Page images
PDF
EPUB

By east, west, north, and south, I spread my con

quering might; My 'scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander. Boyet. Your nose says no, you are not; for it

stands too right. Biron. Your nose smells no, in this, most ten

der-smelling knight. Prin. The conqueror is dismayed: proceed,

good Alexander.

King. Here is like to be a good presence of worthies. He presents Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the great; the parish curate, Alexander; Armado's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas Maccabæus. And if these four worthies in their first show thrive, These four will change habits, and present the

other five. Biron. There is five in the first show. King. You are deceived, 't is not so.

Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedgepriest, the fool, and the boy : A bare throw at novum; and the whole world

again Cannot prick out five such, take each one in his

vein. King. The ship is under sail, and here she

comes amain. [Seats brought for the KING, PRINCESS, fc.

Pageant of the Nine Worthies.

Enter Costard, armed, for Pompey.

CostARD. I Pompey am, —

Boyet. You lie, you are not he.

NATHANIEL. When in the world I lived, I was the world's com

mander ;Boyet. Most true, 't is right; you were so,

Alisander. Biron. Pompey the great, Cost. Your servant, and Costárd. Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away

Alisander. Cost. O, sir [to NathanieL), you have overthrown Alisander the conqueror! You will be scraped out of the painted cloth for this : your lion, that holds his poll-ax sitting on a closestool, will be given to Ajax: he will be the ninth worthy. A conqueror, and afеard to speak! run away for shame, Alisander. [NATHANIEL retires.] There, an't shall please you: a foolish mild man; an honest man, look you, and soon dashed! He is a marvellous good neighbour, in sooth; and a very good bowler: but for Alisander, alas, you see how 'tis; a little o'erparted.—But there are worthies a coming will speak their mind in some other sort.

Prin. Stand aside, good Pompey. Enter HOLOFERNES, armed, for Judas, and Moty,

armed, for Hercules.

HOLOFERNES.
Great Hercules is presented by this imp,

Whose club killed Cerberus, that three-headed

Costard.
I Pompey am,-
Boyet.

With libbard's head on knee. Biron. Well said, old mocker; I must needs be friends with thee.

canus ;

CostARD.
I Pompey am, Pompey surnamed the big ;-

Dum. The great.
Cost. It is great, sir ;

-Pompey surnamed the great:
That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my

foe to sweat: And travelling along this coast, I here am come by

chance, And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of

France.
If your ladyship would say, "Thanks, Pompey,"

I had done.
Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey!

Cost. 'T is not so much worth: but I hope I was perfect: I made a little fault in “ great."

Biron. My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best worthy.

And, when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,

Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus :
Quoniam, he seemeth in minority;
Ergo, I come with this apology.-
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.
Judas I am, -

[Exit Moth. Dum. A Judas!

Hol. Not Iscariot, sir :
Judas I am, ycleped Maccabæus.

Dum. Judas Maccabæus clipt, is plain Judas.
Biron. A kissing traitor.-How art thou proved
Judas?

HOLOFERNES. Judas I am,

Enter Nathaniel, armed, for Alexander.

NATHANIEL. When in the world I lived, I was the world's com

mander;

Dum. The more shame for

you,

Judas, Hol. What mean you, sir? Boyet. To make Judas hang himself, Hol. Begin, sir; you are my elder. Biron. Well followed : Judas was hanged on

an elder, Hol. I will not be put out of countenance. Biron. Because thou hast no face. Hol. What is this? Boyet. A cittern head. Dum. The head of a bodkin. Biron. A death's face in a ring. Long. The face of an old Roman coin, scarce

seen.

Dum. A gilt nutmeg.
Biron, A lemon.
Long. Stuck with cloves.
Dum. No, cloven.

Arm. Peace!
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,

Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion:
A man so breathed, that certain he would fight, yea

From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
I am that flower,

Dum. That mint.
Long. That columbine.
Arm. Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.

Long. I must rather give it the rein ; for it runs against Hector.

Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.

Arm. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried : when he breathed, he was a man

an—but I will forward with my device. Sweet royalty [to the Princess], bestow on me the sense of hearing.

