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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 endeavors, 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 mourning brow of progeny Forbid the smiling courtesy of love, The holy suit which fain it would convince ;3 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.
1 Armado probably means to say, in his affected style, that he had discovered he was wronged.” “One may see day at a little hole,” is a proverb.
2 Loose may mean at the moment of his parting; i. e. of his getting loose or away from us.
3 i. e. which it fain would succeed in obtaining.
fair sakes have we neglected time, Played foul play with our oaths; your beauty, ladies, Hath much deformed us, fashioning our humors Even to the opposed 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 forever 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 favors, 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, madam, showed 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
1 Thus in Decker's Satiromastix: “You shall swear not to bombast out a new play with the old linings of jests." 2 Regard. VOL. II.
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
Hence ever, then, my heart is in thy breast. Biron. And what to me, my love? and what to
Ros. You must be purged too; your sins are rank; You are attaint with faults and perjury; Therefore, if you my favor 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
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
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.
Biron. Studies my lady? Mistress, look on me;
Ros. Oft have 1 heard of you, my lord Birón,
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 clamors 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, befall what will
befall, 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 'twill end. Biron.
That's too long for a play.
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.
Enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, Moth, CoSTARD,
and others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.
1 Dear ; used by ancient writers to express pain, solicitude, &c.