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Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
To let you enter his unpeopled house.
Here comes Navarre.

[The Ladies mask.

Enter KING, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BIRON,

and Attendants. King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of

Navarre. 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 wild 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

else. 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, 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 coming, And suddenly resolve me in my suit.

[Gives a Paper. King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.

Prin. You will the sooner, that I were away; For you'll prove perjur’d, if you make me stay. 6 Where is here used for whereas. So in Pericles, Act i. Sc. 1.

Where now you're both a father and a son.' See also K. Henry VI. Part II. passim.

Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once!
Biron. I know you

did.
Ros.

How needless was it then To ask the question ! Biron.

You must not be so quick. Ros. 'Tis 'long of you that spur me with such

questions.
Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill

tire.
Ros. Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
Biron. What time o' day?
Ros. The hour that fools should ask.
Biron. Now fair befall

your

mask!
Ros. 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 sum,
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 valued to the money's worth.
If then the king your father will restore
But that one half which is unsatisfied,
We will give up our right in Aquitain,
And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
For here he doth demand to have repaid
A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
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 so gelded 8 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 so. Boyet. So please your grace, the packet is not

come, Where that and other specialties are bound; To-morrow you shall have a sight of them.

King. It shall suffice me: at which interview, All liberal reason I will yield unto. Mean time, receive such welcome at my hand,

7 To depart and to part were anciently synonymous.

8 This phrase appears to us unseemly to a princess, but it was a common metaphorical expression then much used. Perhaps it was no more considered offensive than it would be now to talk of the castrations of Holinshed. It was not peculiar to Shakspeare. In the Return from Parnassus, Act iii. Sc. 1, we find :

• He hath a proper gelded parsonage.' And Bishop Hall in the second Satire of Book iv.

plod it at a patron's tail, To get some gelded chapel's cheaper sale.' It appears to have been synonymous with curtailed.

6

Yo

As honour, without breach of honour, may
Make tender of to thy true worthiness :
You may not come, fair princess, in my gates;
But here without

you

shall be so receiv'd, As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart, Though so denied fair harbour in my house.

our own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell: To-morrow shall we visit you again. Prin. Sweet health and fair desires consort your

grace! King. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place!

[Esceunt King and his Train. Biron. Lady, I will commend you to my own

heart.
Ros. 'Pray you, do my commendations; I would
be glad to see it.

Biron. I would, you heard it groan.
Ros. Is the fool sick ?
Biron. Sick at heart.
Ros. Alack, let it blood.
Biron. Would that do it good ?
Ros. My Physick says, 19.
Biron. Will you prick’t with your eye?
Ros. No point 10, with my knife.
Biron. Now, God save thy life!
Ros. And yours from long living!
Biron. I cannot stay thanksgiving. [Retiring.
Dum. Sir, I pray you, a word : What lady is that

same?
Boyet. The heir of Alençon, Rosaline her name.
9 The old spelling of the affirmative particle ay is here re-
tained for the sake of the rhyme.

10 Point, in French, is an adverb of negation, but, if properly spoken, is not sounded like the point of a knife. A quibble was however intended. Perhaps Shakspeare was not well acquainted with the pronunciation of French. Florio in his Italian Dictionary, in v. Punto: explains it by 'never a whit;—no point, as the Frenchman says.' See Act v. Sc. 2. p. 388.

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Dum. A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well.

[Exit. Long. I beseech you a word; What is she in the

white ? Boyet. A woman sometimes, an you saw her in

the light. Long. Perchance, light in the light: I desire her

name.

in the cap?

Boyet. She hath but one for herself; to desire

that, were a shame.
Long. Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
Boyet. Her mother's, I have heard.
Long. God's blessing on your beard !

Boyet. Good sir, be not offended :
She is an heir of Falconbridge.

Long. Nay, my choler is ended.
She is a most sweet lady.
Boyet. Not unlike, sir; that may be.

[Exit Long,
Biron. What's her name,
Boyet. Katharine, by good hap.
Biron. Is she wedded, or no?
Boyet. To her will, sir, or so.
Biron. You are welcome, sir; adieu !
Boyet. Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.

[Exit Biron.Ladies unmask. Mar. That last is Biron, the merry mad-cap lord; Not a word with him but a jest. Boyet.

And every jest but a word. Prin. It was well done of you to take him at his

word. Boyet. I was as willing to grapple, as he was to

board. Mar. Two hot sheeps, marry! Boyet.

And wherefore not ships ? No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.

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