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Eos. Look, what you do; you do it still i'the
dark. K.\in. So do not you; for you are a light
wench. Eos. Indeed, I weigh not vou; and therefore
light. Kath. You weigh me not,—O, that's you care
not for me. Eos. Great reason; for, Past cure is still past
care.* Prix. Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd. But, Bosaline, you have a favour too: Who sent it? and what is it?
Eos. I would, you knew:
An if mv face were but as fair as yours,
too, I were the fairest goddess on the ground: I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs. 0, he hath drawn my picture in his letter! Pais. Anything like? Eos. Much, in the letters; nothing in the
praise. Pars. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion. Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book. Ros. 'Ware pencils,b Ho! let me not die your debtor, My red dominical, my golden letter :c O that your face were not so* full of O's!
Pars. A pox of that jest! and I d beshrew all shrows! But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumain? Kath. Madam, this glove. Phis. Did he not send you twain?
Kath. Yes, madam; and moreover, Some thousand verses of a faithful lover; A huge translation of hypocrisy, VDely compil'd, profound simplicity. Mab. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longaville; The letter is too long by half a mile. Prix. I think no less: Dost thou not f wish in heart, The chain were longer, and the letter short'?
Mab. Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
Eos. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so. That same Biron I'll torture ere I go. O, that I knew he were but in by the week ! * How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek; And wait the season, and observe the times, And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes; And shape his service wholly to my behests;* And make him proud to make me proud that jests! So portent-likef would I o'ersway his state, That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
Prin. None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd, As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd, Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school; And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.
Eos. The blood of youth burns not with such excess, As gravity's revolt to wantonness.t
Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote; Since all the power thereof it doth apply, To prove, by wit, worth iu simplicity.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is J in
his face. Boyet. O, I am stabb'd with laughter 1 Where's
her grace? Prin. Thy news, lioyet? Boyet. Prepare, madam, prepare !—
Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are Against your peace: Love doth approach dis
guis'd, Arm'd in arguments; you '11 be surpris'd: Muster your wits; stand in your own defence; Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence. Prin. 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,
(•J First folio omits not so. (t) First folio omits not.
» Past rare is still past care.] The old editions transpose the vara* cmre and core; but Rosaline is quoting a familiar adage,— ■* Things past cure, past core.*'
b "Vjre pencils. Ho!] The elder copies read, Ware pensali. How! Mr. Dree has shown that, in books of the period, Ho 1 is fresporatlr printed How t but he Is wrong in saying that all eejtanas have hitherto retained the old reading. Sir Thomas asraer, m his edition, 1744, gives the lection in the text.
c Mo golden letter:] Rosaline was a "darke ladye;" Katharine Strand golden haired; and, as in the early alphabets for children, A was printed in red, and B in black, ink, the taunting allusions tat surScienUy expressive.
(•) The quarto and first folio have device.
"1 And I beshrewa// shrows!] To beshrew, it to imprecate sorrow, or evil, on any person or thing, to curse, &c.
« He were but in by the week ►] To be in by the week, i.e. for a fixed period, was a frequent saying in former times: and is supposed to be taken from the custom of hiring servants, or operatives, generally.
f So portent-like—] The old copies have pertaunt-Iike. Hanmer first suggested porUnt-like; and he has been followed by most of the subsequent editors.
Toward that shade I might behold addrcss'd
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
Pars. 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.
Pbin. And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd:—
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
» To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.) Mr. Collier's annotator, for 'Solemn tears," reads " surtdm tears," which is, at least, a very plausible suggestion. But whether we have sudden, or solemn tears, I cannot help believing the line should run,—
To check their folly's passion, &c.
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine;
Kos. Come on then; wear the favours most in sight.
Kath. But, in this changing, what is your intent?
Prix. 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 love* mistook; and so be mock'd withal, Upon the next occasion that we meet, With visages display'd, to talk and greet.
Kos. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Prix. No; to the death we will not move a foot, Nor to their pcnn'd speech render we no grace: Bm, while 't is spoke, each turn away her* face.
Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's t heart, And quite divorce his memory from his part.
Prix. 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 oui-s, and ours none but our own: So shall we stay, mocking intended game; And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame. [Trumpets sound within.