[BIROŇ whispers Costard. Prin. Speak, brave Hector; we are much de

lighted.
Arm. I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper.
Boyet. Loves her by the foot.
Dum. He may not by the yard.

Boyet. The pummel of Cæsar's faulchion.
Dum. The carved-bone face on a flask.
Biron. St. George's half-cheek in a brooch.
Dum. Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
Biron. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-

drawer : And now, forward; for we have put thee in coun

tenance. Hol. You have put me out of countenance. Biron. False; we have given thee faces. Hol. But you have outfaced them all. Biron. An thou wert a lion, we would do so.

Boyet. Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go. And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou

stay? Dum. For the latter end of his name. Biron. For the ass to the Jude; give it him :

Jud-as, away. Hol. This is not generous, not gentle, not

humble. Boyet. A light for Monsieur Judas: it grows

dark, he may stumble. Prin. Alas, poor Maccabæus, how hath he been

baited!

Enter ARMADO, armed, for Hector. Biron. Hide thy head, Achilles; here comes Hector in arms.

Dum. Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.

King. Hector was but a Trojan in respect of this.
Boyet. But is this Hector?
Dum. I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.
Long. His leg is too big for Hector.
Dum. More calf, certain.
Boyet. No; he is best endued in the small.
Biron. This cannot be Hector.

Dum. He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces.

ARMADO.
This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,

Cost. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way.

Arm. What meanest thou?

Cost. Faith, unless you play the honest Trojan, the

poor wench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in her belly already; 'tis yours. Arm. Dost thou infamonise me among poten

tates? thou shalt die. Cost. Then shall Hector be whipped, for Jaquenetta that is quick by him; and hanged, for Pompey that is dead by him.

Dum. Most rare Pompey!
Boyet. Renowned Pompey!

Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! Pompey the huge!

Dum, Hector trembles.

Biron. Pompey is moved :--more Ates, more Ates; stir them on! stir them on!

Dum. Hector will challenge him.

Biron. Ay, if he have no more man's blood in 's belly than will sup a flea.

Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee.
Cost. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern

I'll flash; I'll do it by the sword. I pray you, let me borrow my arms again.

Dumn. Room for the incensed worthies.

man.

ARMADO. The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,

Gave Hector a gift,

my

Cost. I 'll do it in shirt.
Dum. Most resolute Pompey!

Moth. Master, let me take you a button-hole lower. Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean you? you will lose your reputation.

Arm. Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.

Dum. You may not deny it; Pompey hath made the challenge.

Arm. Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
Biron. What reason have you for 't?

Arm. The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

Boyet. True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linen: since when, I'll be sworn, he wore none, but a dishclout of Jaquenetta’s; and that a' wears next his heart, for a favour.

Enter MERCADE. Mer. God save you, madam!

Prin. Welcome, Mercade; But that thou interrupt st our merriment. Mer. I am sorry, madam; for the news I

bring Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father

Prin. Dead, for my life.
Mer. Even so; my tale is told.

Biron. Worthies, away; the scene begins to cloud.

Arm. For mine own part, I breathe free breath : I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier. [Exeunt Worthies.

King. How fares your majesty ?
Prin. Boyet, prepare; I will away to-night.
King. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.
Prin. Prepare, I say.--I thank you, gracious

lords,
For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
In your rich wisdom, to excuse, or hide,
The liberal opposition of our spirits :
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves
In the converse of breath, your gentleness
Was guilty of it.-Farewell, worthy lord !
A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue :
Excuse me so, coming so short of thanks
For my great suit so easily obtained.
King. The extreme parts of time extremely

form
All causes to the purpose of his speed;
And often, at his very loose, decides
That which long process could not arbitrate :
And though the morning brow of progeny
Forbid the smiling courtesy of love,
The holy suit which fain it would convince;

Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,
Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
From what it purposed; since to wail friends lost
Is not by much so wholesome, profitable,
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
Prin. I understand you not; my griefs are

double.
Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear

of grief;— And by these badges understand the king. For your fair sakes have we neglected time, Played foul play with our oaths. Your beauty,

ladies, Hath much deformed us, fashioning our humours Even to the opposéd end of our intents : And what in us hath seemed ridiculous, As love is full of unbefitting strains ; All wanton as a child, skipping and vain; Formed by the eye, and therefore, like the eye, Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms, Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll To every varied object in his glance : Which party-coated presence of loose love Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes, Have misbecomed our oaths and gravities, Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults, Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies, Our love being yours, the error that love makes Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false, By being once false for ever to be true To those that make us both,-fair ladies, you: And even that falsehood, in itself a sin, Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace.

