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

Roja. It is not fo; for how can this be true,

you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
Biron. Peace, for I will not have to do with you.
Rofa. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an end.

King. Teach us, sweet Madam, forourrude transgression Some fair excuse.

Prin. The faireft is confeffion.
Were you not here, but even now, disguis’d?

King. Madam, I was.
Prin. And were you well advis'd ? -
King. I was, fair Madam.

Prin. 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 the shall challenge this, you will rejecther.
King. Upon mine honour, no.

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

King. Despise me when I breakthis oath of mine.

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

Rofa. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me deas As precious eye-light; 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 Moft honourably doth uphold his word.

King. What mean you, Madam? by my life, my troth, I never swore this Lady such an oath.

Rofa. By heav'n, you did; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this: but take it, Sir, again.

King. My faith, and this, to th’ Princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

Prin. Pardon me, Sir, this jewel did she wear:
And Lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear,
What will you have me? or your pearl again?


L 5

Biron. Neither of either : I remit both twain.
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, fome please-man, some flight zany,
Some mumble-news, fome trencher-knight, Tome Dick,
That smiles his cheek in jeers, and knows the trick (48)
To make my Lady laugh, when she's dispos’d,
Told our intents before ; which once disclos’d,
The Ladies did change favours, and then we,
Following the figns, woo'd but the sign of the :
Now to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forfworn, in will and error.
Much upon this it is. - And might not you [To Boyet.
Foreital our sport, to make us thus untrue ?
Do not you know my Lady's foot by th' squier,

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

Holding a trencher, jefting merrily?
You put our page out: go, you are allow'd ;
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.

Boyet. Full merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career been run.
Biron. Lo, he is tilting strait. Peace, I have done.

Enter Coftard.

Welcome, pure wit, thou parteft a fair fray.

Ceft. O Lord, Sir, they would know Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no. Biron. What, are there but three ?

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

Biron. And three times thrice is nine?

(48) That Smiles bis cheek in years,] Thus the whole set of impreffions: but I cannot for my heart comprehend the sense of this phrase. I am persuaded, I have restor'd the poet's word and meaning. Boyer's character was that of a ficerer, jeerer, mocker, carping blade.


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Coft. Not fo, Sir, under correction, Sir; I hope, it is not fo. You cannot beg us, Sir; I can affure you, Sir, we know what we know : I hope, three times thrice, Sir

Biron. Is not nine.

Coft. Under correction, Sir; we know where until it doth amount.

Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for nine, Coft. O Lord, Sir, it were pity you should

get your living by reckoning, Sir.

Biron. How much is it?

Coft. O Lord, Sir, the parties themselves, the actors, Sir, will shew where until it doth amount; 'for my own part, I am, as they say, but to perfect one man in one poor man, Pompion the Great, Sir.

s' Biron. Art thou one of the worthies ?

Coff. It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompior the great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of the worthy, but I am to fand for him.

10:963 Biron. Go bid them

prepare, Coft. We will turn it finely off, Sir, we will take fome care.

King. Biron, they will shame us; let them not approach.

[Exit Coit. Biron. We are fame-proof, my Lord; and 'tis foine

policy To have one showworse than the King's and his company,

King. I say, they shall not come.

Prin. Nay, my gocd Lord, let me o'er-rule you now; That sport beft pleases, that doth least know how. Where zeal ftrives to content, and the contents Dies in the zeal of that which it presents ; Their form, confounded, makes most form in mirth When great things, labouring, perifh in' their birth. Biron. A right description of our sport, my Lord.

Enter Armado. Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expence of thy royal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of words.; : Prin. Doth this man serve God

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Biron. Why ask you ?
Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making.

Arm. That's all one, my fair sweet honey monarch ; for, I proteft, the schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical ; too, too vain ; too, too vain : but we will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal cupplement.

King. Here is like to be a good presence of worthies : he presents Hector of Troy, the fwain Pompey the Great, the parish-curate Alexander, Armado's page Hero cules, the pedant Judas Machabeus. And if these four worthies in their first show thrive, These four will change habits, and present the other five.

Biron. There are five in the first show.
King. You are deceiv'd, 'tis not fo.
Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest,

the fool, and the boy.
A bare throw at Novum, and the whole world again
Cannot prick out five such, take each one in's vein.
King. The ship is under fail, and here the comes amain,

Enter Coftard for Pompey.
Coft. / Pompey am
Boyet. "You lye, you are not he.
Cof. I Pompey am
Boyet. With Libbard's head on knee. (49)

Biron. Well , faid, old mocker : I must needs be friends with thee.

Coff. I Pompey am, Pompey, surnam’d the Big.
Dum. The Great.

Coft. It is Great, Sir; Pompey, surnam'd the Great ; That oft in field, with targe and shield,

Did make my foe to sweat : And travelling along this coaft, I bere am come by chance; And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France. If your Ladyfhip would say, 'thanks Pompey,” I had done.

(49) with Li hard's bead on knee.] This alludes to those oldfashion'd garments, apon the knees and elbows of which it was frequent to have, by way of ornament, a Leopard's, or Lion's head. This accoutremeat the Frenb call d une masquine,

Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey.

Coft. 'Tis not so much worth ; but, I hope, I was perfect. I made a little fault in great.

Biron. My hat to a halt-penny, Pompey proves the best worthy.

Enter Nathaniel for Alexander,
Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the world's

commander ;
By east, weft, north and south, I spread my conquering might:
My 'Jcutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander.
Boyet. Your nofe says, no, you are not; for it stands

too right.
Biron. Your nose smells, no, in this, moft tender smel-

ling Knight.
Prin. The conqueror is dismay'd: proceed, good

Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the world's

Boyet. Moft true, 'tis right; you were fo, Alifander.
Biron Pompey the Great,
Coff. Your servant and Costard.
Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away Alifander.

Coft. O Sir, you have overthrown Alijander the conqueror. [to Nath] You will be scraped out of the painted cloth for this ; your lion, that holds the poll-ax fitting on a close-ftool (50), will be given to A-jax; he will be then the ninth worthy. A conqueror, and afraid to

(50) Tour lion that holds the poll-ax fitting on a closestool,] Alexander the Great, as one of the nine wortbies, bears gules; a lion, or, feiant in a chair, holding a battle-ax argent. Vid. Ger. Leigh's Accidence of Armouries. But why, because Natbaniel had behaved ill as Alexander, was that worthy's lion and poll-ax to be given to Ajax ? Coftard, the clown, has a conceit in this very much of a piece with his character. The name of Ajax is equivocally us’d by him; and he means, the infgnia of such a conqueror, as the curate exhibited in his wretched representation ought to be given to a Jakes; - fit verbo reverential the same sort of conundrum is used by B. Yonfon at the close of his poem, call'd, The famous Voyage.

And I could wish, fpr their eternizd fakes,
My muse bad plow'd with his that sung A-jax.


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