Boyet. The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the maskers come. [The ladies mask.
Enter Out King, BmoN, Longaville, and DnrADf, in Russian habits, and masked; Moth, Musicians, and Attendants.
Moth. A11 hail the richest beauties on the earth! Bibox. Beauties no richer than rich taffata.
[Aside. Moth. A holy parcel of the fairest dames,
[The ladies turn their backs to him. That eter turn'd their—backs—to mortal views! Bibon. Their eyes, villain, tlieir eyes! Moth. That ever turrid their eyes to mortal views! Oat— Boyet. True: out, indeed. Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly spii-Us, vouchsafe Fot to behold— Braox. Once to behold, rogue. Moth. Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,— Witt 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. BmoN. Is this your perfectness? begone, you
rogue! Bos. What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet: If they do speak our language, 't is our will That some plain man recount their purposes: Know what they would.
Boyet. What would you with the princess?
gone. King. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles, To tread a measure(2) with her* on the grass. Boyet. They say that they have measur'd many a mile, To trend a measure with you on this grass.
Kos. It is not so; ask them how many inches Is iu one mile: if they have measur'd many, The measure then of one is easily told.
Boyet. If, to come hither, you have measur'd miles, And many miles, the princess bids you tell, How many inches do f fill up one mile.
Bibon. Tell her, we measure them by weary
steps. Boyet. She hears herself. Kos. How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,
Biron. We number nothing that wc spend for
Kos. My face is but a moon, and clouded too. Kino. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do! Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to
shine (Those clouds remov'd) upon our watery eyne.
Kos. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.
King. Then, in our measure, do but vouchsafe
Thou bidd'st me beg; this begging is not strange.
Kos. Play, music, then: nay, you must do it
soon. [Music plays.
Eos. Your absence only.
Eos. Then cannot we be bought: and so adieu;
obit. Ros. In private then.
Ease, I am best pleas'd with that.
[They converse apart.
Botox. White-handed mistress, one sweet word
with thee. Piss. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is
three. Biaox. Nay, then, two treys (an if you grow so nice), Metbeglin, wort, and malmsey.—Well run, dice! There's half a dozen sweets.
Pass. Seventh sweet, adieu!
Sate you can cog,* I 'll play no more with you.
Baox. Thou griev'st my gall.
Baox. Therefore meet.
[They converse apart. Dck. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a
word? iLut Name it.
Dnc. Fair lady,—
Kath. Then die a calf, before your horns do
Long. One word in private with you, ere I die.
Kath. 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. Ros. Not one word more, my maids; break off,
break off. Bikon. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure
scoff! Irma. Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits. [Exeunt King, Lords, Math, Music, and Attendants. Pbin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.— Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at? Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet
breaths puff'd out. Ros. Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross;
fat, fat. Pam. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout !b Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight? Or ever, but in visors, show their faces? This pert Biron was out of countenance quite. Bos. O! they were all in lamentable cases! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word. Pam. Biron did swear himself out of all suit. Mab. Dumain was at my service, and his sword: No point,' quoth I; my servant straight was mute. Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart; And trow you what he called me?
Pbin. Qualm, perhaps.
Kath. Yes, in good faith.
Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute-
Mab. Say you so? Fair lord,—
Tile* that for your fair lady.
Dm. Please it you,
is much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
[They converse apart. Kath. What, was your visor made without a
tongue ? Loso. I know the reason, lady, why you ask, Kath. 0, for your reason! quickly, sir; I
long. Losg. \ou have a double tongue within your mask, And would afford my speechless visor half. Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman:—Is not
veal a calf)
Loxo. Let's part the word.
Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.
(n Pint folio, "Take you that."
•W*"" **" M* e0*'—1 ^"° e09 ^e d*ee " t0 *oftd tnem *°r -Mttiat; lad brace, when any one deceive, or defraud another, » 'A sud k "F
'^y*T*> » •*'/, kingly-poor flout!] No ingenuity has yet trended is extracting sense from this passage. It appears to u Quifcatir corrupt, and the misprint to have been occasioned
by a transposition. Kingly-poor, I suspect, is no other than a
"O poverty in wit, poor-liking flout!" Liking, of old, was spelt, indifferently, liking, or It/king. c No point,—] See note (c), p. 62.