Sivut kuvina

Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cry’d, Viall! we will do't, come what will come:
The third he caper'd, and cried, All goes well:
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
With that they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in the spleen ridiculous 12 appears,
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.

Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us ?

Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparel'd thus,Like Muscovites, or Russians 13: as I

The purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance:
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress; which they'll know
By favours several, which they did bestow.

Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be task’d:
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.-
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear;
And then the king will court thee for his dear;
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine;
So shall Birón take me for Rosaline.

11 Via. See Vol. i. p. 221.

12 Spleen ridiculous is a ridiculous fit of laughter. The spleen was anciently supposed to be the cause of laughter. So the old Latin verse quoted on another occasion :

Splen ridere facit, cogit amare jecur.' 13 In the first year of K. Henry VIII, at a banquet made for the foreign ambassadors in the parliament chamber at Westminster, “came the Lorde Henry Earle of Wiltshire and the Lorde Fitzwater, in two long gownes of yellow satin traversed with white satin, and in every bend of white was a bend of crimosen sattin after the fashion of Russia or Ruslande, with furred hattes of grey on their hedes, either of them havyng an hatchet in their handes, and bootes with pykes turned up.'-Hall, Henry VIII. p.6. This extract may serve to show that a mask of Muscovites was a court recreation, and at the same time convey an idea of the dress used on the present occasion.

And change you favours too; so shall your loves Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.

Ros. Come on then; wear the favours most in sight. Kath. But, in this changing, what is your intent?

Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs : They do it but in mocking merriment; And mock for mock is only my intent. Their several counsels they unbosom shall To loves mistook; and so be mock'd withal, Upon the next occasion that we meet, With visages display'd, to talk, and greet.

Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?

Prin. No; to the death, we will not move a foot: Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace; But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her face. Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's

heart, And quite divorce his memory from his part.

Prin. Therefore I do it; and, I make no doubt, The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. There's no such sport, as sport by sport o'erthrown; To make theirs ours, and ours none but your own: So shall we stay, mocking intended game; And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame.

[Trumpets sound within. Boyet. The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the maskers come.

[The Ladies mask. Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and Du

MAIN, in Russian habits, and masked; Moth,
Musicians and Attendants.
Moth. All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!
Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffata 14.
Moth. A holy parcel of the fairest dames,

[The ladies turn their backs to him. That ever turn'd their backsto mortal views!

14 i. e. the taffata masks they wore.

Biron. Their eyes, villain, their eyes.
Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!

Boyet. True; out, indeed.
Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouch-

safe Not to behold

Biron. Once to behold, rogue.
Moth. Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,

-with your sun-beamed eyes-
Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet;
You were best call it, daughter-beamed eyes.

Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings me out.
Biron. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue.
Ros. What would these strangers ? know their

minds, Boyet:
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
That some plain man recount their purposes :
Know what they would.

Boyet. What would you with the princess ?
Biron. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation.
Ros. What would they, say they ?
Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation.
Ros. Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.
Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be gone.

Kiny. Say to her we have measur'd many miles,
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
Boyet. They say that they have measur'd many

a mile,
To tread a measure 15 with you on this grass.

Ros. It is not so: ask them, how
Is in one mile: if they have measur'd many,

15 A grave solemn dance, with slow and measured steps, like the minuet. As it was of so solemn a nature, it was performed at public entertainments in the Inns of Court; and it was not unusual, nor thought inconsistent, for the first characters in the law to bear a part in treading a measure. Sir Christopher Hatton was famous for it.

many inches

up one mile.

The measure then of one is easily told.

Boyet. If, to come hither you have measur’d miles,
And many miles; the princess bids you tell,

inches do fill
Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.
Boyet. She hears herself.

How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,
Are number'd in the travel of one mile?

Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you; Our duty is so rich, so infinite, That we may do it still without accompt. Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of

your face, That we, like savages, may worship it.

Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.

King. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do! Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to

shine 16


(Those clouds remov'd) upon our wat’ry eyne.

Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter; Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. King. Then, in our measure vouchsafe but one

change: Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange. Ros. Play, musick, then: nay, you must do it

[Music plays. Not yet;—no dance:—thus change I like the moon. King. Will you not dance? How come you

thus estrang'd ? Ros. You took the moon at full; but now she's

chang’d. King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. The musick plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.

16 When Queen Elizabeth asked an ambassador how he liked her ladies ?— It is hard,' said he,' to judge of stars in the presence of the sun.'



Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it.


your legs should do it. Ros. Since you are strangers, and come here by

chance, We'll not be nice: take hands ; -We will not dance.

King. Why take we hands then ?

Only to part friends :Court'sy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.

King. More measure of this measure; be not nice, Ros. We can afford no more at such a price. King. Prize you yourselves; What buys your

company? Ros. Your absence only. King.

That can never be. Ros. Then cannot we be bought: and so adieu ; Twice to your visor, and half once to you!

King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.
Ros. In private then.

I am best pleas'd with that.

[They converse apart. Biron. White-handed mistress, one sweet word

with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three. Biron. Nay then, two treys (an if you grow so

nice), Metheglin, wort, and malmsey ;-Well run, dice! There's half a dozen sweets. Prin.

Seventh sweet, adieu ! Since you can cog 17, I'll play no more with you.

Biron. One word in secret.

Let it not be sweet.
Biron. Thou griev’st my gall.

Gall? bitter.

Therefore meet.

[They converse apart. 17 To cog is to lie or cheat. Hence to cog the dice.

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