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This Gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve.
He can carve too, and lifp: why, this is he,
That kift away his hand in courtefie;
This is the ape of form, Monfieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable terms: nay, he can fing
A mean most mainly; and, in ufhering,
Mend him who can; the ladies call him fweet;
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
This is the flower, that smiles on every one,
To fhew his teeth, as white as whale his bone.
And confciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.
King. A blifter on his fweet tongue with my heart,
That put Armado's Page out of his Part!
Enter the Princefs, Rofaline, Maria, Catharine, Boyet, and attendants.
Biron. See, where it comes; behaviour, what wert thou,
'Till this man fhew'd thee? and what art thou now? King. All hail, fweet Madam, and fair time of day !
Prin. Fair in all hail is foul, as I conceive. King. Conftrue my fpeeches better, if you may.
Prin. Then with me better, I will give you leave. King, We come to vifit you, and purpose now
To lead you to our Court; vouchsafe it then. Prin. This field fhall hold me, and fo hold your vow: 'Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. King. Rebuke me not for That, which you provoke ; The vertue of your eye must break my oath. Prin. You nick-name virtue; vice you should have spoke :
For virtue's office never breaks mens' troth.
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure
As the unfully'd lilly, I proteft,
A world of torments though I fhould endure,
I would not yield to be your house's gueft:
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heav'nly oaths, vow'd with integrity.
King. O, you have liv'd in defolation here,
Unfeen, unvifited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not fo, my lord; it is not fo, I swear;
We have had paftimes here, and pleasant game.
A mefs of Ruffians left us but of late.
King. How, Madam? Ruffians?
Prin. Ay, in truth, my lord;
Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state.
Rof. Madam, fpeak true. It is not fo, my lord:
My lady (to the manner of the days)
In courtefie gives undeserving praise.
We four, indeed, confronted were with four
In Ruffian habit: here they stay'd an hour,
And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not blefs us with one happy word.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
Biron. This jeft is dry to me. Fair, gentle, fweet, Your wit makes wife things foolish; when we greet With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye, By light we lofe light; your capacity Is of that nature, as to your huge ftore Wife things feem foolish, and rich things but poor. Rof. This proves you wife and rich; for in my eyeBiron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.
Rof. But that you take what doth to you belong, It were a fault to fnatch words from my tongue. Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess. Rof. All the fool mine?
Biron. I cannot give you lefs.
Rof. Which of the vizors was it, that you wore? Biron. Where? when? what vizor? why demand you this?
Rof. There, then, that vizor, that fuperfluous Cafe,
That hid the worse, and fhew'd the better face.
King. We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.
Dum. Let us confefs, and turn it to a jest.
Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? why looks your Highness
Rof. Help, hold his brows, he'll fwoon: why look you pale ?
Sea-fick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for Perjury.
Can any face of brafs hold longer out?
Here ftand I, lady, dart thy skill at me;
Bruise me with fcorn, confound me with a flout,
Thrust thy fharp wit quite through my ignorance;/
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will with thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
O! never will I truft to fpeeches pen'd,
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue;
Nor never come in vizor to my friend,
Nor woo in rhime, like a blind harper's fong.
Taffata-phrafes, filken terms precise,
Three-pil'd hyperboles, fpruce affectation,
Figures pedantical, these fummer-flies,
Have blown me full of maggot oftentation:
I do forfwear them; and I here proteft,
By this white glove, (how white the hand, God knows!)
Henceforth my wooing mind fhall be exprest
In ruffet yeas, and honeft kerfie noës:
And to begin, wench, (fo God help me, law!)
My love to thee is found, fans crack or flaw.
Rof. Sans, fans, I pray you.
Biron. Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage: bear with me, I am fick.
I'll leave it by degrees: foft, let us fee;
Write, Lord have mercy on us, on those three;
They are infected, in their hearts it lyes;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes:
Thefe lords are vifited, you are not free;
For the lord's tokens on you both I fee.
Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens
Biron. Our ftates are forfeit, feek not to undo us.
Rof. It is not fo; for how can this be true,
That you ftand forfeit, being those that fue?
Biron. Peace, for I will not have to do with you.
Rof. Nor fhall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for your felves, my wit is at an end.
King. Teach us, fweet Madam, for our rude tranf-
Some fair excufe.
Prin. The fairest is confeffion.
Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd?
King. Madam, I was.
Prin. And were you well advis'd?
King. I was, fair Madam.
Prin. When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
King. That more than all the world I did refpect her.
Prin. When fhe fhall challenge this, you will re-
King. Upon mine honour, no.
Prin. Peace, peace, forbear:
Your oath once broke, you force not to forfwear.
King. Defpife me, when I break this oath of mine.
Prin. I will, and therefore keep it. Rofaline,
What did the Ruffian whisper in your ear?
Rof. Madam, he fwore, that he did hold me dear
As precious eye-fight; and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto, moreover,
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord Moft honourably doth uphold his word.
King. What mean you, Madam? by my life, my I never swore this lady fuch an oath,
Rof. By heav'n, you did; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this: but take it, Sir, again.
King. My faith, and this, to th' Princess I did give;
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Prin. Pardon me, Sir, this jewel did she wear:
And lord Biron, I thank him, is my Dear.
What? will you have me? or your pearl again?
Biron. Neither of either: I remit both twain.
I fee the trick on't; here was a confent,
(Knowing aforehand of our merriment)
To dash it, like a Chriftmas comedy.
Some carry-tale, fome please-man, fome flight zany,
Some mumble-news, fome trencher-knight, fome Dick,
That fmiles his cheek in jeers, and knows the trick (37)
To make my lady laugh, when she's difpos'd,
Told our intents before; which once disclos'd,
The ladies did change Favours, and then we,
Following the figns, woo'd but the fign of the
Now to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forfworn; in will, and error.
Much upon this it is. And might not You [To Boyet.
Forestal our sport, to make us thus untrue ?
Do not you know my lady's foot by th' fquier,
And laugh upon the apple of her eye,
And ftand between her back, Sir, and the fire,
Holding a trencher, jefting merrily?
You put our Page out: go, you are allow'd ;
Die when you will, a fmock fhall be your shrowd.
You leer upon me, do you? there's an eye,
Wounds like a leaden fword.
Boyet. Full merrily
Hath this brave Manage, this Career, been run.
Biron. Lo, he is tilting strait. Peace, I have done.
Welcome, pure wit, thou parteft a fair fray.
Coft. O lord, Sir, they would know
Whether the three Worthies fhall come in, or no.'
Biron. What, are there but three?
Coft. No, Sir, but it is vara fine; For every one pursents three.
(37) That fmiles his Cheek in years.] Thus the whole Set of Impreffions: but I cannot for my Heart comprehend the Sense of this Phrafe. I am perfuaded, I have reftor'd the Poet's Word and Meaning. Boyer's Character was That of a Fleerer, jeerer, mocker, carping Blade.