Imatges de pàgina

The French King's daughter with yourself to speak,

A maid of grace and compleat majesty, About surrender

up of Aquitain
To her decrepit, fick, and bed-rid father :
Therefore this article is made in vain,

Or vainly comes th’admired Princess hither.
King. Whatsay you, Lords? why, this was quite forgot.

Biron. So study evermore is overfhot ;
While it doth study to have what it would,
It doth forget to do the thing it should :
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
"Tis won, as towns with fire ; so won, so loft.

King. We must of force dispense with this decree,
She must lie here on mere necessity.
Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn

Three thousand times within this three years space:
For every man with his affects is born :

Noi by might master'd, but by special grace.
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me :
I am forsworn on mere necessity.-
So to the laws at large I write my name,

And he, that breaks them in the least degree,
Stands in attainder of eternal shame.

Suggestions are to others, as to me;
But, I believe, although I seem fo loth,
I am the lait that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted ?
King. Ay, that there is; our court, you know, is haunted

With a refined traveller of Spain,
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,

That hath a mint of phrafes in his brain :
One, whom the musick of his own vain tongue

Doth ravish, like inchanting harmony:
A man of complements, whom right and wrong

Have chole as umpire of their mutiny.
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

For inte;im to our studies, shall relate
In high-born words the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate.




How you delight, my Lords, I know not, I;
But, I proteft, I love to hear him lie;
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

Biron. Armado is a moit illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.

Long. Coftard the swain, and he, shall be our sport; And, so to study, three years are but short.

Enter Dull, and Costard with a letter. Dull. Which is the King's own person ? (5) Biron. This, fellow; what would'st? Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his Grace's Tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

Biron. This is he. Dull

. Signior Arme, Arme commends you. There's villany abroad; this letter will tell you more.

Coji. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

Biron. How low foever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Long. A high hope for a low having; God grant us patience! (6)

Biron. (5) Dull. Which is the Duke's own perfon?] The King of Navarre is in several passages, thro' all the copies, call'd the Duke: but as this must have sprung rather from the inadvertence of the editors, than a forgetfulness in the poet, I have every where, to avoid confufion, reftor'd King to the text.

(6) Abigb hope for a low heaven ;] A low beaven, fure, is a very intricate matter to conceive. But our accurate editors seem to observe the rule of Horace, whenever a moot point staggers them, dignus vina dice nodus; and where they cannot overcome a difficulty, they bring in heaven to untie the knot. As God grant us patience immediately preceded, they thought, heaven of consequence must follow. But, I dare warrant, I have retriev'd the poet's true reading; and the meaning is this. • Tho' you hope for high words, and should have 'them, it will be but a low acquisition at best'. This our poet calls a low having : and it is a substantive, which he uses in several other passages.

Merry Wives of Windfor.

Not by my consent, I promise you : the gentleman is of no having, - he kept company with the wild Prince and Poinz.

K, Henry

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

King. Will

Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing ?

Long. To hear meekly, Sir, to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.

Biron. Well, Sir, be it as the stile shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

Coff. The matteris tome, Sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

Biron. In what manner?

Coft. In manner and form, following, Sir; all those three. I was seen with her in the manor house, fitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now Sir, for the manner : It is the manner of a man to speak to a woman; for the form, in some form.

Biron. For the following, Sir?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!


hear the letter with attention ? Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Cofi. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after
the flesh.
King Reat deputy, the welkin's vice-gerent, and sole
reads. dominator of Navarre, my foul's earth's God,
and body's foftring patron
K. Henry VIII.

Our content
Is our best baving
And again afterwards ;

But par'd my present havings, to bestow

My bounties upon you. Timon of Athens.

The greatest of your having lacks a half

To pay your present debt. And in many other places. So, amongst the older Romans, they made a substantive of Habentia, in the like fignification. Nonius Marcellus furnishes an authority from Claudius Quadrigarius his annals. Verebar enim ne animos esrum inflaret habentia. For I was afraid left their hava ings (i. e. their riches, large circumstances) fhould elate their minds. St. Auflin likewise, in the lower age of Latinity, uses it in the same manner. And the Spariards have from thence form’d their bazienda, which signifies either wealth, posieliions, ability, or buliness.



Cost. Not a word of Coftard yet.
King. So it is

Coff. It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but fo.

King. Peace
Cojt. Be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
King. No words.
Cost. Of other men's secrets, I befeech you.

King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black oppressing humour to the most wholefome physick of thy health-giving air; and as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk : The time, when? about the fixth hour, when beafts moft graze, birds best peck, and men fit down to that nourishment which is callod supper: 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 snow-white pen the ebon coloured ink, which bere thou viewest, beholdest, Jurveyest, or feeft. But to the place, where; it ftandeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited wain, that base minow of thy mirth, (Cost. Me?) that unletter'd small-knowing foul, (Cost. Me?) that shallow vafal, (Cost. Still me:) which, as I remember, hight Costard; (Coft. O me!) sorted and conforted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edist and continent canon, with, with, O with, but with this I passion to say wherewith:

Coff. With a wench.

King. With a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or for thy more understanding, a woman; him, I (as my ever-esteem'd duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet Grace's officer, Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing and estimation. * Dull. Me, an't Thall please you: I am Anthony Dull.

King. For Jaquenetta, so is the weaker vessel calld) which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain, I keep her as a vajal of thy law's fury, and shall at the least of thy


sweet notice bring her to trial. Thine in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty,

Don Adriano de Armado.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Biron. This is not so 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? Cor. Sir, I confess the wench. King. Did you hear the proclamation ? Coff. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.

King. It was proclaim'd a year's imprisonment to be taken with a wench.

Coft. I was taken with none, Sir, I was taken with a damofel.

King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel.
Colt. This was no damosel neither, Sir, she was a virgin.
King. It is so varied too, for it was proclaim'd virgin.

Coft. If it were, I deny her virginity : I was taken with a maid.

King. This maid will not serve your turn, Sir.
Coft. This maid will serve my turn, Sir.

King. Sir, I will pronounce sentence; you shall fast a week with bran and water.

Coff. 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 sworn. [Exe.
Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,

These oaths and laws will prove an idle feorn. Sirrah, come on.

Coff. I suffer for the truth, Sir: for true it is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl; and therefore welcome the four cup of prosperity: affliction may one day smile again, and until then, fit thee down, sorrow.



« AnteriorContinua »