Imatges de pÓgina

Action and accent did they teach him there;
Thus must thou fpeak, and thus thy body bear;
And ever and anon they made a doubt,
Prefence majestical would put him out:
For, quoth the King, an Angel fhalt thou fee';
Yet fear not thou, but fpeak audaciously.
The boy reply'd, an Angel is not evil;

I fhould have fear'd her, had fhe been a Devil.-
With that all laugh'd, and clap'd him on the shoulder,
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
One rubb'd his elbow thus, and fleer'd and fwore,
A better fpeech was never fpoke before.
Another with his finger and his thumb,

Cry'd, via! we will do't, come what will come.
The third he caper'd and cry'd, all goes well:
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
With that they all did tumble on the ground,
With fuch, a zealous laughter, fo profound,
That in this fpleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, paffion's folemn tears.

Prin. But what, but what, come they to vifit us? Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparell'd thus, Like Mofcovites, or Ruffians, as I guess.

Their purpofe is to parley, court and dance;
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his fev'ral mistress; which they'll know
By Favours fev'ral, which they did bestow.

Prin. And will they for the gallants fhall be tafkt;
For, ladies, we will every one be mafkt:
And not a man of them fhall have the grace,
Defpight of fuit, to fee a lady's face.

Hold, Rofaline; this Favour thou shalt wear,
And then the King will court thee for his Dear:
Hold, take you this, my fweet, and give me thine;
So fhall Biron take me for Rosaline.

And change your Favours too; fo fhall your Loves
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.

Rof. Come on then, wear the Favours most in fight. Cath. But in this changing, what is your intent?

Prin. Th' effect of my intent is to cross theirs ;
They do it but in mocking merriment,
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their feveral councils they unbofom fhall
To loves miftook, and fo be mockt withal,
Upon the next occafion that we meet,
With vifages difplay'd, to talk and greet.

Rof. But fhall we dance, if they defire us to't? Prin. No; to the death, we will not move a foot; Nor to their pen'd speech render we no grace : But while 'tis fpoke, each turn away her face. Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart, And quite divorce his memory from his part.

Prin. Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt,
The reft will ne'er come in, if he be out.

There's no fuch sport, as fport by fport o'erthrown;
To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own;
So fhall we ftay, mocking intended game;

And they, well mockt, depart away with fhame. [Sound.
Boyet. The trumpet founds; be mafkt, the maskers come,

Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, Dumain, and Attendants, difguis'd like Mofcovites; Moth with Mufick, as for a mafquerade.

Moth. All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!
Boyet. Beauties, no richer than rich taffata. (36)
Moth. A holy parcel of the fairest dames,

That ever turn'd their backs to mortal views.

[The ladies turn their backs to him.

Biron. Their eyes, villain, their eyes.


(36) Biron. Beauties, no richer than rich Taffata.] i. e. Taffata Masks they wore to conceal themselves. All the Editors concur to give this Line to Biron; but, furely, very abfurdly : for he's one of the zealous Admirers, and hardly would make fuch an Inference. Boyet is fneering at the Parade of their Addrefs, is in the fecret of the Ladies' Stratagem, and makes himself Sport at the Abfurdity of their Proem, in complimenting their Beauty, when they were mafk'd. It therefore comes from him with the utmost Propriety.


Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views,


Biron. True; out, indeed.

Moth. Out of your favours, heav'nly Spirits, vouchsafe Not to behold.

Biron. Once to behold, rogue.

Moth. Once to behold with your fun-beamed eyes With your fun-beamed eyes

Boyet. They will not anfwer to that epithet; You were beft call it daughter-beamed eyes.

Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings me out. Biron. Is this your perfectnefs? be gone, you rogue. Rof. What would thefe ftrangers? know their minds, Boyet. If they do speak our language, 'tis our will

That fome plain man recount their purposes.
Know what they would.

Boyet. What would you with the Princess?
Biron. Nothing, but peace and gentle vifitation.
Rof. What would they, fay they?

Boyet. Nothing, but peace and gentle vifitation.
Rof. Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.
Boyet. She fays, you have it; and you may be gone.
King. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles,
To tread a measure with her on the grafs.

Boyet. They fay, that they have measur'd many a mile, To tread a measure with you on this grass.

Rof. It is not fo. Ask them, how many inches
Is in one mile: if they have measur'd many,
The measure then of one is eafily told.

Boyet. If to come hither you have measur'd miles,
And many miles; the Princess bids you tell,

How many inches doth fill up one mile?

Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.
Boyet. She hears herself,

Rof. How many weary steps

Of many weary miles, have you o'ergone,
Are number'd in the travel of one mile?

Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you;

Our duty is fo rich, so infinite,


That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchfafe to fhew the funfhine of your face,
That we (like favages) may worship it.

Rof. My face is but a moon, and clouded too. King, Bleffed are clouds, to do as fuch clouds do. Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy ftars, to shine (Thofe clouds remov'd) upon our watery eyne.

Rof. O vain petitioner, beg a greater matter; Thou now request'ft but moon-shine in the water. King. Then in our measure vouchfafe but one change; Thou bid'ft me beg, this begging is not strange,

Rof. Play, mufick, then; nay, you must do it foon. Not yet? no dance? thus change I, like the moon. King. Will you not dance? how come you thus eftrang'd. Roj. You took the moon at full, but now she's chang'd. King. Yet ftill fhe is the moon, and I the man. The mufick plays, vouch fafe fome motion to it. Rof. Our ears vouchsafe it.

King. But your legs fhould do it.

Rof. Since you are strangers, and come here by chance,

We'll not be nice; take hands;

King. Why take you hands then!

Rof. Only to part friends;

we will not dance.

Curt'fy, fweet hearts, and fo the measure ends.

King. More measure of this measure; be not nice.
Rof. We can afford no more at such a price.

King. Prize yourselves then; what buys your company?
Rof. Your abfence only.

King. That can never be.

Rof. Then cannot we be bought; and fo, adieu;
Twice to your vifor, and half once to you.

King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.
Ro. In private then.

King. I am beft pleas'd with That.

Biron.White-handed miftrefs, one fweet word with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and fugar, there is three. Biron. Nay then, two treys; and if you grow fo nice, Methegline, wort, and malmfeywell run, dice: There's half a dozen fweets.

Prin. Seventh sweet, adieu;

Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.

Biron. One word in fecret.

Prin. Let it not be fweet.

Biron. Thou griev'ft my gall.

Prin. Gall? bitter.

Biron. Therefore meet.

Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word? Mar. Name it.

Dum. Fair lady,

Mar. Say you for fair lord:

Take that for your fair lady.
Dum. Please it you;

As much in private; and I'll bid adieu.

Cath. What, was your vifor made without a tongue? Long. I know the reafon, lady, why you ask. Cath. O, for your reafon! quickly, Sir; I long. Long. You have a double tongue within your mafk, And would afford my fpeechlefs vizor half.

Cath. Veal, quoth the Dutch man; is not veal a calf? Long. A calf, fair lady?

Cath. No, a fair lord calf.

Long. Let's part the word.

Cath. No, I'll not be your half;

Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.

Long. Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks! Will you give horns, chafte lady? do not fo.

Cath. Then die a calf, before your horns do grow. Long. One word in private with you, ere I die. Cath. Bleat foftly then, the butcher hears you cry. Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen As is the razor's edge, invincible,

Cutting a smaller hair than may be feen:

Above the fense of sense so fenfible

Seemeth their conference, their conceits have wings; Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, fwifter things. Rof. Not one word more, my maids; break off,

break off.

Biron. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure fcoff..

« AnteriorContinua »