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But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?
Ros. I would, you
An if my face were but as fair as yours,
My favour were as great; be witness this.
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron :
The numbers true; and, were the numb'ring too,
I were the fairest goddess on the ground: 190
I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs.
0, he hath drawn my picture in his letter!
Prin. Any thing like?
Ros. Much, in the letters; nothing, in the praise.
Prin. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.
Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book.
Ros. 'Ware pencils ! How ? let me not die your
My red dominical, my golden letter :
O, that your face were not so full of O's!
199 Kath. Pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows. Prin. But what was sent to you from fair Dumain ? Kath. Madam, this glove. Prin. Did he not send
Kath. Yes, madam; and moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover :
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compil'd, profound simplicity.
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longa
The letter is too long by half a mile,
Prin. I think no less; Dost thou not wish in heart, The chain were longer, and the letter short?
Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
Prin. We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so.
Ros. They are worse fools, to purchase mocking
That same Biron I'll torture ere I go.
0, that I knew he were but in by the week!
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek ;
And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhimes ;
And shape his service all to my behests ;
And make him proud to make me proud that jests !
Só portent-like would I o'ersway his state,
That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
Prin. None are so surely caught, when tliey are
As wit turn'd fool : folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school;
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.
Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such
excess; As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, 230 As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote ; Since all the power thereof it doth apply, To prove,' by wit, worth in simplicity.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. Boyet. 0, I am stabb’d with laughter! Where's her
grace? Prin. Thy news, Boyet ?
Boyet. Prepare, madam, prepare! Arm, wenches, arın !-encounters mounted are Against your peace : Lovę doth approach disguis'd, Armed in arguments ; you'll be surpris'd : 240 Muster your wits ; stand in your own defence ; Or hide
your heads like cowards, and fly hence. Prin. Saint Dennis to St. Cupid ! What are they, That charge their breath against us ? say, scout, say.
Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore,
I thought to close my eyes some half an hour :
When, lo! to interrupt my purpos'd rest,
Toward that shade I might behold addrest
The king and his companions : warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
And overheard what you shall overhear;
That, by and by, disguis’d they will be here.
Their herald is a pretty knavish page,
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage:
Action, and accent, did they teach him there;
Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear :
And ever and anon they made a doubt,
Presence majestical would put him out;
For, quoth the king, an angel shalt thou see
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously:
The boy reply'd, An angel is not evil;
I should have fear'd her, had she 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 swore,
A better speech was never spoke 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. 290
With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparel'd thus,
Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I guess,
Their purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance :
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress; which they'll know
By favours several, which they did bestow.
Prin. And will they so the gallants shall be
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despight of suit, to see a lady's face.-
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear;
And then the king will court thee for his dear :
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine;
So shall Biron take me for Rosaline.
And change your favours too; so shall your loves Woo contrary, deceiv’d by these removes. 291 Ros. Come on then ; wear the favours most in
sight. Kath. But, in this changing, what is your
intent? Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs : They do it but in mocking merriment; And mock for mock is only my intent. Their several counsels they unbosom shall To loves mistook ; and so be mock'd withal, Upon the next occasion that we meet, With visages display'd, to talk, and greet. 300
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Prin. No; to the death, we will not move a foot : Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace ; But, while 'tis spoke, 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 rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. There's no such sport, as sport by sport o'erthrown; To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own : So shall we stay, mocking intended game; And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame.
Sound. Boyet. The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the maskers
[The Ladies mask.