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Speeches (Lines) for Ferdinand
in "Love's Labour's Lost"

Total: 117

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(stage directions). [Enter FERDINAND king of Navarre, BIRON, LONGAVILLE]

Ferdinand. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavor of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors,—for so you are,
That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world's desires,—
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your names,
That his own hand may strike his honour down
That violates the smallest branch herein:
If you are arm'd to do as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.



Biron. I can but say their protestation over;
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, to live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances;
As, not to see a woman in that term,
Which I hope well is not enrolled there;
And one day in a week to touch no food
And but one meal on every day beside,
The which I hope is not enrolled there;
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night,
And not be seen to wink of all the day—
When I was wont to think no harm all night
And make a dark night too of half the day—
Which I hope well is not enrolled there:
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep!

Ferdinand. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.



Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
What is the end of study? let me know.

Ferdinand. Why, that to know, which else we should not know.



Biron. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?

Ferdinand. Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.



Biron. Come on, then; I will swear to study so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know:
As thus,—to study where I well may dine,
When I to feast expressly am forbid;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
When mistresses from common sense are hid;
Or, having sworn too hard a keeping oath,
Study to break it and not break my troth.
If study's gain be thus and this be so,
Study knows that which yet it doth not know:
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.

Ferdinand. These be the stops that hinder study quite
And train our intellects to vain delight.



Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
As, painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:
Light seeking light doth light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the eye indeed
By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed
And give him light that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun
That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks:
Small have continual plodders ever won
Save base authority from others' books
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
That give a name to every fixed star
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
And every godfather can give a name.

Ferdinand. How well he's read, to reason against reading!



Biron. Something then in rhyme.

Ferdinand. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.



Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.
So you, to study now it is too late,
Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.

Ferdinand. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron: adieu.



Biron. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you:
And though I have for barbarism spoke more
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper; let me read the same;
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.

Ferdinand. How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!



Biron. A dangerous law against gentility!
'Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman
within the term of three years, he shall endure such
public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.'
This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For well you know here comes in embassy
The French king's daughter with yourself to speak—
A maid of grace and complete majesty—
About surrender up of Aquitaine
To her decrepit, sick and bedrid father:
Therefore this article is made in vain,
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.

Ferdinand. What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.



Biron. So study evermore is overshot:
While it doth study to have what it would
It doth forget to do the thing it should,
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won as towns with fire, so won, so lost.

Ferdinand. We must of force dispense with this decree;
She must lie here on mere necessity.



Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years' space;
For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might master'd but by special grace:
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me;
I am forsworn on 'mere necessity.'
So to the laws at large I write my name:
And he that breaks them in the least degree
Stands in attainder of eternal shame:
Suggestions are to other as to me;
But I believe, although I seem so loath,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted?

Ferdinand. Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
With a refined traveller of Spain;
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One whom the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
For interim to our studies shall relate
In high-born words the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate.
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.



Costard. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.

Ferdinand. A letter from the magnificent Armado.



Costard. As it shall follow in my correction: and God defend
the right!

Ferdinand. Will you hear this letter with attention?



Costard. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent and
sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god,
and body's fostering patron.'



Costard. Not a word of Costard yet.

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'So it is,'—



Costard. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in
telling true, but so.

Ferdinand. Peace!



Costard. Be to me and every man that dares not fight!

Ferdinand. No words!



Costard. Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'So it is, besieged with sable-coloured
melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour
to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving
air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to
walk. The time when. About the sixth hour; when
beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down
to that nourishment which is called supper: so much
for the time when. Now for the ground which; which,
I mean, I walked upon: it is y-cleped thy park. Then
for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter
that obscene and preposterous event, that draweth
from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which
here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest;
but to the place where; it standeth north-north-east
and by east from the west corner of thy curious-
knotted garden: there did I see that low-spirited
swain, that base minnow of thy mirth,'—



Costard. Me?

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'that unlettered small-knowing soul,'—



Costard. Me?

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'that shallow vassal,'—



Costard. Still me?

