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King. Despise me, when I break this oath of mino.
Prin. I will; and therefore keep it :-Rosaline, What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
Ros. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear As precious eye-sight; and did value me Above this world : adding thereto, moreover, That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord Most honourably doth uphold his word. King. What mean you, madam? by my life, my
troth, I never swore this lady such an oath.
Ros. By heaven, you did ; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this : but take it, sir, again.
King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear; And lord Birón, I thank him, is my dear :What; will you have me, or your pearl again?
Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain. I see the trick on't;Here was a consenti (Knowing aforehand of our merriment) To dash it like a Christmas comedy: Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight
zany, Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some
Dick, That smiles his cheek in years; and knows the trick To make my lady laugh, when she's dispos'd, Told our intents before: Which once disclos'd, The ladies did change favours; and then we, Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. Now, to our perjury to add more terror, We are again forsworn; in will, and error. Much upon this it is :- And might not you,
To Boyet. Forestal our sport, to make us thus untrue ?. Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire,3
(1) Conspiracy. - (2) Buffoon.
And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know,
Biron. What, are there but three.
No, sir; but it is vara fine,
And three times thrice is nine. Cost. Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope,
it is not so: You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we
know what we know : I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,“ Biron.
Is not nine. Cost. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount. Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for
nine. Cost. O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your living by reckoning, sir.
Biron. How much is it?
Cost. O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for
my own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one man,-e'en one poor man; Pompion the great, sir.
Biron. Art thou one of the worthies?
Pompion the great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of the worthy : but I am to stand for him.
Biron. Go, bid them prepare.
[Exit Costard. King. Birón, they will shame us, let them not
approach. Biron. We are shame-proof, my lord : and 'tis
some policy To have one show worse than the king's and his
company. King. I say, they shall not come.
Prin. Nay, my good lord, let me o'er-rule you That sport best pleases, that doth least know how : Where zeal strives to content, and the contents Die in the zeal of them which it presents, Their form confounded makes most form in mirth; When great things labouring perish in their birth. Biron. A right description of our sport, my lord.
Enter Armado. Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of words. (Armado converses with the King, and delivers
him a paper. Prin. Doth this man serve Gad? Biron. Why ask you? Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making.
Arm. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch: for, I protest, the school-master is exceeding fantastical; too, too vain; too, too vain : But we will put it, as they say, to fortuna della guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement.
[Exit Armado. King. Here is like to be a good presence of worthies : He presen s Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the great; the parish curate, Alexander ; Armado's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas Machabæus.
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 deceiv'd, 'tis not so.
Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedgepriest, the fool, and the boy Abate a throw at novum;l and the whole world
again, Cannot prick2 out five such, take each one in his vein. King. The ship is under sail, and here she comes
(Seats brought for the King, Princess, &c. Pageant of the Nine Worthies. Enter Costard
arm'd for Pompey. Cost. I Pompey am, Boyet.
You lie, you are not he. Cost. I Pompey am, Boyet.
With libbard's head on knee. Biron. Well said, old mocker; I must needs be
friends with thee. Cost. I Pompey am, Pompey surnam'd the big, Dum. The great. Cost. It is great, sir ;-Pompey surnam'd the
great ;, That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make
my foe to sweat : And, travelling along this 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. 'Tis 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.
(1) A game with dice.
Enter Nathaniel arm’d, for Alexander.
world's commander ; 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 dismay'd: Proceed,
good Alexander. Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the
world's commander; Boyet. Most true, 'tis right ; you were so, Ali
sander. Biron. Pompey the great,Cost.
Your servant, and Costard. Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.
Cost. O, sir, [To Nath.) 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 close-stool, will be given to A-jax, he will be the ninth worthy. A conqueror, and afеard to speak! run away for shame, Alisander. (Nath. retires.] There, an't shall please you ; a foolish mild man; an honest man,
look soon dash'd! 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 arm'd, for Judas, and Moth
arm'd, for Hercules. Hol. Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed