Love's Labour's Lost

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter the Princesse, a Forrester, her Ladies, and
her Lords.

Qu.
Was that the King that spurd his horse so hard,
Against the steepe vprising of the hill?

Boy.
I know not, but I thinke it was not he.

Qu.
Who ere a was, a shew'd a mounting minde:
Well Lords, to day we shall haue our dispatch,
On Saterday we will returne to France.
Then Forrester my friend, Where is the Bush
That we must stand and play the murtherer in?

For.
Hereby vpon the edge of yonder Coppice,
A Stand where you may make the fairest shoote.

Qu.
I thanke my beautie, I am faire that shoote,
And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoote.

For.
Pardon me Madam, for I meant not so.

Qu.
What, what? First praise me, & then again say no.
O short liu'd pride. Not faire? alacke for woe.

For.
Yes Madam faire.

Qu.
Nay, neuer paint me now,
Where faire is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here (good my glasse) take this for telling true:
Faire paiment for foule words, is more then due.

For.
Nothing but faire is that which you inherit.

Qu.
See, see, my beautie will be sau'd by merit.
O heresie in faire, fit for these dayes,
A giuing hand, though foule, shall haue faire praise.
But come, the Bow: Now Mercie goes to kill,
And shooting well, is then accounted ill:
Thus will I saue my credit in the shoote,
Not wounding, pittie would not let me do't:
If wounding, then it was to shew my skill,
That more for praise, then purpose meant to kill.
And out of question, so it is sometimes:
Glory growes guiltie of detested crimes,
When for Fames sake, for praise an outward part,
We bend to that, the working of the hart.
As I for praise alone now seeke to spill
The poore Deeres blood, that my heart meanes no ill.

Boy.
Do not curst wiues hold that selfe-soueraigntie
Onely for praise sake, when they striue to be
Lords ore their Lords?

Qu.
Onely for praise, and praise we may afford,
To any Lady that subdewes a Lord.
Enter Clowne.

Boy.
Here comes a member of the common-wealth.

Clo.
God dig-you-den all, pray you which is the
head Lady?

Qu.
Thou shalt know her fellow, by the rest that
haue no heads.

Clo.
Which is the greatest Lady, the highest?

Qu.
The thickest, and the tallest.

Clo.
The thickest, & the tallest: it is so, truth is
truth.
And your waste Mistris, were as slender as my wit,
One a these Maides girdles for your waste should be fit.
Are not you the chiefe womã? You are the thickest
here?

Qu.
What's your will sir? What's your will?

Clo.
I haue a Letter from Monsier Berowne, / To one
Lady Rosaline.

Qu.
O thy letter, thy letter: He's a good friend of mine.

Stand a side good bearer. / Boyet, you can carue,
Breake vp this Capon.

Boyet.
I am bound to serue.
This Letter is mistooke: it importeth none here:
It is writ to Iaquenetta.

Qu.
We will reade it, I sweare.
Breake the necke of the Waxe, and euery one giue eare.

Boyet reades.

BY heauen, that thou art faire, is most infallible:
true that thou art beauteous, truth it selfe that
thou art louely: more fairer then faire, beautifull then
beautious, truer then truth it selfe: haue comiseration on
thy heroicall Vassall. The magnanimous and most illustrate
King Cophetua set eie vpon the pernicious and indubitate
Begger Zenelophon: and he it was that might rightly
say, Veni, vidi, vici: Which to annothanize in the vulgar, O
base and obscure vulgar; videliset, He came, See, and
ouercame: hee came one; see, two; ouercame three:
Who came? the King. Why did he come? to see. Why
did he see? to ouercome. To whom came he? to the Begger.
What saw he? the Begger. Who ouercame he? the Begger.
The conclusion is victorie: On whose side? the King: the
captiue is inricht: On whose side? the Beggers. The
catastrophe is a Nuptiall: on whose side? the Kings: no,
on both in one, or one in both. I am the King (for so stands
the comparison) thou the Begger, for so witnesseth thy
lowlinesse. Shall I command thy loue? I may. Shall I
enforce thy loue? I could. Shall I entreate thy loue? I will.
What, shalt thou exchange for ragges, roabes: for tittles
titles, for thy selfe mee. Thus expecting thy reply, I
prophane my lips on thy foote, my eyes on thy picture, and
my heart on thy euerie part.
Thine in the dearest designe of industrie,
Don Adriana de Armatho.
Thus dost thou heare the Nemean Lion roare,
Gainst thee thou Lambe, that standest as his pray:
Submissiue fall his princely feete before,
And he from forrage will incline to play.
But if thou striue (poore soule) what art thou then?
Foode for his rage, repasture for his den.

Qu.
What plume of feathers is hee that indited this Letter?
What veine? What Wethercocke? Did you euer heare better?

Boy.
I am much deceiued, but I remember the stile.

Qu.
Else your memorie is bad, going ore it erewhile.

Boy.
This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court
A Phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the Prince and his Booke-mates.

Qu.
Thou fellow, a word.
Who gaue thee this Letter?

Clow.
I told you, my Lord.

Qu.
To whom should'st thou giue it?

Clo.
From my Lord to my Lady.

Qu.
From which Lord, to which Lady?

Clo.
From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
To a Lady of France, that he call'd Rosaline.

Qu.
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come Lords away.

Here sweete, put vp this, 'twill be thine another day.
Exeunt.

Boy.
Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?

Rosa.
Shall I teach you to know.

Boy.
I my continent of beautie.

Rosa.
Why she that beares the Bow.
Finely put off.

Boy.
My Lady goes to kill hornes, but if thou marrie,
Hang me by the necke, if hornes that yeare miscarrie.
Finely put on.

Rosa.
Well then, I am the shooter.

Boy.
And who is your Deare?

Rosa.
If we choose by the hornes, your selfe come not neare.
Finely put on indeede.

Maria.
You still wrangle with her Boyet, and shee strikes at the brow.

Boyet.
But she her selfe is hit lower: / Haue I hit her now.

Rosa.
Shall I come vpon thee with an old saying, that
was a man when King Pippin of France was a little boy,
as touching the hit it.

Boyet.
So I may answere thee with one as old that was a
woman when Queene Guinouer of Brittaine was a little
wench, as touching the hit it.

Rosa.
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it my good man.

Boy.
I cannot, cannot, cannot:
And I cannot, another can.
Exit.

Clo.
By my troth most pleasant, how both did fit it.

Mar.
A marke marueilous well shot, for they both did hit.

Boy.
A mark, O marke but that marke: a marke saies my Lady.
Let the mark haue a pricke in't, to meat at, if it may be.

