Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Cost. It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so,

King. Peace!

Cost. —be to me, and every man that dares not fight.

King. No words.
Cost. —of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

King. “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 yeleped’ thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most 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,”

Cost. Me.
King. —that unletter'd small-knowing soul,”
Cost. Me.
King.—that shallow vassal,"
Cost. Still me.
King.—which, as I remember, hight Costard,”
Cost. O! me.

King. “ -sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with

3

? ycleped) i. e. Called; the past tense of the verb to clepe.

thy curious-KNOTTED garden :) The “knots” were the fantastic figures of the beds, or borders of a garden of that time.

- with—] It is misprinted which in the old 4to, 1598, and in the folios. Theohald first made the change.

with,—0! with—but with this I passion to say wherewith.”

Cost. With a wench.

King." — 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, Antony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.”

Dull. Me, an't shall please you : I am Antony Dull.

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

“ Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO."

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

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

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.
King. Did you hear the proclamation ?

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

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

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

King. Well, it was proclaimed damsel.

Cost. This was no damsel neither, sir : she was a virgin.

King. It is so varied, too, for it was proclaimed virgin.

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

King. This maid will not serve your turn, sir.
Cost. This maid will serve my turn, sir.

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

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

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

[Exeunt KING, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE. Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,

These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.Sirrah, come on.

Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir : for true it is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl ; and, therefore, welcome the sour cup of prosperitys! Affliction may one day smile again, and till then, set thee down, sorrow!

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

ARMADO's House in the Park.

Enter ARMADO and Moth, his

page. Arm. Boy, what sign is it’, when a man of great spirit grows melancholy?

Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.

Arm. Why? sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.

5

PROSPERITY!] The 4to. has prosperie, a syllable having dropped out. set Thee down, sorrow !] So the 4to : the folio omits “ thee.” See p. 331, “Well set thee down, sorrow ! for so, they say, the fool said.”

1 ARM. Boy, what sign is it, &c.] The stage-direction in the 4to. and folio is as in the text, and the first speech is assigned in both to “ Armado ;” but subsequently, in the folio, instead of Armado, “ Brag” (for Braggart) is the prefix to what belongs to Armado in the dialogue. The 4to. has it invariably “Armado.”

Moth. No, no; O lord ! sir, no.

Arm. How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my tender juvenal ?

Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.

Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior ? Moth. Why tender juvenal ? why tender juvenal ?

Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.

Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old time, which we may name tough.

Arm. Pretty, and apt.

Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt; or I apt, and my saying pretty ?

Arm. Thou pretty, because little.
Moth. Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
Arm. And therefore apt, because quick.
Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master ?
Arm. In thy condign praise.
Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise.
Arm. What, that an eel is ingeniouse?
Moth. That an eel is quick.

Arm. I do say, thou art quick in answers. Thou heatest my blood.

Moth. I am answered, sir.
Arm. I love not to be crossed.

Moth. [ Aside.] He speaks the mere contrary: crosses love not himo?

Arm. I have promised to study three years with the duke.

Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir.
Arm. Impossible.

What, that an eel is ingenious ?) “ Ingenious,” 4to, 1598 : ingenuous, folio, 1623. The words were often used indifferently of old. In A. iii. sc. 1, the folio has “ ingenious," as well as the 4to.

CROSSES love not him !) By crosses Moth means money. So called, because it was stamped with a cross.

Moth. How many is one thrice told?

Arm. I am ill at reckoning: it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.

Moth. You are a gentleman, and a gamester, sir.

Arm. I confess both : they are both the varnish of a complete man.

Moth. Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to.

Arm. It doth amount to one more than two.
Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three.
Arm. True.

Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study ? Now, here is three studied ere you'll thrice wink; and how easy it is to put years to the word three, and study three years in two words, the dancing horse will tell

you !

Arm. A most fine figure !
Moth. [Aside.] To prove you a cypher.

Arm. I will hereupon confess I am in love; and, as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour of affection would deliver me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, and ransom him to any French courtier for a new devised courtesy. I think scorn to sigh : methinks, I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort me, boy. What great men have been in love?

Moth. Hercules, master.

1

the dancing horse will tell you.] The dancing horse was named Marocco, and was the property of a person of the name of Bankes. It had been taught to dance, to count, and to perform a number of feats, for the exhibition of which its owner carried it about the country, and it obtained so much notoriety, that it is over and over again mentioned in old writers. In 1595, a humorous and satirical tract was published, purporting to be a dialogue between Bankes and his horse : it is called, “ Maroccus Extaticus, or Bankes's bay horse in a Trance,” and on the title-page is a wood-cut representing the man and his beast, the latter dancing with a stick in his mouth. Bankes visited the continent with his wonderful horse ; and according to the evidence of the author of “Don Zara del Fogo," 8vo, 1656, both were burned at Rome for witchcraft. See Preface to the Percy Society's Reprint of Rowley's “ Search for Money," 1609.

« AnteriorContinuar »