|William Shakespeare (1564-1616)|
This is a part of a collection of works by William Shakespeare.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (London: Oxford University Press, 1916).
See the complete volume in facs. PDF.
Shakespeare from the Chandos Portrait.
THERE is no proof that Shakespeare personally superintended the printing of any of his plays. Although sixteen came separately from the press in small quarto volumes during his lifetime, many, if not all, of these were published without the consent or supervision of the author from copies often surreptitiously obtained from the playhouse. At the time of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, no less than twenty-one plays remained in manuscript. Six years later, in 1622, one of these, ‘Othello,’ was issued to the public in quarto. It was not until 1623 that Shakespeare’s actor friends, John Heming and Henry Condell, brought together the previously printed and unprinted dramas of which they knew him to be the author, and published them in a folio volume in order ‘to keep’ (as they wrote) ‘the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive.’ Thirty-six plays were thus claimed for Shakespeare. The thirty-seventh, ‘Pericles,’ had been first printed separately in quarto in 1609, but was not added to the collection until the third folio appeared in 1664.
The text alike of the first folio and the quartos was doubtless supplied by playhouse copies which often embodied the ill-conditioned interpolations and alterations of actors and theatrical managers. As a rule the editors of 1623 followed where they could the text of the quartos, but in a few cases they unwisely had recourse to less correct copies. Moreover, the printers of both Elizabeth’s and James I’s reigns were very liable to typographical error, and they introduced much that is unintelligible into the original editions of Shakespeare’s works. But in the absence of Shakespeare’s manuscripts, the seventeen early quartos and the folio of 1623 jointly present, despite defect of copyist and printer, the sole authorized version of the Shakespearean text. From that version I have only ventured to deviate where it seemed to me that the carelessness of either copyist or printer deprived a word or sentence wholly of meaning. Editors of Shakespeare have sometimes denounced as corrupt and have partially altered passages which owe their difficulty of interpretation to the presence of some word or phrase rare in Shakespeare’s day and long since obsolete. It has been my endeavour to avoid this danger. I have only adopted a change after convincing myself that the characteristics of Shakespeare’s vocabulary or literary style failed to justify the original reading.
For the uncertain orthography of the old editions I have substituted the recognized orthography of the present day. But metrical considerations occasionally render the retention of the older spelling necessary, and I have deemed it desirable to adhere to the older forms of a few words which modern orthography has practically shaped anew. The punctuation has been thoroughly revised, and, to increase facilities of reference, I have numbered the lines at shorter intervals than have been adopted hitherto.
In seeking to emend corrupt passages I have carefully considered the suggestions of my many predecessors, and from few of those who have already laboured in the field of textual criticism have I failed to derive some enlightenment. Of the older editors, Theobald, whose edition of Shakespeare appeared in 1733, and Capell, whose edition appeared in 1768, have proved most helpful. Among more modern editions I am chiefly indebted to the work of Delius, Dyce, and the Cambridge editors. A very few of the emendations which I have adopted are now introduced into the text for the first time. My thanks are due to my friend Mr. P. A. Daniel for many useful suggestions.
I have appended a short glossary, which I trust will adequately explain the meaning of the obsolete words which Shakespeare employed.
W. J. CRAIG.
|Alonso,||King of Naples.|
|Prospero,||the right Duke of Milan.|
|Antonio,||his Brother, the usurping Duke of Milan.|
|Ferdinand,||Son to the King of Naples.|
|Gonzalo,||an honest old Counsellor.|
|Caliban,||a savage and deformed Slave.|
|Stephano,||a drunken Butler.|
|Master of a Ship, Boatswain, Mariners.|
|Miranda,||Daughter to Prospero.|
|Ariel,||an airy Spirit.|
|Iris, }||presented by Spirits.|
|Other Spirits attending on Prospero.|
Scene.—The Sea, with a Ship; afterwards an Island.
Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain severally.
Here, master: what cheer?
Good, speak to the mariners: fall to’t yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master’s whistle.—Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough! 9
Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo, and others.
Good boatswain, have care. Where’s the master? Play the men.
I pray now, keep below. 12
Where is the master, boson?
Do you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your cabins: you do assist the storm. 16
Nay, good, be patient.
When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence! trouble us not. 20
Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard. 22
None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor: if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more; use your authority: if you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.—Cheerly, good hearts!—Out of our way, I say.
I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good Fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable.
Down with the topmast! yare! lower, lower! Bring her to try with main-course. [A cry within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.— 42
Re-enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo.
Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o’er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!
Work you, then. 47
Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noisemaker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
I’ll warrant him for drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nutshell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench. 53
Lay her a-hold, a-hold! Set her two courses; off to sea again; lay her off.
Enter Mariners, wet.
All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!
What, must our mouths be cold? 58
The king and prince at prayers! let us assist them,
For our case is as theirs.
I am out of patience. 60
We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.—
This wide-chapp’d rascal,—would thou might’st lie drowning,
The washing of ten tides!
He’ll be hang’d yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it, 64
And gape at wid’st to glut him.
[A confused noise within,—‘Mercy on us!’—
‘We split, we split!’—‘Farewell, my wife and children!’—
‘Farewell, brother!’—‘We split, we split, we split!’—] 67
Let’s all sink wi’ the king.
Let’s take leave of him.
Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing. The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.
Enter Prospero and Miranda.
If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, 3
But that the sea, mounting to th’ welkin’s cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O! I have suffer’d
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her,
Dash’d all to pieces. O! the cry did knock 8
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish’d.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e’er 11
It should the good ship so have swallow’d and
The fraughting souls within her.
No more amazement. Tell your piteous heart
There’s no harm done.
O, woe the day!
I have done nothing but in care of thee,— 16
Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter!—who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am: nor that I am more better
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, 20
And thy no greater father.
More to know
Did never meddle with my thoughts.
I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand,
And pluck my magic garment from me.—So: 24
[Lays down his mantle.
Lie there, my art.—Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.
The direful spectacle of the wrack, which touch’d
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art 28
So safely order’d, that there is no soul—
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel
Which thou heard’st cry, which thou saw’st sink. Sit down; 32
For thou must now know further.
You have often
Begun to tell me what I am, but stopp’d,
And left me to a bootless inquisition,
Concluding, ‘Stay; not yet.’
The hour’s now come, 36
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell?
I do not think thou canst, for then thou wast not 40
Out three years old.
Certainly, sir, I can.
By what? by any other house or person?
Of anything the image tell me, that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.
’Tis far off; 44
And rather like a dream than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants. Had I not
Four or five women once that tended me?
Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it 48
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time?
If thou remember’st aught ere thou cam’st here,
How thou cam’st here, thou may’st.
But that I do not. 52
Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since,
Thy father was the Duke of Milan and
A prince of power.
Sir, are not you my father?
Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and
She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father
Was Duke of Milan, and his only heir 58
A princess,—no worse issued.
O, the heavens!
What foul play had we that we came from thence? 60
Or blessed was’t we did?
Both, both, my girl:
By foul play, as thou say’st, were we heav’d thence;
But blessedly holp hither.
O! my heart bleeds
To think o’ the teen that I have turn’d you to,
Which is from my remembrance. Please you, further. 65
My brother and thy uncle, call’d Antonio,—
I pray thee, mark me,—that a brother should
Be so perfidious!—he whom next thyself, 68
Of all the world I lov’d, and to him put
The manage of my state; as at that time,
Through all the signiories it was the first, 71
And Prospero the prime duke; being so reputed
In dignity, and for the liberal arts,
Without a parallel: those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother,
And to my state grew stranger, being transported 76
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle—
Dost thou attend me?
Sir, most heedfully.
Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, who t’advance, and who 80
To trash for over-topping; new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang’d ’em,
Or else new form’d ’em: having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i’ the state 84
To what tune pleas’d his ear; that now he was
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck’d my verdure out on’t.—Thou attend’st not.
O, good sir! I do.
I pray thee, mark me. 88
I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that, which, but by being so retir’d, 91
O’erpriz’d all popular rate, in my false brother
Awak’d an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood in its contrary as great 95
As my trust was; which had, indeed no limit,
A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact,—like one,
Who having, into truth, by telling of it, 100
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie,—he did believe
He was indeed the duke; out o’ the substitution,
And executing th’ outward face of royalty, 104
With all prerogative:—Hence his ambition growing,—
Dost thou hear?
Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
To have no screen between this part he play’d
And him he play’d it for, he needs will be 108
Absolute Milan. Me, poor man,—my library
Was dukedom large enough: of temporal royalties
He thinks me now incapable; confederates,—
So dry he was for sway,—wi’ the king of Naples
To give him annual tribute, do him homage;
Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend
The dukedom, yet unbow’d,—alas, poor Milan!—
To most ignoble stooping.
O the heavens! 116
Mark his condition and the event; then tell me
If this might be a brother.
I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother:
Good wombs have borne bad sons.
Now the condition. 120
This King of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother’s suit;
Which was, that he, in lieu o’ the premises
Of homage and I know not how much tribute,
Should presently extirpate me and mine 125
Out of the dukedom, and confer fair Milan,
With all the honours on my brother: whereon,
A treacherous army levied, one midnight 128
Fated to the purpose did Antonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i’ the dead of darkness,
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence
Me and thy crying self.
Alack, for pity! 132
I, not rememb’ring how I cried out then,
Will cry it o’er again: it is a hint,
That wrings mine eyes to ’t.
Hear a little further,
And then I’ll bring thee to the present business
Which now’s upon us; without the which this story 137
Were most impertinent.
Wherefore did they not
That hour destroy us?
Well demanded, wench:
My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not, 140
So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
A mark so bloody on the business; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark, 144
Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepar’d
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg’d,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively have quit it: there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar’d to us; to sigh 149
To the winds whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.
Alack! what trouble
Was I then to you!
O, a cherubin 152
Thou wast, that did preserve me! Thou didst smile,
Infused with a fortitude from heaven,
When I have deck’d the sea with drops full salt,
Under my burden groan’d; which rais’d in me
An undergoing stomach, to bear up 157
Against what should ensue.
How came we ashore?
By Providence divine. 159
Some food we had and some fresh water that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Out of his charity,—who being then appointed
Master of this design,—did give us; with 163
Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentleness,
Knowing I lov’d my books, he furnish’d me,
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.
Would I might 168
But ever see that man!
Now I arise:—
[Resumes his mantle.
Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.
Here in this island we arriv’d; and here
Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit
Than other princes can, that have more time
For vainer hours and tutors not so careful.
Heavens thank you for’t! And now, I pray you, sir,—
For still ’tis beating in my mind,—your reason 176
For raising this sea-storm?
Know thus far forth.
By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune,
Now my dear lady, hath mine enemies
Brought to this shore; and by my prescience 180
I find my zenith doth depend upon
A most auspicious star, whose influence
If now I court not but omit, my fortunes
Will ever after droop. Here cease more questions; 184
Thou art inclin’d to sleep; ’tis a good dulness,
And give it way;—I know thou canst not choose.—
Come away, servant, come! I’m ready now.
Approach, my Ariel; come! 188
All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come
To answer thy best pleasure; be’t to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride 191
On the curl’d clouds: to thy strong bidding task
Ariel and all his quality.