Mar.
Wide a'th bow hand, yfaith your hand is out.

Clo.
Indeede a'must shoote nearer, or heele ne're hit the clout.

Boy.
And if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

Clo.
Then will shee get the vpshoot by cleauing the is in.

Ma.
Come, come, you talke greasely, your lips grow foule.

Clo.
She's too hard for you at pricks, sir challenge her to boule.

Boy.
I feare too much rubbing: good night my good Oule.

Clo.
By my soule a Swaine, a most simple Clowne.
Lord, Lord, how the Ladies and I haue put him downe.
O my troth most sweete iests, most inconie vulgar wit,
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were, so fit.
Armathor ath to the side, O a most dainty man.
To see him walke before a Lady, and to beare her Fan.
To see him kisse his hand, and how most sweetly a will sweare:
And his Page at other side, that handfull of wit,
Ah heauens, it is most patheticall nit.
Shoote within.
Sowla, sowla.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Dull, Holofernes, the Pedant and Nathaniel.

Nat.
Very reuerent sport truely, and done in the
testimony of a good conscience.

Ped.
The Deare was (as you know) sanguis in
blood, ripe as a Pomwater, who now hangeth like a
Iewell in the eare of Celo the skie; the welken the
heauen, and anon falleth like a Crab on the face of
Terra, the soyle, the land, the earth.

Curat. Nath.
Truely M. Holofernes, the epythithes are
sweetly varied like a scholler at the least: but sir I
assure ye, it was a Bucke of the first head.

Hol.
Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.

Dul.
'Twas not a haud credo, 'twas a Pricket.

Hol.
Most barbarous intimation: yet a kinde of
insinuation, as it were in via, in way of explication
facere: as it were replication, or rather ostentare, to
show as it were his inclination after his vndressed,
vnpolished, vneducated, vnpruned, vntrained, or
rather vnlettered, or ratherest vnconfirmed fashion,
to insert againe my haud credo for a Deare.

Dul.
I said the Deare was not a haud credo, 'twas a
Pricket.

Hol.
Twice sod simplicitie, bis coctus,
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed doost thou looke.

Nath.
Sir hee hath neuer fed of the dainties that are bred in a booke.
He hath not eate paper as it were: / He hath not drunke
inke. / His intellect is not replenished, hee is onely an
animall, onely sensible in the duller parts:
and such barren plants are set before vs, that we thankfull should be:
which we taste and feeling, are for those parts that doe fructifie in vs more then he.
For as it would ill become me to be vaine, indiscreet, or a foole;
So were there a patch set on Learning, to see him in a Schoole.
But omne bene say I, being of an old Fathers minde,
Many can brooke the weather, that loue not the winde.

Dul.
You two are book-men: Can you tell by your wit,
What was a month old at Cains birth, that's not fiue weekes old as yet?

Hol.
Dictisima goodman Dull, dictisima goodman
Dull.

Dul.
What is dictima?

Nath.
A title to Phebe, to Luna, to the Moone.

Hol.
The Moone was a month old when Adam was no more.
And wrought not to fiue-weekes when he came to fiue-score.
Th'allusion holds in the Exchange.

Dul.
'Tis true indeede, the Collusion holds in the
Exchange.

Hol.
God comfort thy capacity, I say th'allusion
holds in the Exchange.

Dul.
And I say the polusion holds in the Exchange: for
the Moone is neuer but a month old: and I say beside
that, 'twas a Pricket that the Princesse kill'd.

Hol.
Sir Nathaniel, will you heare an extemporall
Epytaph on the death of the Deare, and to humour the
ignorant call'd the Deare, the Princesse kill'd a Pricket.

Nath.
Perge, good M. Holofernes, perge, so it
shall please you to abrogate scurilitie.

Hol
I will something affect a letter, for it
argues facilitie.
The prayfull Princesse pearst and prickt a prettie pleasing Pricket,
Some say a Sore, but not a sore, till now made sore with shooting.
The Dogges did yell, put ell to Sore, then Sorell iumps from thicket:
Or Pricket-sore, or else Sorell, the people fall a hooting.
If Sore be sore, then ell to Sore, makes fiftie sores O sorell:
Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.

Nath.
A rare talent.

Dul.
If a talent be a claw, looke how he clawes him with a
talent.

Nath.
This is a gift that I haue simple: simple, a
foolish extrauagant spirit, full of formes, figures,
shapes, obiects, Ideas, apprehensions, motions, reuolutions.
These are begot in the ventricle of memorie,
nourisht in the wombe of primater, and deliuered
vpon the mellowing of occasion: but the gift is good
in those in whom it is acute, and I am thankfull for it.

Hol.
Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may
my parishioners, for their Sonnes are well tutor'd by you,
and their Daughters profit very greatly vnder you: you
are a good member of the common-wealth.

Nath.
Me hercle, If their Sonnes be ingennous, they
shall want no instruction: If their Daughters be capable,
I will put it to them. But Vir sapis qui pauca loquitur, a
soule Feminine saluteth vs.
Enter Iaquenetta and the Clowne.

Iaqu.
God giue you good morrow M. Person.

Nath.
Master Person, quasi Person? And if
one should be perst, Which is the one?

Clo.
Marry M. Schoolemaster, hee that is likest to
a hogshead.

Nath.
Of persing a Hogshead, a good luster of conceit
in a turph of Earth, Fire enough for a Flint, Pearle
enough for a Swine: 'tis prettie, it is well.

Iaqu.
Good Master Parson be so good as reade mee
this Letter, it was giuen mee by Costard, and sent mee
from Don Armatho: I beseech you reade it.

Nath.
Facile precor gellida, quando pecas omnia sub vmbra
ruminat,
and so forth. Ah good old Mantuan, I may speake of thee
as the traueiler doth of Venice,
vemchie, vencha,
que non te vnde, que non te perreche.
Old Mantuam, old Mantuan. Who vnderstandeth thee

not, vt resol la mi fa:
Vnder pardon sir, What are the contents? or rather
as Horrace sayes in his, What my soule verses.

Hol.
I sir, and very learned.

Nath.
Let me heare a staffe, a stanze, a verse, Lege
domine.

If Loue make me forsworne, how shall I sweare to loue?
Ah neuer faith could hold, if not to beautie vowed.
Though to my selfe forsworn, to thee Ile faithfull proue.
Those thoughts to mee were Okes, to thee like Osiers bowed.
Studie his byas leaues, and makes his booke thine eyes.
Where all those pleasures liue, that Art would comprehend.
If knowledge be the marke, to know thee shall suffice.
Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee cõmend.
All ignorant that soule, that sees thee without wonder.
Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire;
Thy eye Ioues lightning beares, thy voyce his dreadfull thunder.
Which not to anger bent, is musique, and sweet fire.
Celestiall as thou art, Oh pardon loue this wrong,
That sings heauens praise, with such an earthly tongue.

