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Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow,
Till painful study shall out-wear three years,
No woman may approach his filent court ;
Therefore to us it seems a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure ; and, in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness, we single you
As our best-moving fair solicitor.
Tell him, the daughter of the king of France,
On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
Importunes personal conference with his grace.
Haste, signify so much ; while we attend,
Like humble-visag'd suitors, his high will.
Boyet. Proud of employment, willingly I go: (Exit,
Prin. All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
Lord. Longaville is one.
Prin. Know you the man?
Mar. I knew him, madam; at a marriage-feaft,
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Faulconbridge solemnized,
In Normandy saw I this Longaville :
A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd;
· Well fitted in the arts, glorious in arms:
Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well,
The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss,
(If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,)
Is a sharp wit, ' match'd with too blunt a will ;
Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
It should spare none, that come within his power.
Prin. Some merry-mocking lord, belike. Is’t so?
Mar. They say so most, that most his humours
? Well fitted -] is well qualified. JOHNSON.
- matcb'd with -) is combined or joined with. JOHNSON.
Prin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow. Who are the rest ?
Cath. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd
Of all that virtue love, for virtue lov'd :
Most power to do most harm, leaft knowing ill;
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace, though he had no wit.
I saw him at the duke Alenfon's once ;
And much too little, of that good I saw,
Is my report to his great worthiness.
Rosa. Another of these students at that time
Was there with him, as I have heard a truth;
Biron they call him ; but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal.
His eye begets occasion for his wit;
For every object that the one doth catch,
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ;
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished ;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
Prin. God bless my ladies! are they all in love,
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise ?
Mar. Here comes Boyet.
Prin. Now, what admitrance, lord ?
Boyet. Navarre had notice of your fair approach;
And he and his competitors in oath
Were all addrest to meet you, gentle lady,
Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt,
He rather means to lodge you in the field,
(Like one that comes here to beliege his court)
Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
To let you enter his unpeopled house.
Here comes Navarre.
Enter the King, Longaville, Dumain, Biron, and At-
tendants. King. Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Na
Prin. Fair, I give you back again; and welcome I have not yet: the roof of this court is too high to be yours; and welcome to the wide fields, too base to be mine.
King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
Prin. I will be welcome then ; conduct me thither.
King. Hear me, dear lady, I have sworn an oath.
Prin. Our Lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn.
King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
Prin. Why, Will shall break it ; will, and nothing
King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.
Prin. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
I hear, your Grace hath sworn out house-keeping;
'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord ;
4 And sin to break it. -
But pardon me, I am too sudden bold:
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coining,
And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
Prin. You will the sooner, that I were away;
* And fin to break it.] Sir T. Hanmer reads,
Not fin to break it. I believe erroneously. The Princess Mews an inconvenience very frequently attending rash oaths, which, whether kept or broken, produce guilt. JOHNSON.
For you'll prove perjur’d, if you make me stay.
Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once
Rof. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ?
Biron. I know, you did.
Rof. How needless was it then to ask the questions
Biron. You must not be so quick.
Rof. 'Tis long of you, that spur me with such
questions. Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill
Rof. Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
Biron. What time o'day?
Rof. The hour, that fools should ask.
Biron. Now fair befall your mask !
Rof. Fair fall the face it covers!
Biron. And send you many lovers !
Ros. Amen ; so you be none.
Biron. Nay, then will I be gone.
King. Madam, your father here doth intimate
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns;
Being but the one half of an entire fum,
Disbursed by my father in his wars.
But say, that he, or we, (as neither have)
Receiv'd that sum ; yet there remains unpaid
A hundred thousand more ; in surety of the which,
One part of Aquitain is bound to us,
Although not valu'd to the money's worth.
If then the king your father will rettore
But that one half which is unsatisfy'd,
We will give up our right in Aquitain,
And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
that, it seems, he little purposeth, For here he doch demand to have repaid An hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
On and not demands, On payment, &c.] The former editions read,
On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have his title live in Aquitain;
Which we much rather had depart withal,
And have the money by our father lent,
Than Aquitain fo gelded as it is.
Dear princess, were not his requests so far
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
A yielding, 'gainst some reason, in my breast,
And go well satisfied to France again.
Prin. You do the King my father too much wrong,
And wrong the reputation of your name,
In so unseeming to confess receipt
Of that, which hath so faithfully been paid.
King. I do protest, I never heard of it;
And if you prove it, I'll repay it back,
Or yield up Aquitain.
Prin. We arrest your word:-
Boyet, you can produce acquittances
For such a sum, from special officers
Of Charles his father.
King. Satisfy me fo.
Boyet. So please your Grace, the packet is not
Where that and other specialties are bound:
you shall have a sight of them.
-and not demands
One payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have bis tiile live in Aquitain. I have restored, I believe, the genuine sense of the passage. Aquitain was pledged, it seems, to Navarre's father, for 200,000 crowns. The French king pretends to have paid one moiety of this debt, (which Navarre knows nothing of,) but demands this moiety back again : instead whereof (says Navarre) he should rather pay the remaining moiety and demand to have Aquitain redelivered up to him. This is plain and easy reasoning upon the fact suppos’d; and Navarre declares, he had rather receive the residue of his debt, than detain the province mortgaged for secusity of it. THEOBALD. ·