Hast thou, spirit,
Perform’d to point the tempest that I bade thee?
To every article.
I boarded the king’s ship; now on the beak, 196
Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
I flam’d amazement: sometime I’d divide
And burn in many places; on the topmast,
The yards, and boresprit, would I flame distinctly, 200
Then meet, and join: Jove’s lightnings, the precursors
O’ the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary
And sight-outrunning were not: the fire and cracks
Of sulphurous roaring the most mighty Neptune
Seem to besiege and make his bold waves tremble, 205
Yea, his dread trident shake.
My brave spirit!
Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil
Would not infect his reason?
Not a soul 208
But felt a fever of the mad and play’d
Some tricks of desperation. All but mariners,
Plunged in the foaming brine and quit the vessel,
Then all a-fire with me: the king’s son, Ferdinand, 212
With hair up-staring,—then like reeds, not hair,—
Was the first man that leap’d; cried, ‘Hell is empty,
And all the devils are here.’
Why, that’s my spirit!
But was not this nigh shore?
Close by, my master. 216
But are they, Ariel, safe?
Not a hair perish’d;
On their sustaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before: and, as thou bad’st me,
In troops I have dispers’d them ’bout the isle.
The king’s son have I landed by himself; 221
Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs
In an odd angle of the isle and sitting,
His arms in this sad knot.
Of the king’s ship 224
The mariners, say how thou hast dispos’d,
And all the rest o’ the fleet.
Safely in harbour
Is the king’s ship; in the deep nook, where once
Thou call’dst me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the still-vex’d Bermoothes; there she’s hid:
The mariners all under hatches stow’d; 230
Who, with a charm join’d to their suffer’d labour,
I have left asleep: and for the rest o’ the fleet
Which I dispers’d, they all have met again,
And are upon the Mediterranean flote,
Bound sadly home for Naples,
Supposing that they saw the king’s ship wrack’d, 236
And his great person perish.
Ariel, thy charge
Exactly is perform’d: but there’s more work:
What is the time o’ th’ day?
Past the mid season.
At least two glasses. The time ’twixt six and now 240
Must by us both be spent most preciously.
Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,
Let me remember thee what thou hast promis’d
Which is not yet perform’d me.
How now! moody? 244
What is’t thou canst demand?
Before the time be out? no more!
Remember, I have done thee worthy service;
Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, serv’d
Without or grudge or grumblings: thou didst promise 249
To bate me a full year.
Dost thou forget
From what a torment I did free thee?
Thou dost; and think’st it much to tread the ooze 252
Of the salt deep,
To run upon the sharp wind of the north,
To do me business in the veins o’ th’ earth
When it is bak’d with frost.
I do not, sir. 256
Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou forgot
The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy
Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her?
Thou hast. Where was she born? speak; tell me. 260
Sir, in Argier.
O! was she so? I must,
Once in a month, recount what thou hast been,
Which thou forget’st. This damn’d witch, Sycorax, 263
For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible
To enter human hearing, from Argier,
Thou know’st, was banish’d: for one thing she did
They would not take her life. Is not this true?
Ay, sir. 268
This blue-ey’d hag was hither brought with child
And here was left by the sailors. Thou, my slave,
As thou report’st thyself, wast then her servant:
And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate 272
To act her earthy and abhorr’d commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
By help of her more potent ministers,
And in her most unmitigable rage, 276
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprison’d, thou didst painfully remain
A dozen years; within which space she died
And left thee there, where thou didst vent thy groans 280
As fast as mill-wheels strike. Then was this island,—
Save for the son that she did litter here,
A freckled whelp hag-born,—not honour’d with
A human shape.
Yes; Caliban her son. 284
Dull thing, I say so; he that Caliban,
Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know’st
What torment I did find thee in; thy groans
Did make wolves howl and penetrate the breasts
Of ever-angry bears: it was a torment 289
To lay upon the damn’d, which Sycorax
Could not again undo; it was mine art,
When I arriv’d and heard thee, that made gape
The pine, and let thee out.
I thank thee, master.
If thou more murmur’st, I will rend an oak
And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
Thou hast howl’d away twelve winters.
Pardon, master; 296
I will be correspondent to command,
And do my spiriting gently.
Do so; and after two days
I will discharge thee.
That’s my noble master!
What shall I do? say what? what shall I do?
Go make thyself like a nymph of the sea: be subject 301
To no sight but thine and mine; invisible
To every eyeball else. Go, take this shape,
And hither come in’t: go, hence with diligence!
Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast slept well;
[Waking.] The strangeness of your story put
Heaviness in me.
Shake it off. Come on;
We’ll visit Caliban my slave, who never 308
Yields us kind answer.
’Tis a villain, sir,
I do not love to look on.
But, as ’tis,
We cannot miss him: he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood; and serves in offices 312
That profit us.—What ho! slave! Caliban!
Thou earth, thou! speak.
[Within.] There’s wood enough within.
Come forth, I say; there’s other business for thee:
Come, thou tortoise! when? 316
Re-enter Ariel, like a water-nymph.
Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel,
Hark in thine ear.
My lord, it shall be done.
Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself
Upon thy wicked dam, come forth! 320
As wicked dew as e’er my mother brush’d
With raven’s feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye,
And blister you all o’er! 324
For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
Shall forth at vast of night, that they may work
All exercise on thee: thou shalt be pinch’d 328
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made them.
I must eat my dinner.
This island’s mine, by Sycorax my mother,
Which thou tak’st from me. When thou camest first, 332
Thou strok’dst me, and mad’st much of me; wouldst give me
Water with berries in’t; and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night: and then I lov’d thee 336
And show’d thee all the qualities o’ th’ isle,
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place, and fertile.
Cursed be I that did so!—All the charms
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
For I am all the subjects that you have, 341
Which first was mine own king; and here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest o’ th’ island.
Thou most lying slave, 344
Whom stripes may move, not kindness! I have us’d thee,
Filth as thou art, with human care; and lodg’d thee
In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate
The honour of my child. 348
Oh ho! Oh ho!—would it had been done!
Thou didst prevent me; I had peopled else
This isle with Calibans.
Which any print of goodness will not take, 352
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like 356
A thing most brutish, I endow’d thy purposes
With words that made them known: but thy vile race,
Though thou didst learn, had that in’t which good natures
Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou
Deservedly confin’d into this rock, 361
Who hadst deserv’d more than a prison.
You taught me language: and my profit on’t 363
Is, I know how to curse: the red plague rid you,
For learning me your language!
Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou’rt best,
To answer other business. Shrug’st thou, malice?
If thou neglect’st, or dost unwillingly 368
What I command, I’ll rack thee with old cramps,
Fill all thy bones with aches; make thee roar,
That beasts shall tremble at thy din.
No, pray thee!—
[Aside.] I must obey: his art is of such power,
It would control my dam’s god, Setebos, 373
And make a vassal of him.
So, slave; hence!
Re-enter Ariel invisible, playing and singing; Ferdinand following.
Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands: 376
Curtsied when you have, and kiss’d,—
The wild waves whist,—
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burden bear. 380
[Burden Bow, wow, dispersedly.
The watch-dogs bark:
[Burden Bow, wow, dispersedly.
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting Chanticleer 384
Where should this music be? i’ th’ air, or th’ earth?
It sounds no more;—and sure, it waits upon
Some god o’ th’ island. Sitting on a bank,
Weeping again the king my father’s wrack, 388
This music crept by me upon the waters,
Allaying both their fury, and my passion,
With its sweet air: thence I have follow’d it,—
Or it hath drawn me rather,—but ’tis gone. 392
No, it begins again.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made
Those are pearls that were his eyes: 396
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: 400
Hark! now I hear them,—ding-dong, bell.
The ditty does remember my drown’d father.
This is no mortal business, nor no sound
That the earth owes:—I hear it now above me.
The fringed curtains of thine eye advance, 405
And say what thou seest yond.
What is’t? a spirit?
Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, sir,
It carries a brave form:—but ’tis a spirit. 408
No, wench; it eats and sleeps, and hath such senses
As we have, such; this gallant which thou see’st,
Was in the wrack; and, but he’s something stain’d
With grief,—that’s beauty’s canker,—thou might’st call him 412
A goodly person: he hath lost his fellows
And strays about to find ’em.
I might call him
A thing divine; for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble.
[Aside.] It goes on, I see, 416
As my soul prompts it.—Spirit, fine spirit! I’ll free thee
Within two days for this.
Most sure, the goddess
On whom these airs attend!—Vouchsafe, my prayer
May know if you remain upon this island; 420
And that you will some good instruction give
How I may bear me here: my prime request,
Which I do last pronounce, is,—O you wonder!—
If you be maid or no?
No wonder, sir; 424
But certainly a maid.
My language! heavens!—
I am the best of them that speak this speech,
Were I but where ’tis spoken.
How! the best?
What wert thou, if the King of Naples heard thee? 428
A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
To hear thee speak of Naples. He does hear me;
And, that he does, I weep: myself am Naples,
Who with mine eyes,—ne’er since at ebb,—beheld
The king, my father wrack’d.
Alack, for mercy!
Yes, faith, and all his lords; the Duke of Milan, 434
And his brave son being twain.
[Aside.] The Duke of Milan,
And his more braver daughter could control thee,
If now ’twere fit to do’t.—At the first sight 437
They have changed eyes:—delicate Ariel,
I’ll set thee free for this!—[To Fer.] A word, good sir;
I fear you have done yourself some wrong: a word. 440
[Aside.] Why speaks my father so ungently? This
Is the third man that e’er I saw; the first
That e’er I sigh’d for: pity move my father
To be inclin’d my way!
[Aside.] O! if a virgin, 444
And your affection not gone forth, I’ll make you
The Queen of Naples.
Soft, sir: one word more—
[Aside.] They are both in either’s powers: but this swift business
I must uneasy make, lest too light winning 448
Make the prize light.—[To Fer.] One word more: I charge thee
That thou attend me. Thou dost here usurp
The name thou ow’st not; and hast put thyself
Upon this island as a spy, to win it 452
From me, the lord on’t.
No, as I am a man.
There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple:
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with’t.
[To Fer.] Follow me.— 456
[To Mira.] Speak not you for him; he’s a traitor.—[To Fer.] Come;
I’ll manacle thy neck and feet together:
Sea-water shalt thou drink; thy food shall be
The fresh-brook muscles, wither’d roots and husks 460
Wherein the acorn cradled. Follow.
I will resist such entertainment till
Mine enemy has more power.
[He draws, and is charmed from moving.
O dear father!
Make not too rash a trial of him, for 464
He’s gentle, and not fearful.
What! I say,
My foot my tutor?—Put thy sword up, traitor;
Who mak’st a show, but dar’st not strike, thy conscience
Is so possess’d with guilt: come from thy ward,
For I can here disarm thee with this stick 469
And make thy weapon drop.
Beseech you, father!
Hence! hang not on my garments.
Sir, have pity:
I’ll be his surety.
Silence! one word more 472
Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. What!
An advocate for an impostor? hush!
Thou think’st there is no more such shapes as he,
Having seen but him and Caliban: foolish wench! 476
To the most of men this is a Caliban
And they to him are angels.
Are then most humble; I have no ambition
To see a goodlier man.