Ped.
You finde not the apostraphas, and so misse
the accent. Let me superuise the cangenet.

Nath. Here are onely numbers ratified, but for the elegancy,
facility, & golden cadence of poesie caret: Ouiddius
Naso was the man. And why in deed Naso, but for
smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy? the ierkes
of inuention imitarie is nothing: So doth the Hound his
master, the Ape his keeper, the tyred Horse his rider:
But Damosella virgin, Was this directed to you?

Iaq.
I sir from one mounsier Berowne, one
of the strange Queenes Lords.

Nath.
I will ouerglance the superscript.
To the snow-white hand of the most beautious Lady Rosaline.
I will looke againe on the intellect of the Letter, for
the nomination of the partie written to the person written
vnto. Your Ladiships in all desired imployment,
Berowne. Sir Holofernes, this Berowne is one of the
Votaries with the King, and here he hath framed a
Letter to a sequent of the stranger Queenes: which accidentally,
or by the way of progression, hath miscarried.
Trip and goe my sweete, deliuer this Paper into the
hand of the King, it may concerne much: stay not thy
complement, I forgiue thy duetie, adue.

Maid.
Good Costard go with me: / Sir God saue
your life.

Cost.
Haue with thee my girle.
Exit.

Hol.
Sir you haue done this in the feare of God
very religiously: and as a certaine Father saith

Ped.
Sir tell not me of the Father, I do feare
colourable colours. But to returne to the Verses, Did
they please you sir Nathaniel?

Nath.
Marueilous well for the pen.

Peda.
I do dine to day at the fathers of a certaine
Pupill of mine, where if (being repast) it shall please
you to gratifie the table with a Grace, I will on my
priuiledge I haue with the parents of the foresaid Childe
or Pupill, vndertake your bien vonuto, where I will proue
those Verses to be very vnlearned, neither sauouring of
Poetrie, Wit, nor Inuention. I beseech your Societie.

Nat.
And thanke you to: for societie (saith the
text) is the happinesse of life.

Peda.
And certes the text most infallibly
concludes it. Sir I do inuite you too, you shall
not say me nay: paucaverba. Away, the gentles are at
their game, and we will to our recreation.
Exeunt
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Berowne with a Paper in his hand,
alone.

Bero.
The King he is hunting the Deare,
I am coursing my selfe.
They haue pitcht a Toyle, I am toyling in a pytch, pitch
that defiles; defile, a foule word: Well, set thee
downe sorrow; for so they say the foole said, and so say
I, and I the foole: Well proued wit. By the Lord this
Loue is as mad as Aiax, it kils sheepe, it kils mee, I a
sheepe: Well proued againe a my side. I will not loue; if
I do hang me: yfaith I will not. O but her eye: by
this light, but for her eye, I would not loue her; yes,
for her two eyes. Well, I doe nothing in the world but
lye, and lye in my throate. By heauen I doe loue, and it
hath taught mee to Rime, and to be mallicholie: and
here is part of my Rime, and heere my mallicholie.
Well, she hath one a'my Sonnets already, the Clowne
bore it, the Foole sent it, and the Lady hath it: sweet
Clowne, sweeter Foole, sweetest Lady. By the world, I
would not care a pin, if the other three were in. Here
comes one with a paper, God giue him grace to grone.
He stands aside.
The King entreth.

Kin.
Ay mee!

Ber.
Shot by heauen: proceede sweet Cupid, thou
hast thumpt him with thy Birdbolt vnder the left
pap: in faith secrets.

King.
So sweete a kisse the golden Sunne giues not,
To those fresh morning drops vpon the Rose,
As thy eye beames, when their fresh rayse haue smot.
The night of dew that on my cheekes downe flowes.
Nor shines the siluer Moone one halfe so bright,
Through the transparent bosome of the deepe,
As doth thy face through teares of mine giue light:
Thou shin'st in euery teare that I doe weepe,
No drop, but as a Coach doth carry thee:
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Do but behold the teares that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my griefe will show:
But doe not loue thy selfe, then thou wilt keepe
My teares for glasses, and still make me weepe.
O Queene of Queenes, how farre dost thou excell,
No thought can thinke, nor tongue of mortall tell.
How shall she know my griefes? Ile drop the paper.
Sweet leaues shade folly. Who is he comes heere?
The King steps aside.
Enter Longauile.
What Longauill, and reading: listen eare.

Ber.
Now in thy likenesse, one more foole appeare.

Long.
Ay me, I am forsworne.

Ber.
Why he comes in like a periure, wearing
papers.

Long.
In loue I hope, sweet fellowship in shame.

Ber.
One drunkard loues another of the name.

Lon.
Am I the first yt haue been periur'd so?

Ber.
I could put thee in comfort, not by two that I know,
Thou makest the triumphery, the corner cap of societie,
The shape of Loues Tiburne, that hangs vp simplicitie.

Lon.
I feare these stubborn lines lack power to moue.
O sweet Maria, Empresse of my Loue,
These numbers will I teare, and write in prose.


Ber.
O Rimes are gards on wanton Cupids hose,
Disfigure not his Shop.

Lon.
This same shall goe.
He reades the Sonnet.
Did not the heauenly Rhetoricke of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
Perswade my heart to this false periurie?
Vowes for thee broke deserue not punishment.
A Woman I forswore, but I will proue,
Thou being a Goddesse, I forswore not thee.
My Vow was earthly, thou a heauenly Loue.
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me.
Vowes are but breath, and breath a vapour is.
Then thou faire Sun, which on my earth doest shine,
Exhalest this vapor-vow, in thee it is:
If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
If by me broke, What foole is not so wise,
To loose an oath, to win a Paradise?

Ber.
This is the liuer veine, which makes flesh a deity.
A greene Goose, a Coddesse, pure pure Idolatry.
God amend vs, God amend, we are much out o'th'way.
Enter Dumaine.

Lon.
By whom shall I send this (company?) Stay.

Bero.
All hid, all hid, an old infant play,
Like a demie God, here sit I in the skie,
And wretched fooles secrets heedfully ore-eye.
More Sacks to the myll. O heauens I haue my wish,
Dumaine transform'd, foure Woodcocks in a dish.

Dum.
O most diuine Kate.

Bero.
O most prophane coxcombe.

Dum.
By heauen the wonder of a mortall eye.

Bero.
By earth she is not, corporall, there you lye.

