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Who devis'd this?
Long. Marry, that did I.
[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise. This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For, well you know, here comes in embassy The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak,
A maid of grace, and complete majesty, About surrender-up of Aquitain
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father :
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree; She must lie here on mere necessity. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn Three thousand times within this three years'
space : For every man with his affects is born;
Not by might master'd, but by special grace : If I break faith, this word shall speak for me,
I am forsworn on mere necessity.-
[Subscribes. And he, that breaks them in the least degree, Stands in attainder of eternal shame:
Suggestions are to others, as to me; But, I believe, although I seem so loth, I am the last that will last keep his oath. But is there no quick recreation granted ? King. Ay, that there is : our court, you know, is
haunted With a refined traveller of Spain ; A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
Doth ravish, like enchanting harinony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our sport; And, so to study, three years is but short.
Enter Dull, with a letter, and COSTARD. Dull. Which is the duke's own person?
Biron. This, fellow; What would'st?
Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
Biron. This is he.
Dull. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you. There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you more.
. Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant us patience!
Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing ?
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.
Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.
Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
Biron. In what manner ?
Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three : I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner, it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,-in some form.
Biron. For the following, sir ?
Cost. As it shall follow in my correction ; And God defend the right!
King. Will you hear this letter with attention ?
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.
King. [Reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron,
Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so, so.
Cost. --be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
King. No words.
King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome physick 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 ycleped 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,
King. --sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with-with-0 with--but with this I passion to say wherewith.
Cost. With a wench.
King. —with a child of our grandmother Eve, a fimale ; 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 mun 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 compliments 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, sirrab, what say you to this:
Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.
Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.