[To Fer.] Come on; obey: 480
Thy nerves are in their infancy again,
And have no vigour in them.
So they are:
My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up.
My father’s loss, the weakness which I feel, 484
The wrack of all my friends, or this man’s threats,
To whom I am subdued, are but light to me,
Might I but through my prison once a day
Behold this maid: all corners else o’ th’ earth
Let liberty make use of; space enough 489
Have I in such a prison.
[Aside.] It works.—[To Fer.] Come on.—
Thou hast done well, fine Ariel!—[To Fer.] Follow me.—
[To Ariel.] Hark, what thou else shalt do me.
Be of comfort; 492
My father’s of a better nature, sir,
Than he appears by speech: this is unwonted,
Which now came from him.
Thou shalt be as free
As mountain winds; but then exactly do 496
All points of my command.
To the syllable.
[To Fer.] Come, follow.—Speak not for him.
Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, and others.
Beseech you, sir, be merry: you have cause,
So have we all, of joy; for our escape
Is much beyond our loss. Our hint of woe
Is common: every day some sailor’s wife, 4
The masters of some merchant and the merchant,
Have just our theme of woe; but for the miracle,
I mean our preservation, few in millions
Can speak like us: then wisely, good sir, weigh
Our sorrow with our comfort.
Prithee, peace. 9
He receives comfort like cold porridge.
The visitor will not give him o’er so.
Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike. 13
When every grief is entertain’d that’s offer’d, 16
Comes to the entertainer—
Dolour comes to him, indeed: you have spoken truer than you purposed. 20
You have taken it wiselier than I meant you should.
Therefore, my lord,—
Fie, what a spendthrift is he of his tongue! 25
I prithee, spare.
Well, I have done: but yet—
He will be talking. 28
Which, of he or Adrian, for a good wager, first begins to crow?
The old cock.
The cockerel. 32
Done. The wager?
Though this island seem to be desert,—
Ha, ha, ha! So you’re paid.
Uninhabitable, and almost inaccessible,—
He could not miss it.
It must needs be of subtle, tender, and delicate temperance.
Temperance was a delicate wench. 44
Ay, and a subtle; as he most learnedly delivered.
The air breathes upon us here most sweetly. 48
As if it had lungs, and rotten ones.
Or as ’twere perfumed by a fen.
Here is everything advantageous to life.
True; save means to live. 53
Of that there’s none, or little.
How lush and lusty the grass looks! how green! 56
The ground indeed is tawny.
With an eye of green in’t.
He misses not much.
No; he doth but mistake the truth totally. 61
But the rarity of it is,—which is indeed almost beyond credit,—
As many vouch’d rarities are. 64
That our garments, being, as they were, drenched in the sea, hold notwithstanding their freshness and glosses; being rather new-dyed than stain’d with salt water. 68
If but one of his pockets could speak, would it not say he lies?
Ay, or very falsely pocket up his report.
Methinks, our garments are now as fresh as when we put them on first in Afric, at the marriage of the king’s fair daughter Claribel to the King of Tunis. 75
’Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper well in our return.
Tunis was never graced before with such a paragon to their queen.
Not since widow Dido’s time. 80
Widow! a pox o’ that! How came that widow in? Widow Dido!
What if he had said, widower Æneas too? Good Lord, how you take it! 84
Widow Dido, said you? you make me study of that: she was of Carthage, not of Tunis.
This Tunis, sir, was Carthage.
I assure you, Carthage.
His word is more than the miraculous harp.
He hath rais’d the wall, and houses too.
What impossible matter will he make easy next?
I think he will carry this island home in his pocket, and give it his son for an apple. 96
And, sowing the kernels of it in the sea, bring forth more islands.
Why, in good time. 100
[To Alon.] Sir, we were talking that our garments seem now as fresh as when we were at Tunis at the marriage of your daughter, who is now queen. 104
And the rarest that e’er came there.
Bate, I beseech you, widow Dido.
O! widow Dido; ay, widow Dido.
Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day I wore it? I mean, in a sort. 109
That sort was well fish’d for.
When I wore it at your daughter’s marriage? 112
You cram these words into mine ears, against
The stomach of my sense. Would I had never
Married my daughter there! for, coming thence,
My son is lost; and, in my rate, she too, 116
Who is so far from Italy remov’d,
I ne’er again shall see her. O thou, mine heir
Of Naples and of Milan! what strange fish
Hath made his meal on thee?
Sir, he may live: 120
I saw him beat the surges under him,
And ride upon their backs: he trod the water,
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
The surge most swoln that met him: his bold head 124
’Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar’d
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
To the shore, that o’er his wave-worn basis bow’d,
As stooping to relieve him. I not doubt 128
He came alive to land.
No, no; he’s gone.
Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss,
That would not bless our Europe with your daughter,
But rather lose her to an African; 132
Where she at least is banish’d from your eye,
Who hath cause to wet the grief on’t.
You were kneel’d to and importun’d otherwise
By all of us; and the fair soul herself 136
Weigh’d between loathness and obedience, at
Which end o’ the beam should bow. We have lost your son,
I fear, for ever: Milan and Naples have
More widows in them of this business’ making,
Than we bring men to comfort them: the fault’s 141
So is the dearest of the loss.
My lord Sebastian,
The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness
And time to speak it in; you rub the sore, 145
When you should bring the plaster.
And most chirurgeonly.
It is foul weather in us all, good sir, 148
When you are cloudy.
Had I plantation of this isle, my lord,—
He’d sow’t with nettle-seed.
Or docks, or mallows.
’And were the king on’t, what would I do?
’Scape being drunk for want of wine. 153
I’ the commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things; for no kind of traffic
Would I admit; no name of magistrate; 156
Letters should not be known; riches, poverty,
And use of service, none; contract, succession,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; 160
No occupation; all men idle, all;
And women too, but innocent and pure;
Yet he would be king on’t.
The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning. 165
All things in common nature should produce
Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony,
Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine,
Would I not have; but nature should bring forth, 169
Of its own kind, all foison, all abundance,
To feed my innocent people.
No marrying ’mong his subjects? 172
None, man; all idle; whores and knaves.
I would with such perfection govern, sir,
To excel the golden age
Save his majesty!
Long live Gonzalo!
And,—do you mark me, sir? 176
Prithee, no more: thou dost talk nothing to me.
I do well believe your highness; and did it to minister occasion to these gentlemen, who are of such sensible and nimble lungs that they always use to laugh at nothing.
’Twas you we laugh’d at. 183
Who in this kind of merry fooling am nothing to you; so you may continue and laugh at nothing still.
What a blow was there given!
An it had not fallen flat-long. 188
You are gentlemen of brave mettle: you would lift the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue in it five weeks without changing. 192
Enter Ariel, invisible, playing solemn music.
We would so, and then go a-bat-fowling.
Nay, good my lord, be not angry.
No, I warrant you; I will not adventure my discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, for I am very heavy? 197
Go sleep, and hear us.
[All sleep but Alon., Seb., and Ant.
What! all so soon asleep! I wish mine eyes
Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts: I find 200
They are inclin’d to do so.
Please you, sir,
Do not omit the heavy offer of it:
It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth
It is a comforter.
We two, my lord, 204
Will guard your person while you take your rest,
And watch your safety.
Thank you. Wondrous heavy.
[Alonson sleeps. Exit Ariel.
What a strange drowsiness possesses them!
It is the quality o’ the climate.
Doth it not then our eyelids sink? I find not
Myself dispos’d to sleep.
Nor I: my spirits are nimble.
They fell together all, as by consent;
They dropp’d, as by a thunder-stroke. What might, 212
Worthy Sebastian? O! what might?—No more:—
And yet methinks I see it in thy face,
What thou should’st be. The occasion speaks thee; and
My strong imagination sees a crown 216
Dropping upon thy head.
What! art thou waking?
Do you not hear me speak?
I do; and surely,
It is a sleepy language, and thou speak’st
Out of thy sleep. What is it thou didst say? 220
This is a strange repose, to be asleep
With eyes wide open; standing, speaking, moving,
And yet so fast asleep.
Noble Sebastian, 223
Thou let’st thy fortune sleep—die rather; wink’st
Whiles thou art waking.
Thou dost snore distinctly:
There’s meaning in thy snores.
I am more serious than my custom: you
Must be so too, if heed me; which to do 228
Trebles thee o’er.
Well; I am standing water.
I’ll teach you how to flow.
Do so: to ebb,
Hereditary sloth instructs me.
If you but knew how you the purpose cherish
Whiles thus you mock it! how, in stripping it,
You more invest it! Ebbing men, indeed,
Most often do so near the bottom run
By their own fear or sloth.
Prithee, say on: 236
The setting of thine eye and cheek proclaim
A matter from thee, and a birth indeed
Which throes thee much to yield.
Although this lord of weak remembrance, this
Who shall be of as little memory 241
When he is earth’d, hath here almost persuaded,—
For he’s a spirit of persuasion, only
Professes to persuade,—the king, his son’s alive,
’Tis as impossible that he’s undrown’d 245
As he that sleeps here swims.
I have no hope
That he’s undrown’d.
O! out of that ‘no hope
What great hope have you! no hope that way is
Another way so high a hope that even 249
Ambition cannot pierce a wink beyond,
But doubts discovery there. Will you grant with me
That Ferdinand is drown’d?
Then tell me 252
Who’s the next heir of Naples?
She that is Queen of Tums; she that dwells
Ten leagues beyond man’s life; she that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were post— 256
The man i’ th’ moon’s too slow—till new-born chins
Be rough and razorable: she that, from whom?
We all were sea-swallow’d, though some cast again,
And by that destiny to perform an act 260
Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come
In yours and my discharge.
What stuff is this!—How say you?
’Tis true my brother’s daughter’s Queen of Tunis;
So is she heir of Naples; ’twixt which regions
There is some space.
A space whose every cubit
Seems to cry out, ‘How shall that Claribel 266
Measure us back to Naples?—Keep in Tunis,
And let Sebastian wake!’—Say, this were death
That now hath seiz’d them; why, they were no worse
Than now they are. There be that can rule Naples
As well as he that sleeps; lords that can prate
As amply and unnecessarily 272
As this Gonzalo; I myself could make
A chough of as deep chat. O, that you bore
The mind that I do! what a sleep were this
For your advancement! Do you understand me?
Methinks I do.
And how does your content
Tender your own good fortune?
I remember 278
You did supplant your brother Prospero.
And look how well my garments sit upon me;
Much feater than before; my brother’s servants
Were then my fellows; now they are my men.
But, for your conscience,— 283
Ay, sir; where lies that? if it were a kibe,
’Twould put me to my slipper; but I feel not
This deity in my bosom: twenty consciences,
That stand ’twixt me and Milan, candied be they,
And melt ere they molest! Here lies your brother, 288
No better than the earth he lies upon,
If he were that which now he’s like, that’s dead;
Whom I, with this obedient steel,—three inches of it,—
Can lay to bed for ever; whiles you, doing thus,
To the perpetual wink for aye might put 293
This ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, who
Should not upbraid our course. For all the rest,
They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk; 296
They’ll tell the clock to any business that
We say befits the hour.