Prin. We have received your letters, full of love; Your favours, the ambassadors of love; And, in our maiden council, rated them At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy, As bombast, and as lining to the time: But more devout than this in our respects Have we not been; and therefore met your loves In their own fashion, like a merriment.

Dum. Our letters, madan, shewed much more

than jest.

Long. So did our looks.
Ros. We did not quote them so.

King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour, Grant us your

loves. Prin. A time, methinks, too short To make a world-without-end bargain in : No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured much, Full of dear guiltiness : and therefore, this,If for my love (as there is no such cause) You will do aught, this shall you do for me: Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed To some forlorn and naked hermitage, Remote from all the pleasures of the world; There stay, until the twelve celestial signs

Have brought about their annual reckoning.
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer, made in heat of blood;
If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds,
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial, and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge, challenge me by these deserts,
And by this virgin palm, now kissing thine,
I will be thine; and till that instant shut
My woful self up in a mourning house;
Raining the tears of lamentation
For the remembrance of my father's death.
If this thou do deny, let our hands part;
Neither intitled in the other's heart.

King. If this, or more than this, I would deny,

To flatter up these powers of mine with rest, The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!

Hence ever, then, my heart is in thy breast. Biron. And what to me, my love, and what

to me? Ros. You must be purgéd too, your sins are

rank; You are attaint with faults and perjury: Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, But seek the weary beds of people sick.

Dum. But what to me, my love? but what to me? Kath. A wife !-A beard, fair health, and

honesty; With threefold love I wish you all these three.

Dum. O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife? Kath. Not so, my lord :- :-a twelvemonth and

a day I'll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say: Come when the king doth to my lady come, Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.

Dum. I 'll serve thee true and faithfully till then. Kath. Yet swear not, least you be forsworn

again. Long. What

says

Maria? Mar. At the twelvemonth's end, I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is

long. Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young.

Biron. Studies my lady ? Mistress look on me, Behold the window of my heart, mine eye, What humble suit attends thy answer there : Impose some service on me for thy love.

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón, Before I saw you: and the world's large tongue Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks; Full of comparisons and wounding flouts ; Which you on all estates will execute, That lie within the mercy of your wit: To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,

And therewithal to win me, if you please
(Without the which I am not to be won),
You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to day,
Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit,
To enforce the painéd impotent to smile.
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of

death?
It cannot be; it is impossible :
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing

spirit, Whose influence is begot of that loose grace Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools. A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it, never in the tongue Of him that makes it. Then, if sickly ears, Deafed with the clamours of their own dear groans, Will hear your idle scorns, continue then, And I will have you, and that fault withal; But if they will not, throw away that spirit, And I shall find you empty of that fault, Right joyful of your reformation. Biron. A twelvemonth? Well, befal what will

befal, I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. Prin. Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.

[To the King King. No, madam; we will bring you on your

way. Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old

play; Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy Might well have made our sport a comedy. King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and

a day, And then 't will end.

Biron. That's too long for a play.

Enter ARMADO.
Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,-
Prin. Was not that Hector?
Dum. The worthy knight of Troy.

Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave : I am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed in the end of our show.

King. Call them forth quickly; we will do so. Arm. Holla! approach.

Enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, Moth, Cos

TARD, and others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.

[ocr errors]

SONG.

SPRING.
When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow bue,

Do paint the meadows with delight;
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,

Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo ;-0 word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,

And maidens bleach their summer smocks ;
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,

Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo ;-0 word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

WINTER. When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail ; When blood is nipped, and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who;
Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson's saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw; When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who;
Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You that

way; we

this way.

[Exeunt.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »