Imatges de pÓgina

KING. Will you hear this letter with attention?
BIRON. As we would hear an oracle.

COST. Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

KING. [reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and fole dominator of Navarre, my foul's earth's God, and body's foftering patron,

COST. Not a word of Coftard yet.

KING. So it is,

COST. It may be fo: but if he fay it is fo, he is, in telling true, but fo, fo,

KING. Peace.

COST.-be to me, and every man that dares not fight! KING. No words.

COST.-of other men's fecrets, I beseech you.

[ocr errors]

KING. So it is, befieged with fable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppreffing humour to the most wholefome phyfick of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time, when? About the fixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds beft peck, and men fit down to that nourishment which is called fupper. So much for the time when : Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walk'd upon: it is ycleped, thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my fnow-white pen the ebon-colour'd ink, which here thou vieweft, beholdeft, furveyeft, or feeft: But to the place, where,-It ftandeth northnorth-east and by eaft from the west corner of thy curiousknotted garden: There did I fee that low-fpirited fwain, that bafe minnow of thy mirth,


KING. that unletter'd fmall-knowing foul,

KING.-that fhallow vaffal,

COST. Still me.

KING.which, as I remember, hight Coftard,
COST. O me!

KING.-forted and conforted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with-with-O withbut with this I passion to say wherewith.

COST. With a wench.

KING.with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or, for thy more fweet understanding, a woman. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on) have fent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy fweet Grace's officer, Antony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and eftimation.

DULL. Me, an't fhall please you; I am Antony Dull. KING. For Jaquenetta, (fo is the weaker vessel called, which I apprehended with the aforefaid fwain,) I keep her as a veffel of thy law's fury; and fhall, at the leaft of thy fweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty,

Don Adriano de Armado.

BIRON. This is not fo well as I look'd for, but the best that ever I heard.

KING. Ay, the best for the worst. But, firrah, what say you to this?

COST. Sir, I confefs the wench.

KING. Did you hear the proclamation?

COST. I do confefs much of the hearing of it, but little of the marking of it.

KING. It was proclaim'd a year's imprisonment, to bę taken with a wench.

COST. I was taken with none, fir; I was taken with a damofel.

KING. Well, it was proclaimed damofel. COST. This was no damofel neither; fir, fhe was a virgin.

KING. It is fo varied too; for it was proclaim'd, virgin. Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity; I was taken with a maid.

KING. This maid will not ferve your turn, fir.

COST. This maid will ferve my turn, fir.

KING. Sir, I will pronounce your fentence; You fhall faft a week with bran and water.

COST. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

KING. And Don Armado fhall be your keeper.--My lord Biron see him deliver❜d o'er.—

And go we, lords, to put in practice that

Which each to other hath so strongly fworn.

[Exeunt. BIRON. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat, These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.--Sirrah, come on.

COST. I fuffer for the truth, fir: for true it is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl; and therefore, Welcome the four cup of profperity! Affliction may one day fmile again, and till then, Sit thee down, forrow!


SCENE II. Another part of the fame. ARMADO's House. Enter ARMADO and MOTH.

ARM. Boy, what fign is it, when a man of great spirit grows melancholy?

MOTH. A great fign, fir, that he will look fad.

ARM. Why, fadnefs is one and the felf-fame thing, dear imp.

MOTH. No, no; O lord, fir, no.

ARM. How can't thou part fadness and melancholy,

my tender juvenal?

MOTH. By a familiar demonftration of the working, my tough fenior.

ARM. Why tough senior? why tough senior?

MOTH. Why tender juvenal? Why tender juvenal? ARM. I fpoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.

MOTH. And I, tough fenior, as an appertinent title to your old time, which we may name tough.

ARM. Pretty, and apt.

MOTH. How mean you, fir? I pretty, and my faying apt? or I apt, and my faying pretty?

ARM. Thou pretty, because little.

MOTH. Little pretty, because little: Wherefore apt?

ARM. And therefore apt, becaufe quick.

MоTH. Speak you this in my praife, master?

ARM. In thy condign praife.

Morn. I will praife an eel with the fame praise.

ARM. What? that an eel is ingenious?

MоTн. That an eel is quick.

ARM. I do fay, thou art quick in anfwers: Thou heat'ft my blood.

MоTн. I am anfwer'd, fir.

ARM. I love not to be crofs'd.

MоTH. He speaks the mere contrary, croffes love not him. [Afide. ARM. I have promised to ftudy three years with the duke. MOTH. You may do it in an hour, fir.

ARM. Impoffible.


MOTH. How many is one thrice told?

ARM. I am ill at reckoning, it fitteth the spirit of a tapfter.

MOTн. You are a gentleman, and a gamester, fir.

ARM. I confefs both; they are both the varnish of a complete man.

MOTн. Then, I am fure, you know how much the grofs fum of deuce-ace amounts to.

ARM. It doth amount to one more than two.

MOTH. Which the base vulgar do call, three:
ARM. True.

MOTH. Why, fir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is three studied, ere you'll thrice wink and how easy is it to put years to the word three, and study three years in two words, the dancing horfe will tell you. ARM. A most fine figure! MOTH. To prove you a cypher.


ARM. I will hereupon confess, I am in love: and, as it is base for a foldier to love, so I am in love with a base wench. If drawing my fword against the humour of affection would deliver me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take defire prifoner, and ransom him to any French courtier for a new devis'd court'fy. I think scorn to figh; methinks, I fhould out-fwear Cupid. Comfort me, boy: What great men have been in love?

MOTH. Hercules, mafter.

ARM. Moft fweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name more; and, fweet my child, let them be men of good repute and carriage.

MOTH. Sampfon, master: he was a man of good carriage, great carriage; for he carried the town-gates on his back, like a porter: and he was in love.

ARM. O well-knit Sampfon! ftrong-jointed Sampfon! I do excel thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me

« AnteriorContinua »