Thy case, dear friend,
Shall be my precedent: as thou got’st Milan,
I’ll come by Naples. Draw thy sword: one stroke
Shall free thee from the tribute which thou pay’st,
And I the king shall love thee.
And when I rear my hand, do you the like, 303
To fall it on Gonzalo.
O! but one word.
[They converse apart.
Music. Re-enter Ariel, invisible.
My master through his art foresees the danger
That you, his friend, are in; and sends me forth—
For else his project dies—to keep thee living.
[Sings in Gonzalo’s ear.
While you here do snoring lie, 308
His time doth take.
If of life you keep a care,
Shake off slumber, and beware 312
Then let us both be sudden.
Now, good angels
Preserve the king!
Why, how now! ho, awake! Why are you drawn? 316
Wherefore this ghastly looking?
What’s the matter?
Whiles we stood here securing your repose,
Even now, we heard a hollow burst of bellowing
Like bulls, or rather hons; did’t not wake you?
It struck mine ear most terribly.
I heard nothing.
O! ’twas a din to fright a monster’s ear,
To make an earthquake: sure it was the roar
Of a whole herd of lions.
Heard you this, Gonzalo? 324
Upon mine honour, sir, I heard a humming,
And that a strange one too, which did awake me.
I shak’d you, sir, and cry’d; as mine eyes open’d,
I saw their weapons drawn:—there was a noise,
That’s verily. ’Tis best we stand upon our guard,
Or that we quit this place: let’s draw our weapons.
Lead off this ground, and let’s make further search
For my poor son. 332
Heavens keep him from these beasts!
For he is, sure, i’ the island.
[Exit with the others.
Prospero my lord shall know what I have done:
So, king, go safely on to seek thy son.
Enter Caliban, with a burden of wood. A noise of thunder heard.
All the infections that the sun sucks up
From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him
By inch-meal a disease! His spirits hear me,
And yet I needs must curse. But they’ll nor pinch, 4
Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i’ the mire,
Nor lead me, like a firebrand, in the dark
Out of my way, unless he bid ’em; but
For every trifle are they set upon me: 8
Sometime like apes, that mow and chatter at me
And after bite me; then like hedge-hogs, which
Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way and mount
Their pricks at my foot-fall; sometime am I 12
All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues
Do hiss me into madness.—
Lo now! lo!
Here comes a spirit of his, and to torment me
For bringing wood in slowly: I’ll fall flat; 16
Perchance he will not mind me.
Here’s neither bush nor shrub to bear off any weather at all, and another storm brewing; I hear it sing i’ the wind: yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor. If it should thunder as it did before, I know not where to hide my head: yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls.—What have we here? a man or a fish? Dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of not of the newest Poor-John. A strange fish! Were I in England now,—as once I was,—and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. Legg’d like a man! and his fins like arms! Warm, o’ my troth! I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer; this is no fish, but an islander, that hath lately suffered by a thunderbolt. [Thunder.] Alas! the storm is come again: my best way is to creep under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter hereabout: misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past. 44
Enter Stephano, singing; a bottle in his hand.
I shall no more to sea, to sea,
Here shall I die a-shore:—
This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man’s funeral:
Well, here’s my comfort.
The master, the swabber, the boatswain and I, 49
The gunner and his mate,
Lov’d Mall, Meg, and Marian and Margery,
But none of us car’d for Kate; 52
For she had a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor, ‘Go hang!’
She lov’d not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
Yet a tailor might scratch her where-e’er she did itch:
Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang. 57
This is a scurvy tune too: but here’s my comfort.
Do not torment me: O!
What’s the matter? Have we devils here? Do you put tricks upon us with savages and men of Ind? Ha! I have not ’scaped drowning, to be afeard now of your four legs; for it hath been said, As proper a man as ever went on four legs cannot make him give ground: and it shall be said so again while Stephano breathes at’s nostrils.
The spirit torments me: O! 68
This is some monster of the isle with four legs, who hath got, as I take it, an ague. Where the devil should he learn our language? I will give him some relief, if it be but for that: if I can recover him and keep him tame and get to Naples with him, he’s a present for any emperor that ever trod on neat’s-leather. 75
Do not torment me, prithee: I’ll bring my wood home faster.
He’s in his fit now and does not talk after the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle: if he have never drunk wine afore it will go near to remove his fit. If I can recover him, and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him: he shall pay for him that hath him, and that soundly. 84
Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon, I know it by thy trembling: now Prosper works upon thee. 87
Come on your ways: open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat. Open your mouth: this will shake your shaking, I can tell you, and that soundly [gives Caliban drink]: you cannot tell who’s your friend; open your chaps again.
I should know that voice: it should be—but he is drowned, and these are devils. O! defend me. 96
Four legs and two voices; a most delicate monster! His forward voice now is to speak well of his friend; his backward voice is to utter foul speeches, and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague. Come. Amen! I will pour some in thy other mouth.
Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy! mercy! This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave him; I have no long spoon.
Stephano!—if thou beest Stephano, touch me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo:—be not afeard—thy good friend Trinculo. 110
If thou beest Trinculo, come forth. I’ll pull thee by the lesser legs: if any be Trinculo’s legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo indeed! How cam’st thou to be the siege of this moon-calf? Can he vent Trinculos? 115
I took him to be killed with a thunderstroke. But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I hope now thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I hid me under the dead mooncalf’s gaberdine for fear of the storm. And art thou living, Stephano? O Stephano! two Neapolitans ’scaped! 122
Prithee, do not turn me about: my stomach is not constant.
[Aside.] These be fine things an if they be not sprites.
That’s a brave god and bears celestial liquor:
I will kneel to him. 127
How didst thou ’scape? How cam’st thou hither? swear by this bottle, how thou cam’st hither. I escaped upon a butt of sack, which the sailors heaved overboard, by this bottle! which I made of the bark of a tree with mine own hands, since I was cast ashore. 133
I’ll swear upon that bottle, to be thy true subject; for the liquor is not earthly.
Here: swear then, how thou escapedst.
Swam ashore, man, like a duck: I can swim like a duck, I’ll be sworn. 138
Here, kiss the book [gives Trinculo drink]. Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose. 141
O Stephano! hast any more of this?
The whole butt, man: my cellar is in a rock by the seaside, where my wine is hid. How now, moon-calf! how does thine ague? 146
Hast thou not dropped from heaven?
Out o the moon, I do assure thee: I was the man in the moon, when time was.
I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee; my mistress showed me thee, and thy dog, and thy bush. 152
Come, swear to that; kiss the book; I will furnish it anon with new contents; swear.
By this good light, this is a very shallow monster.—I afeard of him!—a very weak monster.—The man i’ the moon! a most poor credulous monster!—Well drawn, monster, in good sooth.
I’ll show thee every fertile inch o’ the island; 160
And I will kiss thy foot. I prithee, be my god.
By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster: when his god’s asleep, he’ll rob his bottle. 164
I’ll kiss thy foot: I’ll swear myself thy subject.
Come on then; down, and swear.
I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy-headed monster. A most scurvy monster! I could find in my heart to beat him,— 169
But that the poor monster’s in drink: an abominable monster! 172
I’ll shew thee the best springs; I’ll pluck thee berries;
I’ll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.
A plague upon the tyrant that I serve!
I’ll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,
Thou wondrous man. 177
A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of a poor drunkard!
I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs grow; 180
And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts;
Show thee a jay’s nest and instruct thee how
To snare the nimble marmozet; I’ll bring thee
To clust’ring filberts, and sometimes I’ll get thee
Young scamels from the rock. Wilt thou go with me? 185
I prithee now, lead the way, without any more talking.—Trinculo, the king and all our company else being drowned, we will inherit here.—Here; bear my bottle.—Fellow Trinculo, we’ll fill him by and by again. 190
Farewell, master; farewell, farewell
A howling monster, a drunken monster.
No more dams I’ll make for fish,
Nor fetch in firing
Nor scrape trenchering, nor wash dish, 196
’Ban, ’Ban, Ca—Caliban,
Has a new master—Get a new man.
Freedom, high-day! high-day, freedom! freedom! high-day, freedom! 200
O brave monster! lead the way.
Enter Ferdinand, bearing a log.
There be some sports are painful, and their labour
Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task 4
Would be as heavy to me as odious; but
The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead
And makes my labours pleasures: O! she is 7
Ten times more gentle than her father’s crabbed,
And he’s compos’d of harshness. I must remove
Some thousands of these logs and pile them up,
Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress
Weeps when she sees me work, and says such baseness 12
Had never like executor. I forget:
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours,
Most busiest when I do it.
Enter Miranda; and Prospero behind.
Alas! now, pray you,
Work not so hard: I would the lightning had 16
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoin’d to pile!
Pray, set it down and rest you: when this burns,
’Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself: 20
He’s safe for these three hours.
O most dear mistress,
The sun will set, before I shall discharge
What I must strive to do.
If you’ll sit down,
I’ll bear your logs the while. Pray, give me that; 24
I’ll carry it to the pile.
No, precious creature:
I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo,
While I sit lazy by.
It would become me 28
As well as it does you: and I should do it
With much more ease; for my good will is to it,
And yours it is against.
[Aside.] Poor worm! thou art infected:
This visitation shows it.
You look wearily. 32
No, noble mistress; ’tis fresh morning with me
When you are by at night. I do beseech you—
Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers—
What is your name?
Miranda.—O my father! 36
I have broke your hest to say so.
Indeed, the top of admiration; worth
What’s dearest to the world! Full many a lady
I have ey’d with best regard, and many a time 40
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
Have I lik’d several women; never any
With so full soul but some defect in her 44
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow’d,
And put it to the foil: but you, O you!
So perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature’s best.
I do not know 48
One of my sex; no woman’s face remember,
Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen
More that I may call men than you, good friend,
And my dear father: how features are abroad, 52
I am skill-less of; but, by my modesty,—
The jewel in my dower,—I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you;
Nor can imagination form a shape, 56
Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattle
Something too wildly and my father’s precepts
I therein do forget.
I am in my condition
A prince, Miranda; I do think, a king;— 60
I would not so!—and would no more endure
This wooden slavery than to suffer
The flesh-fly blow my mouth.—Hear my soul speak:—
The very instant that I saw you did 64
My heart fly to your service; there resides,
To make me slave to it; and for your sake
Am I this patient log-man.
Do you love me?
O heaven! O earth! bear witness to this sound, 68
And crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true: if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me to mischief! I,
Beyond all limit of what else i’ the world, 72
Do love, prize, honour you.
I am a fool
To weep at what I am glad of.
[Aside.] Fair encounter
Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
On that which breeds between them!
Wherefore weep you? 76
At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
What I desire to give; and much less take
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling;
And all the more it seeks to hide itself 80
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning!
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence!
I am your wife, if you will marry me;
If not, I’ll die your maid: to be your fellow 84
You may deny me; but I’ll be your servant
Whether you will or no.
My mistress, dearest;
And I thus humble ever.
My husband then?
Ay, with a heart as willing 88
As bondage e’er of freedom: here’s my hand.
And mine, with my heart in’t: and now farewell
Till half an hour hence.
A thousand thousand!
[Exeunt Fer. and Mir. severally.
So glad of this as they, I cannot be, 92
Who are surpris’d withal; but my rejoicing
At nothing can be more. I’ll to my book;
For yet, ere supper time, must I perform
Much business appertaining.
Enter Caliban, with a bottle, Stephano, and Trinculo.
Tell not me:—when the butt is out, we will drink water; not a drop before: therefore bear up, and board ’em.—Servant-monster, drink to me. 4
Servant-monster! the folly of this island! They say there’s but five upon this isle: we are three of them; if th’ other two be brained like us, the state totters. 8
Drink, servant-monster, when I bid thee: thy eyes are almost set in thy head.
Where should they be set else? he were a brave monster indeed, if they were set in his tail. 13
My man-monster hath drowned his tongue in sack: for my part, the sea cannot drown me; I swam, ere I could recover the shore, five-and-thirty leagues, off and on, by this light. Thou shalt be my lieutenant, monster, or my standard. 19
Your lieutenant, if you list; he’s no standard.
We’ll not run, Monsieur monster.
Nor go neither: but you’ll lie, like dogs; and yet say nothing neither. 24
Moon-calf, speak once in thy life, if thou beest a good moon-calf.
How does thy honour? Let me lick thy shoe. I’ll not serve him, he is not valiant. 28
Thou hest, most ignorant monster: I am in case to justle a constable. Why, thou deboshed fish thou, was there ever a man a coward that hath drunk so much sack as I to-day? Wilt thou tell a monstrous lie, being but half a fish and half a monster?
Lo, how he mocks me! wilt thou let him, my lord? 36
‘Lord’ quoth he!—that a monster should be such a natural!
Lo, lo, again! bite him to death, I prithee. 40
Trinculo, keep a good tongue in your head: if you prove a mutineer, the next tree! The poor monster’s my subject, and he shall not suffer indignity. 44
I thank my noble lord. Wilt thou be pleas’d
To hearken once again the suit I made thee?
Marry, will I; kneel, and repeat it: I will stand, and so shall Trinculo. 48
Enter Ariel, invisible.
As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant, a sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island.
Thou liest. 52
Thou liest, thou jesting monkey thou;
I would my valiant master would destroy thee;
I do not lie.
Trinculo, if you trouble him any more in his tale, by this hand, I will supplant some of your teeth. 58
Why, I said nothing.
Mum then and no more.—[To Caliban.] Proceed.
I say, by sorcery he got this isle;
From me he got it: if thy greatness will,
Revenge it on him,—for, I know, thou dar’st;
But this thing dare not,— 65
That’s most certain.
Thou shalt be lord of it and I’ll serve thee.
How now shall this be compassed? Canst thou bring me to the party? 69
Yea, yea, my lord: I’ll yield him thee asleep,
Where thou may’st knock a nail into his head.
Thou liest; thou canst not. 72
What a pied ninny’s this! Thou scurvy patch!—
I do beseech thy greatness, give him blows,
And take his bottle from him: when that’s gone
He shall drink nought but brine; for I’ll not show him 76
Where the quick freshes are.
Trinculo, run into no further danger: interrupt the monster one word further, and, by this hand, I’ll turn my mercy out o’ doors and make a stock-fish of thee. 81
Why, what did I? I did nothing. I’ll go further off.
Didst thou not say he hed? 84
Do I so? take thou that. [Strikes Trin.]
As you like this, give me the lie another time.
I did not give thee the he:—Out o’ your wits and hearing too?—A pox o’ your bottle! this can sack and drinking do.—A murrain on your monster, and the devil take your fingers! 92
Ha, ha, ha!
Now, forward with your tale.—Prithee stand further off.
Beat him enough: after a little time 96
I’ll beat him too.
Stand further.—Come, proceed.
Why, as I told thee, ’tis a custom with him
I’ the afternoon to sleep: there thou may’st brain him,
Having first seiz’d his books; or with a log 100
Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake,
Or cut his wezand with thy knife. Remember
First to possess his books; for without them
He’s but a sot, as I am, nor hath not 104
One spirit to command: they all do hate him
As rootedly as I. Burn but his books;
He has brave utensils,—for so he calls them,—
Which, when he has a house, he’ll deck withal:
And that most deeply to consider is 109
The beauty of his daughter; he himself
Calls her a nonpareil: I never saw a woman,
But only Sycorax my dam and she; 112
But she as far surpasseth Sycorax
As great’st does least.
Is it so brave a lass?
Ay, lord; she will become thy bed, I warrant,
And bring thee forth brave brood. 116
Monster, I will kill this man: his daughter and I will be king and queen,—save our graces! and Trinculo and thyself shall be viceroys. Dost thou like the plot, Trinculo? 120
Give me thy hand: I am sorry I beat thee; but, while thou livest, keep a good tongue in thy head. 124
Within this half hour will he be asleep;
Wilt thou destroy him then?
Ay, on mine honour.
This will I tell my master.
Thou mak’st me merry: I am full of pleasure. 128
Let us be jocund: will you troll the catch
You taught me but while-ere?
At thy request, monster, I will do reason, any reason: Come on, Trinculo, let us sing. 132
Flout ’em, and scout ’em; and scout ’em, and flout ’em;
Thought is free.
That’s not the tune.
[Ariel plays the tune on a Tabor and Pipe.
What is this same? 136
This is the tune of our catch, played by the picture of Nobody.
If thou beest a man, show thyself in thy likeness: if thou beest a devil, take’t as thou list. 141
O, forgive me my sins!
He that dies pays all debts: I defy thee.—Mercy upon us! 144
Art thou afeard?
No, monster, not I.
Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not. 148
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,
Will make mesleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches 153
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak’d
I cried to dream again.
This will prove a brave kingdom to me, where I shall have my music for nothing.
When Prospero is destroyed.
That shall be by and by: I remember the story. 160
The sound is going away: let’s follow it, and after do our work.
Lead, monster; we’ll follow.—I would I could see this taborer! he lays it on. Wilt come?
I’ll follow, Stephano.
Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, and others.
By’r lakin, I can go no further, sir;
My old bones ache: here’s a maze trod indeed,
Through forth-rights, and meanders! by your patience,
I needs must rest me.
Old lord, I cannot blame thee, 4
Who am myself attach’d with weariness,
To the dulling of my spirits: sit down, and rest.
Even here I will put off my hope, and keep it
No longer for my flatterer: he is drown’d 8
Whom thus we stray to find; and the sea mocks
Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him go.
[Aside to Seb.] I am right glad that he’s so out of hope.
Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose 12
That you resolv’d to effect.
[Aside to Ant.] The next advantage
Will we take throughly.
[Aside to Seb.] Let it be to-night;
For, now they are oppress’d with travel, they
Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance 16
As when they are fresh.
[Aside to Ant.] I say to-night: no more.
Solemn and strange music; and Prospero above, invisible. Enter below several strange Shapes, bringing in a banquet: they dance about it with gentle actions of salutation; and, inviting the King, &c., to eat, they depart.
What harmony is this? my good friends, hark!
Marvellous sweet music!
Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these? 20
A living drollery. Now I will believe
That there are unicorns; that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phœnix’ throne; one phœnix
At this hour reigning there.
I’ll believe both; 24
And what does else want credit, come to me,
And I’ll be sworn ’tis true: travellers ne’er did lie,
Though fools at home condemn them.
If in Naples
I should report this now, would they believe me?
If I should say I saw such islanders,— 29
For, certes, these are people of the island,—
Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet, note,
Their manners are more gentle-kind than of 32
Our human generation you shall find
Many, nay, almost any.
[Aside.] Honest lord,
Thou hast said well; for some of you there present
Are worse than devils.
I cannot too much muse, 36
Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound, expressing,—
Although they want the use of tongue,—a kind
Of excellent dumb discourse.
[Aside.] Praise in departing.
They vanish’d strangely.
No matter, since 40
They have left their viands behind; for we have stomachs.—
Will’t please you to taste of what is here?
Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were boys,
Who would believe that there were mountaineers 44
Dew-lapp’d like bulls, whose throats had hanging at them
Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men
Whose heads stood in their breasts? which now we find
Each putter-out of five for one will bring us 48
Good warrant of.
I will stand to and feed,
Although my last; no matter, since I feel
The best is past.—Brother, my lord the duke,
Stand to and do as we. 52
Thunder and lightning. Enter Ariel like a harpy; claps his wings upon the table; and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.
You are three men of sin, whom Destiny—
That hath to instrument this lower world
And what is in’t,—the never-surfeited sea 55
Hath caused to belch up you; and on this island
Where man doth not inhabit; you ’mongst men
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;
[Seeing Alon., Seb., &c., draw their swords.
And even with such-like valour men hang and drown
Their proper selves. You fools! I and my fellows 60
Are ministers of fate: the elements
Of whom your swords are temper’d, may as well
Wound the loud winds, or with bemock’d-at stabs
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish 64
One dowle that’s in my plume; my fellow-ministers
Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt,
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths,
And will not be uplifted. But, remember,— 68
For that’s my business to you,—that you three
From Milan did supplant good Prospero;
Expos’d unto the sea, which hath requit it,
Him and his innocent child: for which foul deed 72
The powers, delaying, not forgetting, have
Incens’d the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures,
Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso,
They have bereft; and do pronounce, by me, 76
Lingering perdition,—worse than any death
Can be at once,—shall step by step attend
You and your ways; whose wraths to guard you from— 79
Which here in this most desolate isle, else falls
Upon your heads,—is nothing but heart-sorrow
And a clear life ensuing.
He vanishes in thunder; then, to soft music, enter the Shapes again, and dance with mocks and mows, and carry out the table.
[Aside.] Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou
Perform’d, my Ariel; a grace it had, devouring:
Of my instruction hast thou nothing bated 85
In what thou hadst to say: so, with good life
And observation strange, my meaner ministers
Their several kinds have done. My high charms work, 88
And these mine enemies are all knit up
In their distractions: they now are in my power;
And in these fits I leave them, while I visit
Young Ferdinand,—whom they suppose is drown’d,— 92
And his and mine lov’d darling.
I the name of something holy, sir, why stand you
In this strange stare?
O, it is monstrous! monstrous!
Methought the billows spoke and told me of it;
The winds did sing it to me; and the thunder,
That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc’d
The name of Prosper: it did bass my trespass.
Therefore my son i’ th’ ooze is bedded; and 100
I’ll seek him deeper than e’er plummet sounded,
And with him there lie mudded.
But one fiend at a time,
I’ll fight their legions o’er.
I’ll be thy second.
[Exeunt Seb. and Ant.
All three of them are desperate; their great guilt, 104
Like poison given to work a great time after,
Now ’gins to bite the spirits.—I do beseech you
That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly
And hinder them from what this ecstasy 108
May now provoke them to.
Follow, I pray you.
Enter Prospero, Ferdinand, and Miranda.
If I have too austerely punish’d you,
Your compensation makes amends; for I
Have given you here a third of mine own life,
Or that for which I live; whom once again 4
I tender to thy hand: all thy vexations
Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
Hast strangely stood the test: here, afore Heaven,
I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand! 8
Do not smile at me that I boast her off,
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,
And make it halt behind her.