Dum.
Her Amber haires for foule hath amber coted.

Ber.
An Amber coloured Rauen was well noted.

Dum.
As vpright as the Cedar.

Ber.
Stoope I say
her shoulder is with-child.

Dum.
As faire as day.

Ber.
I as some daies, but then no sunne must shine.

Dum.
O that I had my wish?

Lon.
And I had mine.

Kin.
And mine too good Lord.

Ber.
Amen, so I had mine: Is not that a good word?

Dum.
I would forget her, but a Feuer she
Raignes in my bloud, and will remembred be.

Ber.
A Feuer in your bloud, why then incision
Would let her out in Sawcers, sweet misprision.

Dum.
Once more Ile read the Ode that I haue writ.

Ber.
Once more Ile marke how Loue can varry Wit.
Dumane reades his Sonnet.
On a day, alack the day:
Loue, whose Month is euery May,
Spied a blossome passing faire,
Playing in the wanton ayre:
Through the Veluet, leaues the winde,
All vnseene, can passage finde.
That the Louer sicke to death,
Wish himselfe the heauens breath.
Ayre (quoth he) thy cheekes may blowe,
Ayre, would I might triumph so.
But alacke my hand is sworne,
Nere to plucke thee from thy throne:
Vow alacke for youth vnmeete,
Youth so apt to plucke a sweet.
Doe not call it sinne in me,
That I am forsworne for thee.
Thou for whom Ioue would sweare,
Iuno but an Athiop were,
And denie himselfe for Ioue.
Turning mortall for thy Loue.
This will I send, and something else more plaine.
That shall expresse my true-loues fasting paine.
O would the King, Berowne and Longauill,
Were Louers too, ill to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a periur'd note:
For none offend, where all alike doe dote.

Lon.
Dumaine, thy Loue is farre from charitie,
That in Loues griefe desir'st societie:
You may looke pale, but I should blush I know,
To be ore-heard, and taken napping so.

Kin.
Come sir, you blush: as his, your case is such,
You chide at him, offending twice as much.
You doe not loue Maria? Longauile,
Did neuer Sonnet for her sake compile;
Nor neuer lay his wreathed armes athwart
His louing bosome, to keepe downe his heart.
I haue beene closely shrowded in this bush,
And markt you both, and for you both did blush.
I heard your guilty Rimes, obseru'd your fashion:
Saw sighes reeke from you, noted well your passion.
Aye me, sayes one! O Ioue, the other cries!
On her haires were Gold, Christall the others eyes.

You would for Paradise breake Faith and troth,

And Ioue for your Loue would infringe an oath.
What will Berowne say when that he shall heare
Faith infringed, which such zeale did sweare.
How will he scorne? how will he spend his wit?
How will he triumph, leape, and laugh at it?
For all the wealth that euer I did see,
I would not haue him know so much by me.

Bero.
Now step I forth to whip hypocrisie.
Ah good my Liedge, I pray thee pardon me.
Good heart, What grace hast thou thus to reproue
These wormes for louing, that art most in loue?
Your eyes doe make no couches in your teares.
There is no certaine Princesse that appeares.
You'll not be periur'd, 'tis a hatefull thing:
Tush, none but Minstrels like of Sonnetting.
But are you not asham'd? nay, are you not
All three of you, to be thus much ore'shot?
You found his Moth, the King your Moth did see:
But I a Beame doe finde in each of three.
O what a Scene of fool'ry haue I seene.
Of sighes, of grones, of sorrow, and of teene:
O me, with what strict patience haue I sat,
To see a King transformed to a Gnat?
To see great Hercules whipping a Gigge,
And profound Salomon tuning a Iygge?
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boyes,
And Critticke Tymon laugh at idle toyes.
Where lies thy griefe? O tell me good Dumaine;
And gentle Longauill, where lies thy paine?
And where my Liedges? all about the brest:
A Candle hoa!

Kin.
Too bitter is thy iest.
Are wee betrayed thus to thy ouer-view?

Ber.
Not you by me, but I betrayed to you.
I that am honest, I that hold it sinne
To breake the vow I am ingaged in.
I am betrayed by keeping company
With men, like men of inconstancie.
When shall you see me write a thing in rime?
Or grone for Ioane? or spend a minutes time,
In pruning mee, when shall you heare that I
will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye:
a gate, a state, a brow, a brest, a waste,
a legge, a limme.

Kin.
Soft, Whither a-way so fast?
A true man, or a theefe, that gallops so.

Ber.
I post from Loue, good Louer let me go.
Enter Iaquenetta
and Clowne.

Iaqu.
God blesse the King.

Kin.
What Present hast thou there?

Clo.
Some certaine treason.

Kin.
What makes treason heere?

Clo.
Nay it makes nothing sir.

Kin.
If it marre nothing neither,
The treason and you goe in peace away together.

Iaqu.
I beseech your Grace let this Letter be read,
Our person mis-doubts it: it was treason he said.

Kin.
Berowne, read it ouer.
He reades the Letter.
Where hadst thou it?

Iaqu.
Of Costard.

King.
Where hadst thou it?

Cost.
Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.

Kin.
How now, what is in you? why dost thou tear it?

Ber.
A toy my Liedge, a toy: your grace needes not feare it.

Long.
It did moue him to passion, and therefore let's heare it.

Dum.
It is Berowns writing, and heere is his name.

Ber.

Ah you whoreson loggerhead, you were borne to doe me shame.
Guilty my Lord, guilty: I confesse, I confesse.

Kin.
What?

Ber.
That you three fooles, lackt mee foole, to make vp the messe.
He, he, and you: and you my Liedge, and I,
Are picke-purses in Loue, and we deserue to die.
O dismisse this audience, and I shall tell you more.

Dum.
Now the number is euen.

Berow.
True true, we are fowre:
will these Turtles be gone?

Kin.
Hence sirs, away.

Clo.
Walk aside the true folke, & let the traytors stay.

Ber.
Sweet Lords, sweet Louers, O let vs imbrace,
As true we are as flesh and bloud can be,
The Sea will ebbe and flow, heauen will shew his face:
Young bloud doth not obey an old decree.
We cannot crosse the cause why we are borne:
Therefore of all hands must we be forsworne.

King.
What, did these rent lines shew some loue of thine?

Ber.
Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heauenly Rosaline,
That (like a rude and sauage man of Inde.)
At the first opening of the gorgeous East,
Bowes not his vassall head, and strooken blinde,
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
What peremptory Eagle-sighted eye
Dares looke vpon the heauen of her brow,
That is not blinded by her maiestie?

