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Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAINE, 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 mortal views! Out—"
Boyet. True; “out,” indeed.
Biron. “Once to behold,” rogue.
-with your sun-beamed eyes”-
Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings me out.
Boyet. What would you with the princess?
in Russian habits,] Boyet has previously told us that the king and his lords were to enter "like Muscovites or Russians :” the old stage-direction is, “ Enter Black-moors with music, the boy with a speech, and the rest of the lords disguised.” Hence it appears that Black-moors with music preceded the lords in order to introduce the maskers.
8 Beauties no richer than rich taffata.] This line, the folios and quarto give to Biron ; not to Boyet, as in all the modern editions. There is no sufficient reason for depriving him of it.
Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation.
King. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles,
Ros. It is not so: ask them how many inches
Boyet. If, to come hither you have measur’d miles,
inches do fill up one mile. Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary steps. Boyet
. She hears herself. Ros.
How many weary steps,
Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you :
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 (Those clouds removed) upon our watery eyne.
Ros. O, vain petitioner! beg a greater matter; Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. King. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one
change. 9 To tread a MEASURE.] A “ measure was a slow solemn dance.
| Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.] Thus the 4to. 1598, which, at all events, is more musical than the line in the folio :
“ Then in our measure vouchsafe but one change." The word “do” in the 4to. is syllabically superfluous, but an additional emphasis is thereby given to the passage, which may have been the reason for its insertion.
Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange.
[Music plays. Not yet ;—no dance :thus change I like the moon. King. Will you not dance? How come you thus
estranged? Ros. You took the moon at full, but
full, but now she's changed. King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. The music plays : vouchsafe some motion to it?.
Ros. Our ears 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.
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 com
Ros. Your absence only.
That can never be.
you deny to dance, let's hold more chat. Ros. In private then. King.
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 are three.
? The music plays : vouchsafe some motion to it.] In the old copies this line is assigned to Rosaline, when it clearly belongs to the King. In other places the dialogue is confusedly appropriated to the characters.
3 Why take we hands then] You, folio 1623. Afterwards, for “ Prize you yourselves ?" the folio has only “prize yourselves.”
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 cogʻ, I'll play no more with you. Biron. One word in secret. Prin.
Let it not be sweet. Biron. Thou griev’st my gall. Prin.
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 ladys.
[They converse apart.
Long. You have a double tongue within your mask, And would afford my speechless visor half. Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman.-Is not veal a
calf? Long. A calf, fair lady? Kath.
No, a fair lord calf. Long. Let's part the word. Kath. No; I'll not be
: Take all, and wean it: it may prove an ox. Long. Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp
Please it you,
your half : Will you give borns, chaste lady? do not so.
* Since you can cog,] To cog is, technically, to load dice, and metaphorically to deceive and cheat. It is of constant occurrence.
5 Take that for your fair lady.) The folio reads, “ Take you that,” &c.
Kath. Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.
[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.
[Excunt King, Lords, Moth, Music, 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
puff”d out, Ros. Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross ; fat,
fat. Prin. O, poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout ! Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night,
Or ever, but in visors, show their faces? This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.
Ros. They were all in lamentable cases ! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Prin. Biron did swear himself out of all suit.
Mar. Dumaine 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? Prin.
Qualm, perhaps. Kath. Yes, in good faith.