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'which, as I remember, hight Costard,'—



Costard. O, me!

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'sorted and consorted, contrary to thy
established proclaimed edict and continent canon,
which with,—O, with—but with this I passion to say



Costard. With a wench.

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'with a child of our grandmother Eve, a
female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a
woman. Him I, as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on,
have sent to thee, to receive the meed of
punishment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Anthony
Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and



Dull. 'Me, an't shall please you; I am Anthony Dull.

Ferdinand. [Reads] 'For Jaquenetta,—so is the weaker vessel
called which I apprehended with the aforesaid
swain,—I keep her as a vessel of the law's fury;
and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring
her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted
and heart-burning heat of duty.



Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, but the best
that ever I heard.

Ferdinand. Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say
you to this?



Costard. Sir, I confess the wench.

Ferdinand. Did you hear the proclamation?



Costard. I do confess much of the hearing it but little of
the marking of it.

Ferdinand. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, to be taken
with a wench.



Costard. I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damsel.

Ferdinand. Well, it was proclaimed 'damsel.'



Costard. This was no damsel, neither, sir; she was a virgin.

Ferdinand. It is so varied, too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin.'



Costard. If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.

Ferdinand. This maid will not serve your turn, sir.



Costard. This maid will serve my turn, sir.

Ferdinand. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast
a week with bran and water.



Costard. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

Ferdinand. And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
My Lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'er:
And go we, lords, to put in practise that
Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.



Boyet. Navarre had notice of your fair approach;
And he and his competitors in oath
Were all address'd 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 besiege his court,
Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
To let you enter his unpeopled house.
Here comes Navarre.

Ferdinand. Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.



Princess of France. '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.

Ferdinand. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.



Princess of France. I will be welcome, then: conduct me thither.

Ferdinand. Hear me, dear lady; I have sworn an oath.



Princess of France. Our Lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn.

Ferdinand. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.



Princess of France. Why, will shall break it; will and nothing else.

Ferdinand. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.



Princess of France. 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.

Ferdinand. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.



Biron. Nay, then will I be gone.

Ferdinand. 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,
Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid
A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which,
One part of Aquitaine 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 Aquitaine,
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 Aquitaine;
Which we much rather had depart withal
And have the money by our father lent
Than Aquitaine so 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.



Princess of France. 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.

Ferdinand. I do protest I never heard of it;
And if you prove it, I'll repay it back
Or yield up Aquitaine.



Princess of France. We arrest your word.
Boyet, you can produce acquittances
For such a sum from special officers
Of Charles his father.

Ferdinand. 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.

Ferdinand. It shall suffice me: at which interview
All liberal reason I will yield unto.
Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
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 received
As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,
Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell:
To-morrow shall we visit you again.



Princess of France. Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace!

Ferdinand. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place!



(stage directions). [Enter FERDINAND, with a paper]

Ferdinand. Ay me!



Biron. [Aside] Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid:
thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the
left pap. In faith, secrets!

Ferdinand. [Reads]
So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows:
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep:
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my grief will show:
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper:
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
[Steps aside]
What, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear.



Biron. Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.

Ferdinand. In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!



Longaville. And I had mine!

Ferdinand. And I mine too, good Lord!



Longaville. [Advancing] Dumain, thy love is far from charity.
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o'erheard and taken napping so.

Ferdinand. [Advancing] Come, sir, you blush; as his your case is such;
You chide at him, offending twice as much;
You do not love Maria; Longaville
Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
I have been closely shrouded in this bush
And mark'd you both and for you both did blush:
I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion:
Ay me! says one; O Jove! the other cries;
One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes:
You would for paradise break faith, and troth;
And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
What will Biron say when that he shall hear
Faith so infringed, which such zeal did swear?
How will he scorn! how will he spend his wit!
How will he triumph, leap and laugh at it!
For all the wealth that ever I did see,
I would not have him know so much by me.