I do believe it
Against an oracle. 12
Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition
Worthily purchas’d, take my daughter: but
If thou dost break her virgin knot before
All sanctimonious ceremonies may 16
With full and holy rite be minister’d,
No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall
To make this contract grow; but barren hate,
Sour-ey’d disdain and discord shall bestrew 20
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly
That you shall hate it both: therefore take heed,
As Hymen’s lamps shall light you.
As I hope
For quiet days, fair issue and long life, 24
With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den,
The most opportune place, the strong’st sug gestion
Our worser genius can, shall never melt
Mine honour into lust, to take away 28
The edge of that day’s celebration
When I shall think, or Phœbus’ steeds are founder’d,
Or Night kept chain’d below.
Sit then, and talk with her, she is thine own.
What, Ariell my industrious servant Ariell 33
What would my potent master? here I am.
Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service
Did worthily perform; and I must use you 36
In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,
O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place:
Incite them to quick motion; for I must
Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple 40
Some vanity of mine art: it is my promise,
And they expect it from me.
Ay, with a twink.
Before you can say, ‘Come,’ and ‘Go,’ 44
And breathe twice; and cry, ‘so, so,’
Each one, tripping on his toe,
Will be here with mop and mow.
Do you love me, master? no? 48
Dearly my delicate Ariel. Do not approach
Till thou dost hear me call.
Well, I conceive.
Look, thou be true; do not give dalliance
Too much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw 52
To the fire i’ the blood: be more abstemious,
Or else good night your vow!
I warrant you, sir;
The white-cold virgin snow upon my heart
Abates the ardour of my liver.
Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary,
Rather than want a spirit: appear, and pertly.
No tongue! all eyes! be silent.
A Masque. Enter Iris.
Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas 60
Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and peas;
Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
And flat meads thatch’d with stover, them to keep;
Thy banks with pioned and twilled brims, 64
Which spongy April at thy hest betrims,
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom groves,
Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
Being lass-lorn; thy pole-clipt vineyard; 68
And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,
Where thou thyself dost air: the queen o’ the sky,
Whose watery arch and messenger am I,
Bids thee leave these; and with her sovereign grace, 72
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,
To come and sport; her peacocks fly amain:
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.
Hail, many-colour’d messenger, that ne’er 76
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers:
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
My bosky acres, and my unshrubb’d down, 81
Rich scarf to my proud earth; why hath thy queen
Summon’d me hither, to this short-grass’d green?
A contract of true love to celebrate, 84
And some donation freely to estate
On the bless’d lovers.
Tell me, heavenly bow,
If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,
Do now attend the queen? since they did plot
The means that dusky Dis my daughter got, 89
Her and her blind boy’s scandal’d company
I have forsworn.
Of her society
Be not afraid; I met her deity 92
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos and her son
Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have done
Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,
Whose vows are, that no bed-rite shall be paid
Till Hymen’s torch be lighted; but in vain: 97
Mars’s hot minion is return’d again;
Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,
Swears he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows, 100
And be a boy right out.
Highest queen of state,
Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait.
How does my bounteous sister? Go with me
To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be, 104
And honour’d in their issue.
Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
Long continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you! 108
Juno sings her blessings on you.
Earth’s increase, foison plenty,
Barns and garners never empty:
Vines, with clust’ring bunches growing; 112
Plants with goodly burden bowing;
Spring come to you at the farthest
In the very end of harvest!
Scarcity and want shall shun you; 116
Ceres’ blessing so is on you.
This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmonious charmingly: May I be bold
To think these spirits?
Spirits, which by mine art 120
I have from their confines call’d to enact
My present fancies.
Let me live here ever:
So rare a wonder’d father and a wise,
Makes this place Paradise.
[Juno and Ceres whisper, and send Iris on employment.
Sweet, now, silence! 124
Juno and Ceres whisper seriously,
There’s something else to do: hush, and be mute,
Or else our spell is marr’d.
You nymphs, call’d Naiades, of the windring brooks, 128
With your sedg’d crowns, and ever-harmless looks,
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land
Answer your summons: Juno does command.
Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
A contract of true love: be not too late. 133
Enter certain Nymphs.
You sun-burn’d sicklemen, of August weary,
Come hither from the furrow, and be merry:
Make holiday: your rye-straw hats put on, 136
And these fresh nymphs encounter every one
In country footing.
Enter certain Reapers, properly habited: they join with the Nymphs in a graceful dance; towards the end whereof Prospero starts suddenly, and speaks; after which, to a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish.
[Aside.] I had forgot that foul conspiracy
Of the beast Caliban, and his confederates 140
Against my life: the minute of their plot
Is almost come.—[To the Spirits.] Well done! avoid; no more!
This is strange: your father’s in some passion
That works him strongly.
Never till this day 144
Saw I him touch’d with anger so distemper’d.
You do look, my son, in a mov’d sort,
As if you were dismay’d: be cheerful, sir:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, 148
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 153
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff 156
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.—Sir, I am vex’d:
Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled.
Be not disturb’d with my infirmity. 160
If you be pleas’d, retire into my cell
And there repose: a turn or two I’ll walk,
To still my beating mind.
We wish your peace.
Come with a thought!—[To them.] I thank thee: Ariel, come! 164
Thy thoughts I cleave to. What’s thy pleasure?
We must prepare to meet with Caliban.
Ay, my commander; when I presented Ceres,
I thought to have told thee of it; but I fear’d 168
Lest I might anger thee.
Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?
I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;
So full of valour that they smote the air 172
For breathing in their faces; beat the ground
For kissing of their feet; yet always bending
Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor;
At which, like unback’d colts, they prick’d their ears, 176
Advanc’d their eyelids, lifted up their noses
As they smelt music: so I charm’d their ears
That, calf-like, they my lowing follow’d through
Tooth’d briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss and thorns, 180
Which enter’d their frail shins: at last I left them
I’ the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell,
There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake
O’erstunk their feet.
This was well done, my bird. 184
Thy shape invisible retain thou still:
The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither,
For stale to catch these thieves.
I go, I go.
A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains, 189
Humanely taken, are all lost, quite lost;
And as with age his body uglier grows,
So his mind cankers. I will plague them all, 192
Even to roaring.
Re-enter Ariel, loaden with glistering apparel, &c.
Come, hang them on this line.
Prospero and Ariel remain invisible. Enter Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo, all wet.
Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not
Hear a foot fall: we now are near his cell. 195
Monster, your fairy, which you say is a harmless fairy, has done little better than played the Jack with us.
Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at which my nose is in great indignation. 200
So is mine.—Do you hear, monster? If I should take a displeasure against you, look you,—
Thou wert but a lost monster.
Good my lord, give me thy favour still:
Be patient, for the prize I’ll bring thee to 205
Shall hoodwink this mischance: therefore speak softly;
All’s hush’d as midnight yet.
Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,— 209
There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that, monster, but an infinite loss.
That’s more to me than my wetting: yet this is your harmless fairy, monster. 213
I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o’er ears for my labour.
Prithee, my king, be quiet. Seest thou here, 216
This is the mouth o’ the cell: no noise, and enter.
Do that good mischief, which may make this island
Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban,
For aye thy foot-licker. 220
Give me thy hand: I do begin to have bloody thoughts.
O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look, what a wardrobe here is for thee! 225
Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash.
O, ho, monster! we know what belongs to a frippery.—O king Stephano! 228
Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, I’ll have that gown.
Thy grace shall have it.
The dropsy drown this fooll what do you mean 232
To dote thus on such luggage? Let’s along,
And do the murder first: if he awake,
From toe to crown he’ll fill our skins with pinches;
Make us strange stuff. 236
Be you quiet, monster.—Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under the line: now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair and prove a bald jerkin. 240
Do, do: we steal by line and level, an’t like your grace.
I thank thee for that jest; here’s a garment for’t: wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king of this country: ‘Steal by line and level,’ is an excellent pass of pate; there’s another garment for’t. 247
Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers, and away with the rest.
I will have none on’t: we shall lose our time,
And all be turn’d to barnacles, or to apes
With foreheads villanous low. 252
Monster, lay-to your fingers: help to bear this away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn you out of my kingdom. Go to; carry this.
And this. 256
Ay, and this.
A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits, in shape of hounds, and hunt them about; Prospero and Ariel setting them on.
Hey, Mountain, hey!
Silver! there it goes, Silver!
Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark, hark! 260
[Cal., Ste., and Trin. are driven out
Go, charge my goblins that they grind their joints
With dry convulsions; shorten up their sinews
With aged cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them
Than pard, or cat o’ mountain.
Hark! they roar. 264
Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour
Lie at my mercy all mine enemies:
Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou
Shalt have the air at freedom: for a little, 268
Follow, and do me service.
Enter Prospero in his magic robes; and Ariel.
Now does my project gather to a head:
My charms crack not; my spirits obey, and time
Goes upright with his carriage. How’s the day?
On the sixth hour; at which time, my lord, 4
You said our work should cease.
I did say so,
When first I rais’d the tempest. Say, my spirit,
How fares the king and’s followers?
In the same fashion as you gave in charge, 8
Just as you left them: all prisoners, sir,
In the line-grove which weather-fends your cell;
They cannot budge till your release. The king,
His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted, 12
And the remainder mourning over them,
Brimful of sorrow and dismay; but chiefly
Him, that you term’d, sir, ‘The good old lord Gonzalo:’
His tears run down his beard, like winter’s drops
From eaves of reeds; your charm so strongly works them, 17
That if you now beheld them, your affections
Would become tender.
Dost thou think so, spirit?
Mine would, sir, were I human.
And mine shall. 20
Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply,
Passion as they, be kindlier mov’d than thou art? 24
Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
Yet with my nobler reason ’gainst my fury
Do I take part: the rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance: they being penitent, 28
The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
Not a frown further. Go, release them, Ariel.
My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore,
And they shall be themselves.
I’ll fetch them, sir
Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves; 33
And ye, that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him
When he comes back; you demi-puppets, that 36
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you, whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms; that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,— 40
Weak masters though ye be—I have bedimm’d
The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,
And ’twixt the green sea and the azur’d vault
Set roaring war: to the dread-rattling thunder 44
Have I given fire and rifted Jove’s stout oak
With his own bolt: the strong-bas’d promontory
Have I made shake; and by the spurs pluck’d up
The pine and cedar: graves at my command 48
Have wak’d their sleepers, op’d, and let them forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure; and, when I have requir’d
Some heavenly music,—which even now I do,—
To work mine end upon their senses that 53
This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound, 56
I’ll drown my book.
Re-enter Ariel: after him, Alonso, with a frantic gesture, attended by Gonzalo; Sebastian and Antonio in like manner, attended by Adrian and Francisco: they all enter the circle which Prospero had made, and there stand charmed; which Prospero observing, speaks.
A solemn air and the best comforter
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains,
Now useless, boil’d within thy skull! There stand, 60
For you are spell-stopp’d.
