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Ros. Another of these students at that time
Was there with him: if I have heard a truth,
Biron they call him; but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal:
His eye begets occasion for his wit;
For every object that the one doth catch,
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest;
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.

Prin. God bless my ladies! are they all in love;
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
Mar. Here comes Boyet.

Re-enter Boyet.

Now, what admittance, lord? 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.

[The ladies mask. Enter KING, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BIRON, and

attendants. King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.

Prin. 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 wild fields too base to be mine.

7-competitors in oath,] i. e. confederates. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

“ It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate

“ Our great competitor.Steevens. 8 Were all address'd-] To address is to prepare. So, in Hamlet:

It lifted up its head, and did address « Itself to motion." Steevens.

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

Prin. Our lady help my lord! he 'll be forsworn. 'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,

King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
Prin. I will be welcome then; conduct me thither.
King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
Prin. Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing else.
King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.
Prin. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
I hear, your grace hath sworn-out house-keeping:
And sin to break it:1
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. [Gives a paper.

King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
Prin. You will the sooner, that I were away;

you'll prove perjur’d, if you make me stay.
Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Biron. I know, you did.

How needless was it then To ask the question! Biron.

You must not be so quick. Ros. 'Tis ʼlong of you that spur me with such questions. Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire. Ros. Not till it leave the rider in the mire. Biron. What time o' day? Ros. The hour that fools should ask. Biron. Now fair befal your




9 – Where-] Where is here used for whereas. So, in Pericles, Act I, sc. i:

Where now you 're both a father and a son." See note on this passage. Steevens. 1 And sin to break it:) Sir T. Hanmer reads:

Not sin to break it:” I believe erroneously. The princess shows an inconvenience, very frequently attending rash oaths, which, whether kept or broken, produce guilt. Johnson

2 Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once? Thus the folio. In the first quarto, this dialogue passes between Katharine and Biron. It is a matter of little consequence. Malone.

Ros. Fair fall the face it covers !
Biron. And send you many lovers!
Ro8. Amen, so you be none.
Biron. Nay, then will I be gone.

King. 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)
Receiv'd that sum; yet there remains unpaid
A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which,
One part of Aquitain 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 Aquitain,
And hold fair friendship with his majesty.
But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
For here he doth demand to have repaid
An hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
On payments of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have his title live in Aquitain;
Which we much rather had depart withal,



and not demands,
On payment &c.] The former editions read:

and not demands
One payment of a hundred thousand crowns,

“ To have his title live in Aquitain.” I have restored, I believe, the genuine sense of the passage. Aquitain was pledged, it seems, to Navarre's father, for 200,000

The French king pretends to have paid one moiety of this debt, (which Navarre knows nothing of,) but demands this moiety back again: instead whereof (says Navarre) he should rather pay the remaining moiety, and demand to have Aquitain re-delivered up to him. This is plain and easy reasoning upon the fact supposed; and Navarre declares, he had rather receive the residue of his debt, than detain the provinee mortgaged for security of it. Theobald.

The two words are frequently confounded in the books of our author's age. See a note on King John, Act III, sc. iii. Malone.

depart withal,] To depart and to part were anciently synonymous. So, in King John:

“ Hath willingly departed with a part.” Again, in Every Man out of his Humour : • Faith, sir, I can hardly depart with ready money."


And have the money by our father lent,
Than Aquitain so geldeds 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.

Prin. 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.

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

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

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.

King. It shall suffice me: at which interview,
All liberal reason I will yield unto.
Mean time, 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 receiv’d,
As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart,
Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewel:
To-morrow shall we visit you again.

Prin, Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace!
King. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place!

[Exeunt King and his train. Biron. Lady, I will commend you to my own heart.

Ros. 'Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.


gelded -] To this phrase Shakspeare is peculiarly attached. It occurs in The Winter's Tale, King Richard II, King Henry IV, King Henry VI, &c. &c. but never less properly than in the present formal speech, addressed by a king to a maiden princess. Steevens.

Biron. I would, you heard it groan.
Ros. Is the fool sick ?6
Biron. Sick at heart.
Ros. Alack, let it blood.
Biron. Would that do it good?
Ros. My physick says, 1.7
Biron. Will you prick 't with your eye!
Ros. No poynt,8 with my knife.
Biron. Now, God save thy life!
Ros. And yours from long living!
Biron. I cannot stay thanksgiving. [Retiring.
Dum. Sir, I pray you, a word: What lady is that

same ? 9
Boyet. The heir of Alençon, Rosaline her name.
Dum. A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well. [Exit.
Long. I beseech you a word; what is she in the white?
Boyet. A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the

Long. Perchance, light in the light: I desire her name.
Boyet. She hath but one for herself; to desire that,

were a shame. Long. Pray you, sir, whose daughter?

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o Is the fool sick?] She means perhaps his heart. So, in Much Ado about Nothing;

D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.

Beat. Yes, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care.” Malone.

? My physick says, I.] She means to say, ay. The old spelling of the affirmative particle has been retained here for the sake of the rhyme. Malone. 8 No poynt,] So, in The Shoemaker's Holliday, 1600:

tell me where he is. “No point. Shall I betray my brother?" Steevens. No point was a negation borrowed from the French. See the note on the same words, Act V, sc. ii. Malone.

9 What lady is that same.?] It is odd that Shakspeare should make Dumain inquire after Rosaline, who was the mistress of Biron, and neglect Katharine, who was his own. Biron behaves in the same manner. No advantage would be gained by an exchange of names, because the last speech is determined to Biron by Maria, who gives a character of him after he has made his exit. Perhaps all the ladies wore masks but the princess.

Steevens. They certainly did. See p. 33, where Biron says to Rosaline

“ Now fair befal your mask!" Malone.

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