« PreviousContinue »
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron; adieu!
And, though I have for barbarism spoke more,
Than for that angel knowledge you can say, Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,
And bide the penance of each three years' day. Give me the paper, let me read the same; And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name. King. How well this yielding rescues thee from
shame! Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within u mile of my court. And hath this been proclaim'd? Long.
Four days ago
Who devis'd this?
[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such publick shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.
3 Games, sports,
This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For, well you know, here comes in embassy The French King's daughter, with yourself to speak,
A maid of grace, and complete majesty, About surrender-up of Aquitain
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father :
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree; She must lie 4 here on mere necessity. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn Three thousand times within this three years,
Not by might master'd, but by special grace:
[Subscribes. And he, that breaks them in the least degree, Stands in attainder of eternal shame :
Suggestions s are to others, as to me;
But is there no quick recreation granted ?
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our
sport; And, so to study, three years is but short.
Enter DULL, with a letter, and CostARD,
Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough : 8 but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
Biron. This is he.
6 Lively, spritely. 7 Called.
Dull. Signior Arme — Arme — commends you. There's villainy abroad ; this letter will tell you more.
Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant us patience!
Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing?
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.
Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.
Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.9
Biron. In what manner?
Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner,--it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman : for the form,-in some form.
Biron. For the following, sir?
Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; And God defend the right!
King. Will you hear this letter with attention?
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.
9 In the fact.
King. [Reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron,
Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so,
Cost. -be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
King. No words.
King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome physick of thy health-giving air ; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper. So much for the time when : Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walked upon : it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest: But to the place, where,-It standeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden : There did I see that low-spirited swain, that huse minnow of thy mirth,