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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, I'll play no more with you.
Biron. One word in secret.
Let it not be sweet.
Gall? bitter. Biron.
[They converse apart. Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a
word ? Mar. Name it. Dum.
Say you so? Fair lord, Take that for your fair lady. Dum.
Please it you, As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
[They converse apart. Kath. What, was your visor made without a
tongue? Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. Kath. O, for your reason! quickly, sir; I long. Long. You have a double tongue within your
mask, And would afford my speechless visor half.
King. Veal, quoth the Dutchman; Is not veal
"Since you can cog,] To cog, signifies to falsify the dice, and to falsify a narrative, or to lye. Johnson.
Long. A calf, fair lady?
No, a fair lord calf.
No, I'll not be your half:
sharp mocks! Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.
Kath. Then die a calf, before your horns do grow. Long. One word in private with you, ere I die. Kath. Bleat softly then, the butcher hears you cry.
[They converse apart. Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as
keen As is the razor's edge invisible, Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen;
Above the sense of sense: so sensible Seemeth their conference; their conceits have
wings, Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter
things. Ros. Not one word more, my maids; break off,
break off. Biron. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff! King. Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple
wits. [Exeunt King, Lords, Moth, Musick, and
Attendants. Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites.Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at? Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths
puffd out. Ros. Well-liking wits’ they have; gross, gross;
fat, fat. Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
? Well-liking wits – ] Well-liking is the same as embonpoint. VOL. III.
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to
Or ever, but in visors, show their faces? This pert Birón was out of countenance quite.
Ros. O! they were all in lamentable cases ! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Prin. Birón did swear himself out of all suit.
Mar. Dumain was at my service, and his sword: No point, quoth I;} my servant straight was mute. Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his
heart; And trow you, what he call'd me?
Qualm, perhaps. Kath. Yes, in good faith." Prin.
Go, sickness as thou art ! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute
caps. But will you hear ? the king is my love sworn.
Prin. And quick Birón hath plighted faith to me. Kath. And Longaville was for my service born. Mar. Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree.
Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear: Immediately they will again be here In their own shapes; for it can never be, They will digest this harsh indignity.
Prin. Will they return?
Boyet. They will, they will, God knows ; And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows: Therefore, change favours; and, when they repair, Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
: 'No point, quoth 1;] Point in French is an adverb of negation; but, if properly spoken, is not sounded like the point of a sword. A quibble, however, is intended.
4 — better wits have worn plain statute-caps.] Dr. Johnson thinks this is an allusion to the statute-cap of the universities. Mr. Steevens, that it means better wits may be found among the citizens, who wore a kind of woollen-cap by statute.
Prin. How blow? how blow? speak to be under
stood. Boyet. Fair Ladies, mask'd, are roses in their
bud: Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do, If they return in their own shapes to woo?
Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd, Let's mock them still, as well known, as disguis'd: Let us complain to them what fools were here, Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless gear; And wonder, what they were; and to what end Their shallow shows, and prologue vilely penn'd, And their rough carriage so ridiculous, Should be presented at our tent to us. Boyet. Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at
hand. Prin. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land.
[Exeunt Princess, Ros. Kath. and MARIA.
Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and Du
MAIN, in their proper habits. King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the
princess ? Boyet. Gone to her tent: Please it your majesty, Command me any service to her thither? King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one
word. Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.
Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons
peas; And utters it again when God doth please:
* Are angels vailing clouds,] i, e. letting those clouds which obscured their brightness, sink from before them. Johnson.
Have we that and wassend retails
He is wit's pedler; and retails his wares
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Enter the Princess, usher'd by Boyet; ROSALINE,
MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants.
wert thou, Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now? King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of
day! Prin. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. Prin. Then wish me better, I will give you
6 — wassels,] Wassels were meetings of rustic mirth and intemperance.
*A mean - ] The mean, in musick, is the tenor.