Kin.
What zeale, what furie, hath inspir'd thee now?
My Loue (her Mistres) is a gracious Moone,
Shee (an attending Starre) scarce seene a light.

Ber.
My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
O, but for my Loue, day would turne to night,
Of all complexions the cul'd soueraignty,
Doe meet as at a faire in her faire cheeke,
Where seuerall Worthies make one dignity,
Where nothing wants, that want it selfe doth seeke.
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,
Fie painted Rethoricke, O she needs it not,
To things of sale, a sellers praise belongs:
She passes prayse, then prayse too short doth blot.
A withered Hermite, fiuescore winters worne,
Might shake off fiftie, looking in her eye:
Beauty doth varnish Age, as if new borne,
And giues the Crutch the Cradles infancie.
O 'tis the Sunne that maketh all things shine.

King.
By heauen, thy Loue is blacke as Ebonie.

Berow.
Is Ebonie like her? O word diuine?
A wife of such wood were felicitie.
O who can giue an oth? Where is a booke?
That I may sweare Beauty doth beauty lacke,
If that she learne not of her eye to looke:
No face is faire that is not full so blacke.

Kin.
O paradoxe, Blacke is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons, and the Schoole of night:
And beauties crest becomes the heauens well.

Ber.
Diuels soonest tempt resembling spirits of light.
O if in blacke my Ladies browes be deckt,
It mournes, that painting vsurping haire
Should rauish doters with a false aspect:
And therfore is she borne to make blacke, faire.
Her fauour turnes the fashion of the dayes,
For natiue bloud is counted painting now:
And therefore red that would auoyd dispraise,
Paints it selfe blacke, to imitate her brow.

Dum.
To look like her are Chimny-sweepers blacke.

Lon.
And since her time, are Colliers counted bright.

King.
And Athiops of their sweet complexion crake.

Dum.
Dark needs no Candles now, for dark is light.

Ber.
Your mistresses dare neuer come in raine,
For feare their colours should be washt away.

Kin.
'Twere good yours did: for sir to tell you plaine,
Ile finde a fairer face not washt to day.

Ber.
Ile proue her faire, or talke till dooms-day here.

Kin.
No Diuell will fright thee then so much as shee.

Duma.
I neuer knew man hold vile stuffe so deere.

Lon.
Looke, heer's thy loue, my foot and her face see.

Ber.
O if the streets were paued with thine eyes,
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.

Duma.
O vile, then as she goes what vpward lyes?
The street should see as she walk'd ouer head.

Kin.
But what of this, are we not all in loue?

Ber.
O nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworne.

Kin.
Then leaue this chat, & good Berown now proue
Our louing lawfull, and our fayth not torne.

Dum.
I marie there, some flattery for this euill.

Long.
O some authority how to proceed,
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the diuell.

Dum.
Some salue for periurie.

Ber.
O 'tis more then neede.
Haue at you then affections men at armes,
Consider what you first did sweare vnto:
To fast, to study, and to see no woman:
Flat treason against the Kingly state of youth.
Say, Can you fast? your stomacks are too young:
And abstinence ingenders maladies. / And where that you haue vow'd to studie (Lords) / In that each of you haue forsworne his Booke. / Can you still dreame and pore, and thereon looke. / For when would you my Lord, or you, or you, / Haue found the ground of studies excellence, / Without the beauty of a womans face; / From womens eyes this doctrine I deriue, / They are the Ground, the Bookes, the Achadems, / From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire. / Why, vniuersall plodding poysons vp / The nimble spirits in the arteries, / As motion and long during action tyres / The sinnowy vigour of the trauailer. / Now for not looking on a womans face, / You haue in that forsworne the vse of eyes: / And studie too, the causer of your vow. / For where is any Author in the world, / Teaches such beauty as a womans eye: / Learning is but an adiunct to our selfe, / And where we are, our Learning likewise is. / Then when our selues we see in Ladies eyes, / With our selues. / Doe we not likewise see our learning there?
O we haue made a Vow to studie, Lords,
And in that vow we haue forsworne our Bookes:
For when would you (my Leege) or you, or you?
In leaden contemplation haue found out
Such fiery Numbers as the prompting eyes,
Of beauties tutors haue inrich'd you with:
Other slow Arts intirely keepe the braine:
And therefore finding barraine practizers,
Scarce shew a haruest of their heauy toyle.
But Loue first learned in a Ladyies eyes,
Liues not alone emured in the braine:
But with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in euery power,
And giues to euery power a double power,
Aboue their functions and their offices.
It addes a precious seeing to the eye:
A Louers eyes will gaze an Eagle blinde.
A Louers eare will heare the lowest sound.
When the suspicious head of theft is stopt.
Loues feeling is more soft and sensible,
Then are the tender hornes of Cockled Snayles.
Loues tongue proues dainty, Bachus grosse in taste,
For Valour, is not Loue a Hercules?
Still climing trees in the Hesporides.
Subtill as Sphinx, as sweet and musicall,
As bright Apollo's Lute, strung with his haire.
And when Loue speakes, the voyce of all the Gods,
Make heauen drowsie with the harmonie.
Neuer durst Poet touch a pen to write,
Vntill his Inke were tempred with Loues sighes:
O then his lines would rauish sauage eares,
And plant in Tyrants milde humilitie.
From womens eyes this doctrine I deriue.
They sparcle still the right promethean fire,
They are the Bookes, the Arts, the Achademes,
That shew, containe, and nourish all the world.
Else none at all in ought proues excellent.
Then fooles you were these women to forsweare:
Or keeping what is sworne, you will proue fooles,
For Wisedomes sake, a word that all men loue:
Or for Loues sake, a word that loues all men.
Or for Mens sake, the author of these Women:
Or Womens sake, by whom we men are Men.
Let's once loose our oathes to finde our selues,
Or else we loose our selues, to keepe our oathes:
It is religion to be thus forsworne.
For Charity it selfe fulfills the Law:
And who can seuer loue from Charity.

Kin.
Saint Cupid then, and Souldiers to the field.

Ber.
Aduance your standards, & vpon them Lords.
Pell, mell, downe with them: but be first aduis'd,
In conflict that you get the Sunne of them.

Long.
Now to plaine dealing, Lay these glozes by,
Shall we resolue to woe these girles of France?

Kin.
And winne them too, therefore let vs deuise,
Some entertainment for them in their Tents.

Ber.
First from the Park let vs conduct them thither,
Then homeward euery man attach the hand
Of his faire Mistresse, in the afternoone
We will with some strange pastime solace them:
Such as the shortnesse of the time can shape,
For Reuels, Dances, Maskes, and merry houres,
Fore-runne faire Loue, strewing her way with flowres.