Holy Gonzalo, honourable man,
Mine eyes, even sociable to the show of thine,
Fall fellowly drops. The charm dissolves apace;
And as the morning steals upon the night, 65
Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle
Their clearer reason.—O good Gonzalo! 68
My true preserver, and a loyal sir
To him thou follow’st, I will pay thy graces
Home, both in word and deed.—Most cruelly
Didst thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter: 72
Thy brother was a furtherer in the act;—
Thou’rt pinch’d for’t now, Sebastian.—Flesh and blood,
You, brother mine, that entertain’d ambition,
Expell’d remorse and nature; who, with Sebastian,— 76
Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong,—
Would here have kill’d your king; I do forgive thee,
Unnatural though thou art!—Their understanding
Begins to swell, and the approaching tide 80
Will shortly fill the reasonable shores
That now lie foul and muddy. Not one of them
That yet looks on me, or would know me.—Ariel,
Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell:— 84
I will discase me, and myself present,
As I was sometime Milan.—Quickly, spirit;
Thou shalt ere long be free.
Ariel re-enters, singing, and helps to attire Prospero.
Where the bee sucks, there suck I 88
In a cowslip’s bell I he:
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily 92
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough
Why, that’s my dainty Ariel! I shall miss thee;
But yet thou shalt have freedom;—so, so, so.—
To the king’s ship, invisible as thou art: 97
There shalt thou find the mariners asleep
Under the hatches; the master and the boatswain
Being awake, enforce them to this place, 100
And presently, I prithee.
I drink the air before me, and return
Or e’er your pulse twice beat.
All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement 104
Inhabits here: some heavenly power guide us
Out of this fearful country!
Behold, sir king,
The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero.
For more assurance that a living prince 108
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body;
And to thee and thy company I bid
A hearty welcome.
Whe’r thou beest he or no,
Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me, 112
As late I have been, I not know: thy pulse
Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,
Th’ affliction of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave,—
An if this be at all—a most strange story. 117
Thy dukedom I resign, and do entreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs.—But how should Prospero
Be living, and be here?
First, noble friend, 120
Let me embrace thine age; whose honour cannot
Be measur’d, or confin’d.
Whether this be,
Or be not, I’ll not swear.
You do yet taste
Some subtilties o’ the isle, that will not let you
Believe things certain.—Welcome! my friends all:— 125
[Aside to Seb. and Ant.] But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,
I here could pluck his highness’ frown upon you,
And justify you traitors: at this time 128
I will tell no tales.
[Aside.] The devil speaks in him.
For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
Thy rankest fault; all of them; and require 132
My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know,
Thou must restore.
If thou beest Prospero,
Give us particulars of thy preservation;
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since 136
Were wrack’d upon this shore; where I have lost,—
How sharp the point of this remembrance is!—
My dear son Ferdinand.
I am woe for’t, sir.
Irreparable is the loss, and patience
Says it is past her cure.
I rather think 141
You have not sought her help; of whose soft grace,
For the like loss I have her sovereign aid,
And rest myself content.
You the like loss! 144
As great to me, as late; and, supportable
To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker
Than you may call to comfort you, for I
Have lost my daughter.
A daughter? 148
O heavens! that they were living both in Naples,
The king and queen there! that they were, I wish
Myself were mudded in that oozy bed
Where my son lies. When did you lose your daughter? 152
In this last tempest. I perceive, these lords
At this encounter do so much admire
That they devour their reason, and scarce think
Their eyes do offices of truth, their words 156
Are natural breath: but, howsoe’er you have
Been justled from your senses, know for certain
That I am Prospero and that very duke
Which was thrust forth of Milan; who most strangely 160
Upon this shore, where you were wrack’d, was landed,
To be the lord on’t. No more yet of this;
For ’tis a chronicle of day by day,
Not a relation for a breakfast nor 164
Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir;
This cell’s my court: here have I few attendants
And subjects none abroad: pray you, look in.
My dukedom since you have given me again, 168
I will requite you with as good a thing;
At least bring forth a wonder, to content ye
As much as me my dukedom.
The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers Ferdinand and Miranda playing at chess.
Sweet lord, you play me false.
No, my dearest love, 172
I would not for the world.
Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
And I would call it fair play.
If this prove
A vision of the island, one dear son 176
Shall I twice lose.
A most high miracle!
Though the seas threaten, they are merciful:
I have curs’d them without cause.
[Kneels to Alon.
Now, all the blessings
Of a glad father compass thee about! 180
Arise, and say how thou cam’st here.
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
’Tis new to thee. 184
What is this maid, with whom thou wast at play?
Your eld’st acquaintance cannot be three hours:
Is she the goddess that hath sever’d us,
And brought us thus together?
Sir, she is mortal; 188
But by immortal Providence she’s mine;
I chose her when I could not ask my father
For his advice, nor thought I had one. She
Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan, 192
Of whom so often I have heard renown,
But never saw before; of whom I have
Receiv’d a second life; and second father
This lady makes him to me.
I am hers: 196
But O! how oddly will it sound that I
Must ask my child forgiveness!
There, sir, stop:
Let us not burden our remembrances
With a heaviness that’s gone.
I have inly wept, 200
Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown;
For it is you that have chalk’d forth the way
Which brought us hither!
I say, Amen, Gonzalo! 204
Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue
Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice
Beyond a common joy, and set it down
With gold on lasting pillars. In one voyage 208
Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis,
And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife
Where he himself was lost; Prospero his dukedom
In a poor isle; and all of us ourselves, 212
When no man was his own.
[To Fer. and Mira.] Give me your hands:
Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart
That doth not wish you joy!
Be it so: Amen!
Re-enter Ariel, with the Master and Boatswain amazedly following.
O look, sir! look, sir! here are more of us. 216
I prophesied, if a gallows were on land,
This fellow could not drown.—Now, blasphemy,
That swear’st grace o’erboard, not an oath on shore?
Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?
The best news is that we have safely found 221
Our king and company: the next, our ship,—
Which but three glasses since we gave out split,—
Is tight and yare and bravely rigg’d as when
We first put out to sea.
[Aside to Pro.] Sir, all this service 225
Have I done since I went.
[Aside to Ari.] My tricksy spirit!
These are not natural events; they strengthen
From strange to stranger.—Say, how came you hither? 228
If I did think, sir, I were well awake,
I’d strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep,
And,—how we know not,—all clapp’d under hatches,
Where, but even now, with strange and several noises 232
Of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains,
And mo diversity of sounds, all horrible,
We were awak’d; straightway, at liberty:
Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld 236
Our royal, good, and gallant ship; our master
Capering to eye her: on a trice, so please you,
Even in a dream, were we divided from them,
And were brought moping hither.
[Aside to Pro.] Was’t well done? 240
[Aside to Ari.] Bravely, my diligence! Thou shalt be free.
This is as strange a maze as e’er men trod;
And there is in this business more than nature
Was ever conduct of: some oracle 244
Must rectify our knowledge.
Sir, my liege,
Do not infest your mind with beating on
The strangeness of this business: at pick’d leisure
Which shall be shortly, single I’ll resolve you,—
Which to you shall seem probable,—of every
These happen’d accidents; till when, be cheerful,
And think of each thing well.—[Aside to Ari.] Come hither, spirit;
Set Caliban and his companions free; 252
Untie the spell. [Exit Ari.] How fares my gracious sir?
There are yet missing of your company
Some few odd lads that you remember not.
Re-enter Ariel, driving in Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo, in their stolen apparel.
Every man shift for all the rest, and let no man take care for himself, for all is but fortune.—Coragio! bully-monster, Coragio!
If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here’s a goodly sight. 260
O Setebos! these be brave spirits, indeed.
How fine my master is! I am afraid
He will chastise me.
What things are these, my lord Antonio? 264
Will money buy them?
Very like; one of them
Is a plain fish, and, no doubt, marketable.
Mark but the badges of these men, my lords,
Then say, if they be true.—This mis-shapen knave,— 268
His mother was a witch; and one so strong
That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs,
And deal in her command without her power.
These three have robb’d me; and this demidevil,— 272
For he’s a bastard one,—had plotted with them
To take my life: two of these fellows you
Must know and own; this thing of darkness I
I shall be pinch’d to death 276
Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?
He is drunk now: where had he wine?
And Trinculo is reeling-ripe: where should they
Find this grand liquor that hath gilded them?
How cam’st thou in this pickle? 281
I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that, I fear me, will never out of my bones: I shall not fear fly-blowing. 284
Why, how now, Stephano!
O! touch me not: I am not Stephano, but a cramp.
You’d be king of the isle, sirrah?
I should have been a sore one then. 288
This is a strange thing as e’er I look’d on.
[Pointing to Cal.
He is as disproportion’d in his manners As in his shape.—Go, sirrah, to my cell;
Take with you your companions: as you look
To have my pardon, trim it handsomely. 293
Ay, that I will; and I’ll be wise hereafter,
And seek for grace. What a thrice-double ass
Was I, to take this drunkard for a god, 296
And worship this dull fool!
Go to; away!
Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.
Or stole it, rather.
[Exeunt Cal., Ste., and Trin.
Sir, I invite your highness and your train 300
To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest
For this one night; which—part of it—I’ll waste
With such discourse as, I not doubt, shall make it
Go quick away; the story of my life 304
And the particular accidents gone by
Since I came to this isle: and in the morn
I’ll bring you to your ship, and so to Naples,
Where I have hope to see the nuptial 308
Of these our dear-beloved solemniz’d;
And thence retire me to my Milan, where
Every third thought shall be my grave.
To hear the story of your life, which must 312
Take the ear strangely.
I’ll deliver all;
And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales
And sail so expeditious that shall catch
Your royal fleet far off.—[Aside to Ari.] My Ariel, chick, 316
That is thy charge: then to the elements
Be free, and fare thou well!—Please you, draw near.
Spoken by Prospero.
Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have’s mine own;
Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,
I must be here confin’d by you, 4
Or sent to Naples Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell; 8
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails, 12
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be reliev’d by prayer, 16
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon’d be,
Let your indulgence set me free. 20
|Duke of Milan,||Father to Silvia.|
|Valentine, }||the Two Gentlemen.|
|Antonio,||Father to Proteus.|
|Thurio,||a foolish rival to Valentine.|
|Eglamour,||Agent for Silvia, in her escape.|
|Speed,||a clownish Servant to Valentine.|
|Launce,||the like to Proteus.|
|Panthino,||Servant to Antonio.|
|Host,||where Julia lodges in Milan.|
|Julia,||beloved of Proteus.|
|Silvia,||beloved of Valentine.|
|Lucetta,||waiting woman to Julia.|
Scene.—Verona; Milan; and the frontiers of Mantua.
Enter Valentine and Proteus.
Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus:
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Were’t not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour’d love, 4
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad
Than, living dully sluggardiz’d at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. 8
But since thou lov’st, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would when I to love begin.
Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu!
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest 12
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee, 16
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.
And on a love-book pray for my success?
Upon some book I love I’ll pray for thee. 20
That’s on some shallow story of deep love,
How young Leander cross’d the Hellespont.
That’s a deep story of a deeper love;
For he was more than over shoes in love. 24
’Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swum the Hellespont.
Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots.
No, I will not, for it boots thee not.
To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment’s mirth
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain; 32
If lost, why then a grievous labour won:
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
So, by your circumstance, you call me fool. 36
So, by your circumstance, I fear you’ll prove.
’Tis love you cavil at: I am not Love.
Love is your master, for he masters you;
And he that is so yoked by a fool, 40
Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.
Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all. 44
And writers say, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turned to folly; blasting in the bud, 48
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee
That art a votary to fond desire? 52
Once more adieu! my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp’d.