Biron. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me!
Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
These worms for loving, that art most in love?
Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
There is no certain princess that appears;
You'll not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing;
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
But are you not ashamed? nay, are you not,
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot?
You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
But I a beam do find in each of three.
O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow and of teen!
O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
To see a king transformed to a gnat!
To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
Where lies thy grief, O, tell me, good Dumain?
And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
And where my liege's? all about the breast:
A caudle, ho!

Ferdinand. Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view?



Biron. Not you to me, but I betray'd by you:
I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin
To break the vow I am engaged in;
I am betray'd, by keeping company
With men like men of inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
Or groan for love? or spend a minute's time
In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
A leg, a limb?

Ferdinand. Soft! whither away so fast?
A true man or a thief that gallops so?



Jaquenetta. God bless the king!

Ferdinand. What present hast thou there?



Costard. Some certain treason.

Ferdinand. What makes treason here?



Costard. Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

Ferdinand. If it mar nothing neither,
The treason and you go in peace away together.



Jaquenetta. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read:
Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.

Ferdinand. Biron, read it over.
[Giving him the paper]
Where hadst thou it?



Jaquenetta. Of Costard.

Ferdinand. Where hadst thou it?



(stage directions). [BIRON tears the letter]

Ferdinand. How now! what is in you? why dost thou tear it?



Biron. [To COSTARD] Ah, you whoreson loggerhead! you were
born to do me shame.
Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess.

Ferdinand. What?



Biron. True, true; we are four.
Will these turtles be gone?

Ferdinand. Hence, sirs; away!



Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!
As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.

Ferdinand. What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?



Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
Bows not his vassal head and strucken blind
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
That is not blinded by her majesty?

Ferdinand. What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
She an attending star, scarce seen a light.



Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron:
O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty
Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek,
Where several worthies make one dignity,
Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,—
Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not:
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs,
She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy:
O, 'tis the sun that maketh all things shine.

Ferdinand. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.



Biron. Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:
No face is fair that is not full so black.

Ferdinand. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the suit of night;
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.



Longaville. And since her time are colliers counted bright.

Ferdinand. And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.



Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
For fear their colours should be wash'd away.

Ferdinand. 'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.



Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.

Ferdinand. No devil will fright thee then so much as she.



Dumain. O, vile! then, as she goes, what upward lies
The street should see as she walk'd overhead.

Ferdinand. But what of this? are we not all in love?



Biron. Nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn.

Ferdinand. Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now prove
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.



Biron. 'Tis more than need.
Have at you, then, affection's men at arms.
Consider what you first did swear unto,
To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young;
And abstinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
In that each of you have forsworn his book,
Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of study's excellence
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
[From women's eyes this doctrine I derive;]
They are the ground, the books, the academes
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire]
Why, universal plodding poisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries,
As motion and long-during action tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes
And study too, the causer of your vow;
For where is any author in the world
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself
And where we are our learning likewise is:
Then when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
Do we not likewise see our learning there?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
Of beauty's tutors have enrich'd you with?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;
And therefore, finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil:
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain;
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world:
Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
Then fools you were these women to forswear,
Or keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love,
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men,
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men,
Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
It is religion to be thus forsworn,
For charity itself fulfills the law,
And who can sever love from charity?

Ferdinand. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!



Longaville. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?

Ferdinand. And win them too: therefore let us devise
Some entertainment for them in their tents.



Biron. First, from the park let us conduct them thither;
Then homeward every man attach the hand
Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon
We will with some strange pastime solace them,
Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
For revels, dances, masks and merry hours
Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.

Ferdinand. Away, away! no time shall be omitted
That will betime, and may by us be fitted.



Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be gone.

Ferdinand. Say to her, we have measured many miles
To tread a measure with her on this grass.



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

Ferdinand. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.



Rosaline. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.

Ferdinand. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange.



Rosaline. Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.
[Music plays]
Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.

Ferdinand. Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?



Rosaline. You took the moon at full, but now she's changed.

Ferdinand. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.



Rosaline. Our ears vouchsafe it.

Ferdinand. But your legs should do it.



Rosaline. Since you are strangers and come here by chance,
We'll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.

Ferdinand. Why take we hands, then?



Rosaline. Only to part friends:
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.