Kin.
Away, away, no time shall be omitted,
That will be time, and may by vs be fitted.

Ber.
Alone, alone
sowed Cockell, reap'd no Corne,
And Iustice alwaies whirles in equall measure:
Light Wenches may proue plagues to men forsworne,
If so, our Copper buyes no better treasure.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter the Princess, Rosaline, Maria, Katharine,
Boyet and two more attendant Lords,
and a Forester

PRINCESS
Was that the King that spurred his horse so hard
Against the steep-up rising of the hill?

FIRST LORD
I know not, but I think it was not he

PRINCESS
Whoe'er 'a was, 'a showed a mounting mind.
Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch;
On Saturday we will return to France.
Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
That we must stand and play the murderer in?

FORESTER
Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.

PRINCESS
I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
And thereupon thou speakest ‘ the fairest shoot.’

FORESTER
Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.

PRINCESS
What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
O short-lived pride! Not fair? Alack for woe!

FORESTER
Yes, madam, fair.

PRINCESS
Nay, never paint me now!
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true;
(She gives him money)
Fair payment for foul words is more than due.

FORESTER
Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.

PRINCESS
See, see, my beauty will be saved by merit!
O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
But come, the bow! Now mercy goes to kill,
And shooting well is then accounted ill.
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
And out of question so it is sometimes;
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart;
As I for praise alone now seek to spill
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.

BOYET
Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be
Lords o'er their lords?

PRINCESS
Only for praise, and praise we may afford
To any lady that subdues a lord.
Enter Costard

BOYET
Here comes a member of the commonwealth.

COSTARD
God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the
head lady?

PRINCESS
Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that
have no heads.

COSTARD
Which is the greatest lady, the highest?

PRINCESS
The thickest and the tallest.

COSTARD
The thickest and the tallest! It is so – truth is
truth.
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest
here.

PRINCESS
What's your will, sir? What's your will?

COSTARD
I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one
Lady Rosaline.

PRINCESS
O, thy letter, thy letter! He's a good friend of mine.
She takes the letter
Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve –
Break up this capon.

BOYET
I am bound to serve.
He reads the
superscript
This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
It is writ to Jaquenetta.

PRINCESS
We will read it, I swear.
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.

BOYET
(reading)
By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;
true that thou art beauteous; truth itself that
thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful than
beauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiseration on
thy heroical vassal. The magnanimous and most illustrate
King Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious and most indubitate
beggar Zenelophon, and he it was that might rightly
say Veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize in the vulgar – O
base and obscure vulgar! – videlicet, he came, see, and
overcame. He came, one; see two; overcame, three. Who
came? The king. Why did he come? To see. Why did he
see? To overcome. To whom came he? To the beggar.
What saw he? The beggar. Who overcame he? The beggar.
The conclusion is victory. On whose side? The king's. The
captive is enriched. On whose side? The beggar's. The
catastrophe is a nuptial. On whose side? The king's. No;
on both in one, or one in both. I am the king, for so stands
the comparison, thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy
lowliness. Shall I command thy love? I may. Shall I
enforce thy love? I could. Shall I entreat thy love? I will.
What shalt thou exchange for rags? Robes. For tittles?
Titles. For thyself? Me. Thus, expecting thy reply, I
profane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture, and
my heart on thy every part.
Thine in the dearest design of industry,
Don Adriano de Armado
Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play.
But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
Food for his rage, repasture for his den.

PRINCESS
What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?

BOYET
I am much deceived but I remember the style.

PRINCESS
Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.

BOYET
This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court;
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the prince and his book-mates.

PRINCESS
Thou, fellow, a word.
Who gave thee this letter?

COSTARD
I told you; my lord.

PRINCESS
To whom shouldst thou give it?

COSTARD
From my lord to my lady.

PRINCESS
From which lord to which lady?

COSTARD
From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France that he called Rosaline.

PRINCESS
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
(To Rosaline)
Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine another day.
Exeunt all except Boyet, Rosaline, Maria, and Costard

BOYET
Who is the suitor? Who is the suitor?

ROSALINE
Shall I teach you to know?

BOYET
Ay, my continent of beauty.

ROSALINE
Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off!

BOYET
My lady goes to kill horns, but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

ROSALINE
Well then, I am the shooter.

BOYET
And who is your deer?

ROSALINE
If we choose by the horns, yourself. Come not near.
Finely put on indeed!

MARIA
You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the brow.

BOYET
But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?

ROSALINE
Shall I come upon thee with an old saying that
was a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy,
as touching the hit it?

BOYET
So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
woman when Queen Guinevere of Britain was a little
wench, as touching the hit it.

ROSALINE
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

BOYET
An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.
Exit Rosaline

COSTARD
By my troth, most pleasant! How both did fit it!

MARIA
A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.

BOYET
A mark! O, mark but that mark! ‘ A mark,’ says my lady!
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at if it may be.

MARIA
Wide o'the bow hand! I'faith, your hand is out.

COSTARD
Indeed, 'a must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.

BOYET
An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

COSTARD
Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.

MARIA
Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.

COSTARD
She's too hard for you at pricks, sir. Challenge her to bowl.

BOYET
I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
Exeunt Boyet and Maria

COSTARD
By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown!
Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down!
O'my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit;
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely as it were, so fit.
Armado to th' one side – O, a most dainty man!
To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan!
To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly 'a will swear!
And his page o't' other side, that handful of wit!
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
Shout within
Sola, sola!
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, and Dull

NATHANIEL
Very reverend sport, truly, and done in the
testimony of a good conscience.

HOLOFERNES
The deer was, as you know, in sanguis,
blood; ripe as the pomewater, who now hangeth like a
jewel in the ear of caelum, the sky, the welkin, the
heaven, and anon falleth like a crab on the face of
terra, the soil, the land, the earth.

NATHANIEL
Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are
sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least; but, sir, I
assure ye it was a buck of the first head.

HOLOFERNES
Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.

DULL
'Twas not an awd grey doe, 'twas a pricket.

HOLOFERNES
Most barbarous intimation! Yet a kind of
insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication;
facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, ostentare, to
show, as it were, his inclination – after his undressed,
unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or,
rather, unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion
– to insert again my haud credo for a deer.

DULL
I said the deer was not an awd grey doe, 'twas a
pricket.

HOLOFERNES
Twice-sod simplicity! Bis coctus!
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!

NATHANIEL
Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book.
He hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk
ink. His intellect is not replenished. He is only an
animal, only sensible in the duller parts.
And such barren plants are set before us that we thankful should be –
Which we of taste and feeling are – for those parts that do fructify in us more than he.
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool,
So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school.
But omne bene, say I, being of an old father's mind;
Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.

