merry madcap lord; Not a word with him but a jest.
Boyet. And every jest but a word.
Prin. It was well done of you to take him at his word.
Boyet. I was as willing to grapple, as he was
to board. Mar. Two hot sheeps, marry! Boyet. And wherefore not ships?
No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips. Mar. You sheep, and I pasture: shall that
finish the jest? Boyet. So you grant pasture for me.
[Offering to kiss her. Mar. Not so, gentle beast;
(•) First folio, if. c JVo poynt,—] The same diminutive pun on the French negation, Aon point, is repeated in Act V. Sc. 2:—
"Dumain was at my service, and his sword;
My lips are no common, though several * they be.
Bovet. Belonging to whom?
Mab. To my fortunes and me.
Pbt>\ Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree: This civil war of wits were much better us'd On Navarre and his book-men; for here 't is abus'd.
Bo Vet. If my observation, (which very seldom lies.) By the heart's still rhetoric, disclosed with eyes, Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
Pan*. With what?
Boyet. With that which we lovers entitle, affected.
Priv. Your reason?
Bovet. Why, all his behaviours did* make their retire ■ To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire: His heart, like an agate, with your print impressed, Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed: IE* tongue, all impatient to speak and not see, Did stumble with haste in his eye-sight to be; All senses to that sense did make their repair, To feel onlv looking on fairest of fair: Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
(•) First folio, do. » Mf lips ore no common, though several they be.) The faculty in this passage has arisen from the particle though, ihirh appears to destroy the antithesis between common, i.e. peslic land, and several, which, in the ordinary acceptation, .it» Ki enclosed or private property. If, however, we take both
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
skilfully. Mar. He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns
news of him. Ros. Then was Venus like her mother; for her
father is but grim. Boyet. Do you hear, my mad wenches? Mar. No.
Boyet. What, then, do you see?
Ros. Ay, our way to be gone.
(*) First folio, whence. (f) First folio, out.
(J) Old editions, conle. as places devoted to pasture,—the one for general, the other for particular use,—the meaning is easy enough. Boyet asks permission to graze on her lips, "Not so," she answers; '* my lips, though intended for the purpose, are not for general use."
Enter Armado and Moth.
Arm. Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.
Moth. Concolinelfl) [Singing.
Arm. Sweet air !—Go, tenderness of years! take this key, give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately hither; I must employ him in a letter to my love.
Storm Master,* will you win your love with a French brawl ? (2)
Arm. How meanest thou? brawling in French?
Moth. No, my complete master: but to jig off a tune at the tongue's end, canary" to it with your' feet, humour it with turning up your eyelids I sigh a note, and sing a note; sometime through
(«) First folio omits Master. (t) First folio, the.
(I) First folio, eye. ft Canary to it with your feet, —) The canary was a favourite dance, probably of Spanish origin, and supposed to derive its name from the Canary Islands, where it was much in vogue. The folio, 1623, reads, " With the feet." b Your thin-belly doublet,—] Modern editors, except Capell,
the throat, as if you swallowed love with singing love; sometime through the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling love; with your hat, penthouselike, o'er the shop of your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly doublet,b like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands in your pocket, like a man after the old painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away: These are complements, these are humours; these betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without these; and make them men of note, (do you note, men ?) that most are affected to these.
Arm. How hast thou purchased this experience?
Moth. By my pennyc of observation/8)
Arm. But O,—but O—
Moth. —the hobby-horse is forgot.W
have thin belly-doublet; but surely thin-belly,11 like a rabbit on a spit," is more humorous.
c By my penny of observation.} The early copies read prune, which, with penny, penny, pennies, was an old form of spelling the word. "My penny," "his penny," "her penny," was a popular phrase formerly. See Note (3), Illustrative Comments on Act III.