Ferdinand. More measure of this measure; be not nice.



Rosaline. We can afford no more at such a price.

Ferdinand. Prize you yourselves: what buys your company?



Rosaline. Your absence only.

Ferdinand. That can never be.



Rosaline. Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you.

Ferdinand. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.



Rosaline. In private, then.

Ferdinand. I am best pleased with that.



Biron. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!

Ferdinand. Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.



Princess of France. Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er land.
in their proper habits]

Ferdinand. Fair sir, God save you! Where's the princess?



Boyet. Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty
Command me any service to her thither?

Ferdinand. That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.



Biron. This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease,
And utters it again when God doth please:
He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares
At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve;
A' can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy;
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable terms: nay, he can sing
A mean most meanly; and in ushering
Mend him who can: the ladies call him sweet;
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet:
This is the flower that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whale's bone;
And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

Ferdinand. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
That put Armado's page out of his part!



Biron. See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thou
Till this madman show'd thee? and what art thou now?
[Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET, ROSALINE,]

Ferdinand. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!



Princess of France. 'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive.

Ferdinand. Construe my speeches better, if you may.



Princess of France. Then wish me better; I will give you leave.

Ferdinand. We came to visit you, and purpose now
To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.



Princess of France. This field shall hold me; and so hold your vow:
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjured men.

Ferdinand. Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:
The virtue of your eye must break my oath.



Princess of France. You nickname virtue; vice you should have spoke;
For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
Now by my maiden honour, yet as pure
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,
I would not yield to be your house's guest;
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity.

Ferdinand. O, you have lived in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.



Princess of France. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
We have had pastimes here and pleasant game:
A mess of Russians left us but of late.

Ferdinand. How, madam! Russians!



Rosaline. There, then, that vizard; that superfluous case
That hid the worse and show'd the better face.

Ferdinand. We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.



Biron. Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.

Ferdinand. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
Some fair excuse.



Princess of France. The fairest is confession.
Were not you here but even now disguised?

Ferdinand. Madam, I was.



Princess of France. And were you well advised?

Ferdinand. I was, fair madam.



Princess of France. When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

Ferdinand. That more than all the world I did respect her.



Princess of France. When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.

Ferdinand. Upon mine honour, no.



Princess of France. Peace, peace! forbear:
Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.

Ferdinand. Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.



Princess of France. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
Most honourably doth unhold his word.

Ferdinand. What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.



Rosaline. By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain,
You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.

Ferdinand. My faith and this the princess I did give:
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Ferdinand. Biron, 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.

Ferdinand. I say they shall not come.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Ferdinand. Here is like to be a good presence of Worthies. He
presents Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the
Great; the parish curate, Alexander; Armado's page,
Hercules; the pedant, Judas Maccabaeus: 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.

Ferdinand. You are deceived; 'tis not so.



Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the fool
and the boy:—
Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.

Ferdinand. The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.



Dumain. Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.

Ferdinand. Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.



Boyet. But is this Hector?

Ferdinand. I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.



(stage directions). [Exeunt Worthies]

Ferdinand. How fares your majesty?



Princess of France. Boyet, prepare; I will away tonight.

Ferdinand. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.



Princess of France. 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 nimble tongue:
Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
For my great suit so easily obtain'd.

Ferdinand. The extreme parts of time extremely forms
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,
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.PRINCESS. I understand you not: my griefs are double.



Rosaline. We did not quote them so.

Ferdinand. Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
Grant us your loves.



Princess of France. A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this:
If for my love, as there is no such cause,
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
There stay until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about the annual reckoning.
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,
And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine
I will be thine; and till that instant shut
My woeful self up in a mourning house,
Raining the tears of lamentation
For the remembrance of my father's death.
If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
Neither entitled in the other's heart.

Ferdinand. If this, or more than this, I would deny,
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.



Princess of France. [To FERDINAND] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.

Ferdinand. 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.

Ferdinand. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
And then 'twill end.



Don Adriano de Armado. 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.

Ferdinand. Call them forth quickly; we will do so.

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