DULL
You two are book-men – can you tell me by your wit
What was a month old at Cain's birth that's not five weeks old as yet?

HOLOFERNES
Dictynna, goodman Dull. Dictynna, goodman
Dull.

DULL
What is Dictima?

NATHANIEL
A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.

HOLOFERNES
The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
And raught not to five weeks when he came to five score.
Th' allusion holds in the exchange.

DULL
'Tis true, indeed; the collusion holds in the
exchange.

HOLOFERNES
God comfort thy capacity! I say, th' allusion
holds in the exchange.

DULL
And I say the pollution holds in the exchange, for
the moon is never but a month old; and I say beside
that 'twas a pricket that the Princess killed.

HOLOFERNES
Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal
epitaph on the death of the deer? And, to humour the
ignorant, call I the deer the Princess killed a pricket.

NATHANIEL
Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it
shall please you to abrogate scurrility.

HOLOFERNES
I will something affect the letter, for it
argues facility.
The preyful Princess pierced and pricked a pretty pleasing pricket;
Some say a sore, but not a sore till now made sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell; put ‘ L ’ to sore, then sorel jumps from thicket;
Or pricket, sore, or else sorel, the people fall a-hooting.
If sore be sore, then ‘ L ’ to sore makes fifty sores o' sorel:
Of one sore I an hundred make, by adding but one more ‘ L.’

NATHANIEL
A rare talent!

DULL
If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a
talent.

HOLOFERNES
This is a gift that I have; simple, simple; a
foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures,
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions.
These are begot in the ventricle of memory,
nourished in the womb of pia mater, and delivered
upon the mellowing of occasion. But the gift is good
in those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful for it.

NATHANIEL
Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may
my parishioners, for their sons are well tutored by you,
and their daughters profit very greatly under you. You
are a good member of the commonwealth.

HOLOFERNES
Mehercle! If their sons be ingenious, they
shall want no instruction; if their daughters be capable,
I will put it to them. But vir sapit qui pauca loquitur. A
soul feminine saluteth us.
Enter Jaquenetta with a letter, and Costard

JAQUENETTA
God give you good morrow, Master Parson.

HOLOFERNES
Master Parson – quasi pierce-one? An if
one should be pierced, which is the one?

COSTARD
Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likest to
a hogshead.

HOLOFERNES
Piercing a hogshead! A good lustre of conceit
in a turf of earth, fire enough for a flint, pearl
enough for a swine. 'Tis pretty; it is well.

JAQUENETTA
Good Master Parson, be so good as read me
this letter. It was given me by Costard, and sent me
from Don Armado. I beseech you, read it.

HOLOFERNES
Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra
Ruminat
and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan, I may speak of thee
as the traveller doth of Venice:
Venetia, Venetia,
Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.
Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee
(He sings)
not, loves thee not. (He sings) Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa. –
Under pardon, sir, what are the contents? Or, rather,
as Horace says in his – What, my soul, verses?

NATHANIEL
Ay, sir, and very learned.

HOLOFERNES
Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse. Lege,
domine.

NATHANIEL
(reading)
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
Ah, never faith could hold if not to beauty vowed!
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove;
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bowed.
Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
Where all those pleasures live that art would comprehend.
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice:
Well-learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire.
Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, O, pardon love this wrong,
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue!

HOLOFERNES
You find not the apostrophus, and so miss
the accent. Let me supervise the canzonet.
He takes the letter
Here are only 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?

JAQUENETTA
Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one
of the strange Queen's lords.

HOLOFERNES
I will overglance the superscript: (reading)
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,
Berowne. Sir Nathaniel, this Berowne 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.

JAQUENETTA
Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save
your life.

COSTARD
Have with thee, my girl.
Exeunt Costard and
Jaquenetta

NATHANIEL
Sir, you have done this in the fear of God,
very religiously; and as a certain father saith –

HOLOFERNES
Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear
colourable colours. But to return to the verses: did
they please you, Sir Nathaniel?

NATHANIEL
Marvellous well for the pen.

HOLOFERNES
I do dine today 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
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 savouring of
poetry, wit, nor invention. I beseech your society.

NATHANIEL
And thank you too, for society – saith the
text – is the happiness of life.

HOLOFERNES
And, certes, the text most infallibly
concludes it. (To Dull) Sir, 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.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Berowne with a paper in his hand,
alone

BEROWNE
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 o' 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!
He stands aside
Enter the King with a paper

KING
Ay me!

BEROWNE
Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid. Thou
hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the left
pap. In faith, secrets!

KING
(reading)
So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the 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
As doth thy face, through tears of mine, give light.
Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep;
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee.
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my grief will show.
But do not love thyself; then thou will keep
My tears for glasses and still make me weep.
O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel,
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell!
How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper.
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
He stands aside
Enter Longaville, with several papers
What, Longaville, and reading! Listen, ear!

BEROWNE
Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!

LONGAVILLE
Ay me, I am forsworn!

BEROWNE
Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing
papers.

KING
In love, I hope – sweet fellowship in shame!

BEROWNE
One drunkard loves another of the name.

LONGAVILLE
Am I the first that have been perjured so?

BEROWNE
I could put thee in comfort – not by two that I know.
Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
The shape of Love's Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.

LONGAVILLE
I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move.
(reading) O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
He tears the paper

BEROWNE
O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose;
Disfigure not his shop.

LONGAVILLE
(taking another paper)
This same shall go:
(reading)
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 all disgrace in me.
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
Exhalest this vapour-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?

BEROWNE
This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a deity,
A green goose a goddess. Pure, pure idolatry.
God amend us, God amend! We are much out o'th' way.
Enter Dumaine with a paper

LONGAVILLE
By whom shall I send this? – Company? Stay.
He stands aside

BEROWNE
All hid, all hid – an old infant play.
Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky,
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'ereye.
More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!
Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks in a dish!

DUMAINE
O most divine Kate!

BEROWNE
O most profane coxcomb!

DUMAINE
By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!

BEROWNE
By earth, she is not, corporal. There you lie.

DUMAINE
Her amber hairs for foul hath amber quoted.

BEROWNE
An amber-coloured raven was well noted.

DUMAINE
As upright as the cedar.

BEROWNE
Stoop, I say!
Her shoulder is with child.

DUMAINE
As fair as day.

BEROWNE
Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.

DUMAINE
O that I had my wish!

LONGAVILLE
And I had mine!

KING
And I mine too, good Lord!

BEROWNE
Amen, so I had mine! Is not that a good word?

