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numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius Naso was the man; and why, indeed, Naso, but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention ? Imitari, is nothing; so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the tired horse his rider. But damosella virgin, was this directed to you?
Jaq. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron, one of the strange queen’s lords.
Hol. I will overglance the superscript. To the snow-white hand of the most beauteous lady Rosaline. I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for the nomination of the party writing to the person written unto.
Your ladyship's in all desired employment, Biron. Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger queen's, which, accidentally, or by the way of progression, hath miscarried. Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the king; it may concern much. Stay not thy compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu.
Jaq. Good Costard, go with me.—Sir, God save
[Exeunt Cost. and JAQ. Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously; and, as a certain father saith—
Hol. Sir, tell me not of the father; I do fear colorable colors. But to return to the verses-did they please you, sir Nathaniel ?
Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.
Hol. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupil of mine ; where if, before repast, it shall please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my
1 i. e. the horse adorned with ribands; Bankes's horse is here probably alluded to.
2 Shakspeare forgot that Jaquenetta knew nothing of Biron, and had said just before that the letter had been “sent to her from Don Armatho, and given to her by Costard.”
3 That is, specious or fair-seeming appearances.
privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where I will prove those verses to be very unlearned, neither savoring of poetry, wit, nor invention. I beseech
I beseech your society. Nath. And thank you too; for society (saith the text) is the happiness of life.
Hol. And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.—Sir, [To Dull.] I do invite you too; you shall not say me, nay; pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their game, and we will to our recreation.
SCENE III. Another part of the same.
Enter Biron, with a Paper. Biron. The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing myself; they have pitched a toil; I am toiling in a pitch ;' pitch that defiles ; defile ! a foul word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so, they say, the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool.
Well proved, wit! By the lord, this love is as mad as Ajax. It kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep. Well proved again on my side! I will not love; if I do, hang me; i'faith, I will not. O, but her eye-by this light, but for her eye, I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By Heaven, I do love; and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy; and here is part of
my rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets already; the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the lady hath it; sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care a pin if the other three were in. Here comes one with a paper; God give him grace to groan!
[Gets up into a tree. Enter the King, with a Paper. King. Ah me!
1 Alluding to Rosaline's complexion, who is represented as beauty.
? This is given as a proverb in Fuller's Gnomologia.
Biron. [ Aside.] Shot, by Heaven !—Proceed, sweet
rose, As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows; Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep;
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe;
And they thy glory through thy grief will showo.
No thought can think, no tongue of mortal tell.How shall she know my griefs ? I'll drop the paper; Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
Enter LONGAVILLE, with a Paper. What, Longaville! and reading! Listen, ear. Biron. Now, in thy likeness, one more fool, appear !
[ Aside. Long. Ah me! I am forsworn. Biron. Why, he comes in like a perjure,' wearing papers.
1 The ancient punishment of a perjured person was to wear on the breast a paper expressing the crime.
King. In love, I hope ; sweet fellowship in shame!
Biron. One drunkard loves another of the name.
[ Aside. Long. Am I the first that have been perjured so? Biron. [Aside.] I could put thee in comfort; not
by two, that I know. Thou mak'st the triumviry, the corner-cap of society, The shape of love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity. Long. I fear these stubborn lines lack power to
move ; O sweet Maria, empress of my love! These numbers will I tear, and write in prose. Biron. [ Aside.] O, rhymes are guards on wanton
Cupid's hose; Disfigure not his slop.? Long.
This same shall go.
[He reads the sonnet. Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye
('Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument) Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows for thee broke, deserve not punishment. A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee. My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
Thy grace being gained, cures ali disgrace in me. Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is:
Then, thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine, Exhal'st this vapor vow; in thee it is.
If broken then, it is no fault of mine ; If by me broke, what fool is not so wise, To lose an oath to win a paradise ? Biron. [ Aside.] This is the liver vein, which makes
flesh a deity; A green goose, a goddess; pure, pure idolatry.
1 By triumviry and the shape of love's Tyburn, Shakspeare alludes to the gallows of the time, which was occasionally triangular.
2 Slops were wide-kneed breeches, the garb in fashion in Shakspeare's
3 It has been already remarked that the liver was anciently supposed to be the seat of love.
God amend us, God amend! we are much out o'
Enter Dumain, with a Paper. Long. By whom shall I send this ?—Company! stay.
Dum. O most divine Kate !
O most profane coxcomb!
[ Aside. Dum. By Heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye! Biron. By earth, she is but corporal ; there you lie.
[ Aside. Dum. Her amber hairs for foul have amber coted.3 Biron. An amber-colored raven was well noted.
[Aside. Dum. As upright as the cedar. Biron.
Stoop, I say; Her shoulder is with child.
As fair as day. Biron. Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.
[Aside. Dum. O that I had my wish! Long.
And I had mine! [Aside. King. And I mine too, good Lord ! [ Aside. Biron. Amen, so I had mine; is not that a good word ?
[Aside. Dum. I would forget her ; but a fever she Reigns in my blood, and will remembered be.
1 The allusion is to the play of hide and seek.
2 A woodcock means a foolish fellow; that bird being supposed to have no brains.
3 Coted signifies marked or noted. The word is from coter, to quote. The construction of this passage will therefore be, “ Her amber hairs have marked or shown that real amber is foul in comparison with themselves.” Steevens, however, assigns to cote the meaning of outstrip. VOL. II.