And consciences that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with iny heart, That put Armado's page out of his part!

Enter the Princess, ushered by BoYET; Rosaline,

MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants. Biron. See where it comes !-Behavior, what wert

thou, Till this man showed thee? and what art thou now?

King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!

Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. · King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. Prin. Then wish me better; I will give you leave. King. We came to visit you; and purpose now

To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then. Prin. This field shall hold me; and so hold your

Nor God, nor I, delight in perjured men.
King. Rebuke me not for that which you provoke ;

The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
Prin. You nickname virtue; vice you should have

For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
Now, by my maiden honor, yet as pure

As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,

I would not yield to be your house's guest;
So much I hate a breaking-cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vowed with integrity.
King. O, you have lived in desolation here,

Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not so, my lord ; it is not so, I swear;

We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game. A mess of Russians left us but of late.

King. How, madam ? Russians ?

Ay, in truth, my lord ; Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state.

Ros. Madam, speak true. - It is not so, my lord ;

My lady, (to the manner of the days,')
In courtesy, gives undeserving praise.
We four, indeed, confronted here with four
In Russian habit. Here they staid an hour,
And talked apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless 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 jest is dry to me.-Fair, gentle sweet,
Your wit makes wise things foolish ; when we greet
With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye,
By light we lose light. Your capacity
Is of that nature, that to your huge store
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor.
Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my

eye,Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.

Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess.
Ros. All the fool mine?

I cannot give you less. Ros. Which of the visors was it that you wore? Biron. Where? when? what visor ? why demand

you this ? Ros. There, then, that visor ; that superfluous case, That hid the worse, and showed the better face. King. We are descried ; they'll mock us now down

right. Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. Prin. Amazed, my lord ? Why looks your high

ness sad ? · Ros. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why

look you pale ? — Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for

perjury. Can any face of brass hold longer out?


1 After the fashion of the times.

Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me;

Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout; Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance ;

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; And I will wish thee never more to dance,

Nor never more in Russian habit wait. O! never will I trust to speeches penned,

Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue; Nor never come in visor to my friend ;1

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song. Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,

Three-piled a hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical; these summer-flies

Have blown me full of maggot ostentation.
I do forswear them, and I here protest,
By this white glove, (how white the hand, God

Henceforth my wooing mind shall be expressed

In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes.
And, to begin, wench,—so God help me, la -
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.

Ros. Sans SANS, I pray you.3.

Biron. Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage.--Bear with me; I am sick;
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see ;-
Write, Lord have mercy on us, on those three ;
They are infected; in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes.
These lords are visited ; you are not free,
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.

Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens to us.
Biron. Our states are forfeit; seek not to undo us.

Ros. It is not so; for how can this be true, That you stand forfeit, being those that sue? 5

I Mistress.

2 A metaphor from the pile of velvet. 3 i. e. without French words, I pray you.

4 This was the inscription put upon the doors of houses infected with the plague. The tokens of the plague were the first spots or discolorations of the skin. ,

5 That is, how can those be liable to forfeiture that begin the process ? The quibble lies in the ambiguity of the word sue, which signifies to proceed to law, and to petition.


Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with you.
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.
King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude trans-

gression, Some fair excuse. Prin.

The fairest is confession.
Were you not here, but even now, disguised ?

King. Madam, I was.

And were you well advised ?
King. I was, fair madam.

When you then were here, What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

King. That more than all the world I did respect her. Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will reject

her. King. Upon mine honor, no.

Peace, peace, forbear; Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.

King. Despise me when I break this oath of mine.

Prin. I will; and therefore keep it.—Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear ?

Ros. Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
As precious eyesight; 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
Most honorably doth uphold his word.
King. What mean you, madam ? By

troth, I never swore this lady such an oath.

Ros. By Heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this ; but take it, sir, again.

King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
And lord Birón, I thank hiin, is my dear.-
What; will you have me, or your pearl again?

Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain.

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1 i. e. you care not, or do not regard forswearing.

I see the trick on’t.—Here was a consent?
(Knowing aforehand of our merriment)
To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some

That smiles his cheek in jeers, and knows the trick
To make my lady laugh, when she's disposed,
Told our intents before ; which once disclosed,
The ladies did change favors; and then we,
Following the signs, woved but the sign of she.
Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forsworn; in will and error.3
Much upon this it is.—And might not you [To Boyet.
Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue ?
Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire, 4

And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,

Holding a trencher, jesting merrily ?
You put our page out. Go, you are allowed ; 5
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
You leer upon me, do you? There's an eye
Wounds like a leaden sword.

Full merrily
Hath this brave manege, this career, been run.
Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have done.

Enter CostaRd.
Welcome, pure wit! Thou partest a fair fray.

Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know,
Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no.

Biron. What, are there but three?

No, sir; but it is vara fine,
For every one pursents three.

And three times thrice is nine.


1 An agreement, a conspiracy. See As You Like It, Act ii. Sc. 2. 2 The old copies read yeares : the emendation is Theobald's. 3 i. e. first in will, and afterwards in error.

4 From esquierre (Fr.), rue, or square. The sense is similar to the proverbial sayingHe has got the length of her foot.

5 That is, you are an allowed or a licensed fool or jester.

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