DUMAINE
I would forget her, but a fever she
Reigns in my blood, and will remembered be.

BEROWNE
A fever in your blood? Why, then incision
Would let her out in saucers. Sweet misprision!

DUMAINE
Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.

BEROWNE
Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.

DUMAINE
(reading)
On a day – alack the day! –
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air.
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wished himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn,
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiop were,
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
O, would the King, Berowne, and Longaville
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note,
For none offend where all alike do dote.

LONGAVILLE
(advancing)
Dumaine, thy love is far from charity.
That in love's grief desirest society.
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o'erheard and taken napping so.

KING
(advancing)
Come, sir, you blush! As his your case is such;
You chide at him, offending twice as much.
You do not love Maria! Longaville
Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
I have been closely shrouded in this bush
And marked you both, and for you both did blush.
I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
‘ Ay me!’ says one; ‘ O Jove!’ the other cries.
One, her hairs were gold; crystal the other's eyes.
(To Longaville)
You would for paradise break faith and troth;
(To Dumaine)
And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
What will Berowne say when that he shall hear
Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear?
How will he scorn, how will he spend his wit!
How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it!
For all the wealth that ever I did see,
I would not have him know so much by me.

BEROWNE
(advancing)
Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me.
Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
These worms for loving, that art most in love?
Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
There is no certain princess that appears;
You'll not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing;
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
But are you not ashamed? Nay, are you not,
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot?
You found his mote; the King your mote did see;
But I a beam do find in each of three.
O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!
O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
To see a king transformed to a gnat!
To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
Where lies thy grief? O, tell me, good Dumaine.
And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
And where my liege's? All about the breast.
A caudle, ho!

KING
Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betrayed thus to thy over-view?

BEROWNE
Not you to me, but I betrayed by you;
I that am honest, I that hold it sin
To break the vow I am engaged in,
I am betrayed by keeping company
With men like you, men of inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
Or groan for Joan? Or spend a minute's time
In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
A leg, a limb –

KING
Soft! Whither away so fast?
A true man or a thief that gallops so?

BEROWNE
I post from love. Good lover, let me go.
Enter Jaquenetta with a letter,
and Costard

JAQUENETTA
God bless the King!

KING
What present hast thou there?

COSTARD
Some certain treason.

KING
What makes treason here?

COSTARD
Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

KING
If it mar nothing neither,
The treason and you go in peace away together.

JAQUENETTA
I beseech your grace let this letter be read.
Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.

KING
Berowne, read it over.
Berowne reads the letter
Where hadst thou it?

JAQUENETTA
Of Costard.

KING
Where hadst thou it?

COSTARD
Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
Berowne tears the letter

KING
How now, what is in you? Why dost thou tear it?

BEROWNE
A toy, my liege, a toy. Your grace needs not fear it.

LONGAVILLE
It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.

DUMAINE
(gathering up the pieces)
It is Berowne's writing, and here is his name.

BEROWNE
(to Costard)
Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do me shame!
Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess!

KING
What?

BEROWNE
That you three fools lacked me fool to make up the mess.
He, he, and you – and you, my liege! – and I,
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.

DUMAINE
Now the number is even.

BEROWNE
True, true, we are four.
Will these turtles be gone?

KING
Hence, sirs, away!

COSTARD
Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
Exeunt Costard and Jaquenetta

BEROWNE
Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!
As true we are as flesh and blood can be.
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood doth not obey an old decree.
We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.

KING
What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?

BEROWNE
‘ Did they?’ quoth you! Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde
At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
Bows not his vassal head and, strucken blind,
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow
That is not blinded by her majesty?

KING
What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
She, an attending star, scarce seen a light.

BEROWNE
My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
Of all complexions the culled sovereignty
Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek,
Where several worthies make one dignity,
Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues –
Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not!
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs:
She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
A withered hermit, fivescore winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye.
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy.
O, 'tis the sun that maketh all things shine!

KING
By heaven, thy love is black as ebony!

BEROWNE
Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? Where is a book?
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack
If that she learn not of her eye to look.
No face is fair that is not full so black.

KING
O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons, and the suit of night;
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.

BEROWNE
Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
O, if in black my lady's brows be decked,
It mourns that painting and usurping hair
Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
And therefore is she born to make black fair.
Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
For native blood is counted painting now;
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.

DUMAINE
To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.

LONGAVILLE
And since her time are colliers counted bright.

KING
And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack.

DUMAINE
Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.

BEROWNE
Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
For fear their colours should be washed away.

KING
'Twere good yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
I'll find a fairer face not washed today.

BEROWNE
I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.

KING
No devil will fright thee then so much as she.

DUMAINE
I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.

LONGAVILLE
Look, here's thy love (showing his shoe); my foot and her face see.

BEROWNE
O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.

DUMAINE
O, vile! Then, as she goes, what upward lies
The street should see as she walked overhead.

KING
But what of this? Are we not all in love?

BEROWNE
O, nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn.

KING
Then leave this chat, and, good Berowne, now prove
Our loving lawful and our faith not torn.

DUMAINE
Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil!

LONGAVILLE
O, some authority how to proceed!
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil!

DUMAINE
Some salve for perjury.

BEROWNE
'Tis more than need.
Have at you then, affection's men-at-arms!
Consider what you first did swear unto:
To fast, to study, and to see no woman –
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast? Your stomachs are too young,
And abstinence engenders maladies.
O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forsworn our books;
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
Of beauty's tutors have enriched you with?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain,
And therefore, finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil;
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain,
But with the motion of all elements
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye:
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound
When the suspicious head of theft is stopped.
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair.
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were tempered with Love's sighs.
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world;
Else none at all in aught proves excellent.
Then fools you were these women to forswear,
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love,
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men,
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men –
Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
It is religion to be thus forsworn,
For charity itself fulfills the law,
And who can sever love from charity?

KING
Saint Cupid, then! And, soldiers, to the field!

BEROWNE
Advance your standards, and upon them, lords!
Pell-mell, down with them! But be first advised
In conflict that you get the sun of them.

LONGAVILLE
Now to plain dealing. Lay these glosses by.
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?

KING
And win them too! Therefore let us devise
Some entertainment for them in their tents.

BEROWNE
First from the park let us conduct them thither;
Then homeward every man attach the hand
Of his fair mistress. In the afternoon
We will with some strange pastime solace them,
Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
For revels, dances, masques, and merry hours
Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.

KING
Away, away! No time shall be omitted
That will betime and may by us be fitted.

BEROWNE
Allons! Allons!
Exeunt King, Longaville, and Dumaine
Sowed cockle reaped no corn,
And justice always whirls in equal measure.
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
Exit
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