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Their purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance :
fight. KATH. But, in this changing, what is yourintent?
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 fhall 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 speak
er's heart, And quite divorce his memory from his part.
her face. ] The first folio, and the quarto, 1598, have his face.
Correded by the editor of the second folio.
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 our own: So shall we stay, mocking intended game; And they, well mock’d, depart away with shame.
[Trumpets found within. Boyet. The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the maskers come.
[The ladies malk.
Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVÍLLE, and DUMAIN,
in Russian habits, and masked; Moth, Musicians, and Attendants.
Moth. All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!
(The ladies turn their backs to him. That ever turn'd their backs-to mortal views !
Biron. Their eyes, villain, their eyes.
Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortalviews! Out
BOYET. True; out, indeed.
will ne'er come in, ] The quarto, 1598, and the folios 1623, read will i'et. The corredion was made in the second folio. MALONE.
6 Beauties no richer than rich taffata. } i. e. the taffata masks they wore to conceal themselves. All the editors concur to give this line to Biron; but, surely, very absurdly: for he's one of the zea lous admirers, and liardly would make such an inference. Boyet is sneering at the parade of their address, is in the secret of the la. dies' ftratagem, and makes himself sport at the abfurdity of their proem, in complimenting their beauty, when they were mask'd. It therefore comes from him with the utmost propriety.
THEOBALIS. Vol. VII.
Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly Spirits, vouch
BIRON. Once to behold, rogue.
Moth. Once to behold with your fun-beamed eyes, --with your sun-beamed eyes—
Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet; You were beit call it, daughter-beamed eyes.
Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings
Biron. Is this your perfectness ? be gone, you
BOYET. What would you with the princess?
peace, and gentle visitation.
7 To tread a measure-1 The measures were dances solemn and Dow. They were performed at court, and at public entertainments of
Ros. It is not so: alk them, how many inches Is in-one mile: if they have measur'd many, The measure then of one is easily toid. Boyet. If, to come hither you have measur'd
miles, And many miles; the princess bids you tell, How many inches do fill up one mile. Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary
steps. Boyet. She hears herself. Ros.
How many weary steps, Of many weary
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,
tlie societies of law and equity, at their halls, on particular occafous, It was formerly not deemed inconfiftent with propriety even for the gravest persons to join in them; and accordingly at the revels whicla were celebrated at the inns of court, it has not been „ausual for the first chara&ers in the law to become performers in treading the measures. See Dugdale's Origines juridiciales. Sir John Davies, ir his poem called Orchestra, 1662, describes them in this manner:
66 But, after these, as men more civil grew,
" He did more grave and folemn ineasures frame: “ With fuch fair order and proportion true,
" And correspondence ev'ry way the same,
" For every eye was moved at the fight,
• Not those young students of the heavenly book,
“ Which on the stars did all their life-time look, ". Could ever find such measure in the ikies,
" So full of change, and rare varieties; 's " Yei all the feet whereon these measures go,
" Are only spondees, Solennn, grave, and slow. REED. See Beatrice's description of this dance ia Much auo about Nothing, Vol. VI. p. 252. MALONE.
That we may do it still without accompt.
Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
do! Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars,' 10
shine (Those clouds remov’d,) upon our wat’ry eyne.
Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter; Thou now request's but moon-shine in the water. King. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe onc
change : Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange. Ros. Play, musick, then: nay, you must do it foon.
[ Mufick 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'de KING. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. The musick plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.
Ros. Our cars vouchsafe it.
But 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.
8 Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, ] When queen Elizabeth asked an ambassador how he liked her ladies, it is hard, said he, to judge of liars in the presence of the fun. JOHNSON.
- the man.) I fufpe&, that a line which rhimed with this, has been loft. MALONE.