And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave. 56
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine. 60
All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
As much to you at home! and so, farewell.
He after honour hunts, I after love:
He leaves his friends to dignify them more; 64
I leave myself, my friends and all, for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos’d me;—
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought. 69
Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?
But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.
Twenty to one, then, he is shipp’d already, 72
And I have play’d the sheep, in losing him.
Indeed, a sheep doth very often stray,
An if the shepherd be a while away.
You conclude that my master is a shepherd, then, and I a sheep? 77
Why then my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep. 80
A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
This proves me still a sheep.
True, and thy master a shepherd.
Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. 85
It shall go hard but I’ll prove it by another.
The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore I am no sheep. 91
The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore thou art a sheep. 96
Such another proof will make me cry ‘baa.’
But, dost thou hear? gavest thou my letter to Julia? 100
Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour. 104
Here’s too small a pasture for such store of muttons.
If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her. 108
Nay, in that you are astray; ’twere best pound you.
Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your letter. 112
You mistake: I mean the pound,—a pinfold.
From a pound to a pin? fold it over and over,
’Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover. 116
But what said she? [Speed nods.] Did she nod?
Nod, ay? why, that’s noddy. 120
You mistook, sir: I say she did nod; and you ask me if she did nod; and I say, Ay.
And that set together is—noddy.
Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for your pains. 125
No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.
Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you. 129
Why, sir, how do you bear with me?
Marry, sir, the letter very orderly; having nothing but the word ‘noddy’ for my pains. 133
Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse. 136
Come, come; open the matter in brief: what said she?
Open your purse, that the money and the matter may be both at once delivered. 140
Well, sir, here is for your pains [giving him money]. What said she?
Truly, sir, I think you’ll hardly win her.
Why? couldst thou perceive so much from her? 145
Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter. And being so hard to me that brought your mind, I fear she’ll prove as hard to you in telling your mind. Give her no token but stones, for she’s as hard as steel.
What! said she nothing? 152
No, not so much as ‘Take this for thy pains.’ To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself. And so, sir, I’ll commend you to my master. 157
Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wrack;
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,
Being destin’d to a drier death on shore.— 160
I must go send some better messenger:
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post. 163
Enter Julia and Lucetta.
But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?
Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.
Of all the fair resort of gentlemen 4
That every day with parle encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
Please you repeat their names, I’ll show my mind
According to my shallow simple skill. 8
What think’st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine. 11
What think’st thou of the rich Mercatio?
Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.
What think’st thou of the gentle Proteus?
Lord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us!
How now! what means this passion at his name? 16
Pardon, dear madam; ’tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
Then thus,—of many good I think him best. 21
I have no other but a woman’s reason:
I think him so because I think him so. 24
And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?
Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
Why, he, of all the rest hath never mov’d me.
Yet he of all the rest, I think, best loves ye. 28
His little speaking shows his love but small.
Fire that’s closest kept burns most of all.
They do not love that do not show their love.
O! they love least that let men know their love. 32
I would I knew his mind.
Peruse this paper, madam.
[Gives a letter.
‘To Julia.’—Say from whom?
That the contents will show.
Say, say, who gave it thee?
Sir Valentine’s page, and sent, I think, from Proteus. 36
He would have given it you, but I, being in the way,
Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault, I pray.
Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines? 40
To whisper and conspire against my youth?
Now, trust me, ’tis an office of great worth
And you an officer fit for the place.
There, take the paper: see it be return’d; 44
Or else return no more into my sight.
To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
Will ye be gone?
That you may ruminate.
And yet I would I had o’erlook’d the letter. 48
It were a shame to call her back again
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
And would not force the letter to my view! 52
Since maids, in modesty, say ‘No’ to that
Which they would have the profferer construe ‘Ay.’
Fie, fie! how wayward is this foolish love
That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse 56
And presently all humbled kiss the rod!
How churlishly I child Lucetta hence,
When willingly I would have had her here:
How angerly I taught my brow to frown, 60
When inward joy enforc’d my heart to smile.
My penance is, to call Lucetta back
And ask remission for my folly past.
What ho! Lucetta!
What would your ladyship? 64
Is it near dinner-time?
I would it were;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.
What is’t that you took up so gingerly?
Why didst thou stoop, then?
To take a paper up
That I let fall.
And is that paper nothing?
Nothing concerning me. 72
Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.
Some love of yours hath writ to you in rime. 76
That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.
As little by such toys as may be possible;
Best sing it to the tune of ‘Light o’ Love.’ 80
It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Heavy! belike it hath some burden, then?
Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.
And why not you?
I cannot reach so high. 84
Let’s see your song. [Taking the letter.] How now, minion!
Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
And yet methinks, I do not like this tune.
You do not?
No, madam; it is too sharp. 88
You, minion, are too saucy.
Nay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song. 92
The mean is drown’d with your unruly bass.
Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
Here is a coil with protestation!— 96
[Tears the letter.
Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie:
You would be fingering them, to anger me.
She makes it strange; but she would be best pleas’d
To be so anger’d with another letter.
Nay, would I were so anger’d with the same! 101
O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
I’ll kiss each several paper for amends. 105
Look, here is writ ‘kind Julia:’ unkind Julia!
As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. 109
And here is writ ‘love-wounded Proteus:’
Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed
Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly heal’d; 112
And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
But twice or thrice was ‘Proteus’ written down:
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
Till I have found each letter in the letter, 116
Except mine own name; that some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful hanging rock,
And throw it thence into the raging sea!
Lo! here in one line is his name twice writ, 120
‘Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
To the sweet Julia’:—that I’ll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names: 124
Thus will I fold them one upon another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
Dinner is ready, and your father stays. 128
Well, let us go.
What! shall these papers he like tell-tales here?
If you respect them, best to take them up.
Nay, I was taken up for laying them down; 132
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.
I see you have a month’s mind to them.
Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink. 136
Come, come; will’t please you go?
Enter Antonio and Panthino.
Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
‘Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Why, what of him?
He wonder’d that your lordship 4
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,
While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
Some to the wars, to try their fortune there; 8
Some to discover islands far away;
Some to the studious universities.
For any or for all these exercises
He said that Proteus your son was meet, 12
And did request me to importune you
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great impeachment to his age,
In having known to travel in his youth. 16
Nor need’st thou much importune me to that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have consider’d well his loss of time,
And how he cannot be a perfect man, 20
Not being tried and tutor’d in the world:
Experience is by industry achiev’d
And perfected by the swift course of time.
Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?
I think your lordship is not ignorant
How his companion, youthful Valentine, 26
Attends the emperor in his royal court.
I know it well. 28
’Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither:
There shall be practise tilts and tournaments,
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen,
And be in eye of every exercise 32
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
I like thy counsel, well hast thou advis’d:
And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it
The execution of it shall make known. 36
Even with the speediest expedition
I will dispatch him to the emperor’s court.
To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso
With other gentlemen of good esteem, 40
Are journeying to salute the emperor
And to commend their service to his will.
Good company; with them shall Proteus go: 43
And in good time:—now will we break with him.
Sweet love! sweet lines! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour’s pawn.
O! that our fathers would applaud our loves, 48
To seal our happiness with their consents!
O heavenly Julia!
How now! what letter are you reading there?
May’t please your lordship, ’tis a word or two 52
Of commendations sent from Valentine,
Deliver’d by a friend that came from him.
Lend me the letter; let me see what news.
There is no news, my lord; but that he writes 56
How happily he lives, how well belov’d
And daily graced by the emperor;
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
And how stand you affected to his wish?
As one relying on your lordship’s will 61
And not depending on his friendly wish.
My will is something sorted with his wish.
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed; 64
For what I will, I will, and there an end.
I am resolv’d that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus in the emperor’s court:
What maintenance he from his friends receives,
Like exhibition thou shalt have from me. 69
To-morrow be in readiness to go:
Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.
My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:
Please you, deliberate a day or two. 73
Look, what thou want’st shall be sent after thee:
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go.
Come on, Panthino: you shall be employ’d 76
To hasten on his expedition.
[Exeunt Antonio and Panthino.
Thus have I shunn’d the fire for fear of burning,
And drench’d me in the sea, where I am drown’d.
I fear’d to show my father Julia’s letter, 80
Lest he should take exceptions to my love;
And with the vantage of mine own excuse
Hath he excepted most against my love.
O! how this spring of love resembleth 84
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!
Sir Proteus, your father calls for you:
He is in haste; therefore, I pray you, go. 89
Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto,
And yet a thousand times it answers, ‘no.’
Enter Valentine and Speed.
Sir, your glove.
[Offering a glove.
Not mine; my gloves are on.
Why, then this may be yours, for this is but one.
Ha! let me see: ay, give it me, it’s mine;
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine! 4
Ah Silvia! Silvia!
[Calling.] Madam Silvia! Madam Silvia!
How now, sirrah?
She is not within hearing, sir.
Why, sir, who bade you call her?
Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.
Well, you’ll still be too forward. 12
And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.
Go to, sir. Tell me, do you know Madam Silvia? 16
She that your worship loves?
Why, how know you that I am in love?
Marry, by these special marks: first, you have learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms, like a malecontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a schoolboy that had lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch, like one that fears robbing; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it was for want of money: and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master.
Are all these things perceived in me? 36
They are all perceived without ye.
Without me? they cannot.
Without you? nay, that’s certain; for, without you were so simple, none else would: but you are so without these follies, that these follies are within you and shine through you like the water in an urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a physician to comment on your malady. 45
But tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia?
She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper? 49
Hast thou observed that? even she, I mean.
Why, sir, I know her not. 52
Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet knowest her not?
Is she not hard-favoured, sir?
Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured. 56
Sir, I know that well enough.
What dost thou know?
That she is not so fair, as, of you, well-favoured. 60
I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.
That’s because the one is painted and the other out of all count. 64
How painted? and how out of count?
Marry, sir, so painted to make her fair, that no man counts of her beauty.
How esteemest thou me? I account of her beauty. 69
You never saw her since she was deformed.
How long hath she been deformed? 72
Ever since you loved her.
I have loved her ever since I saw her, and still I see her beautiful.
If you love her you cannot see her. 76
Because Love is blind. O! that you had mine eyes; or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going ungartered! 81
What should I see then?
Your own present folly and her passing deformity: for he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose; and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose. 86
Belike, boy, then, you are in love; for last morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
True, sir; I was in love with my bed. I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which makes me the bolder to chide you for yours. 93
In conclusion, I stand affected to her.
I would you were set, so your affection would cease. 95
Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves.
And have you?
I have. 100
Are they not lamely writ?
No, boy, but as well as I can do them.
Peace! here she comes.
[Aside.] O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet! now will he interpret to her.
Madam and mistress, a thousand good morrows. 107
[Aside.] O! give ye good even: here’s a million of manners.
Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.
[Aside.] He should give her interest, and she gives it him.
As you enjoin’d me, I have writ your letter
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours;
Which I was much unwilling to proceed in 116
But for my duty to your ladyship.
[Gives a letter.
I thank you, gentle servant. ’Tis very clerkly done.
Now, trust me, madam, it came hardly off; 120
For, being ignorant to whom it goes
I writ at random, very doubtfully.
Perchance you think too much of so much pains?
No, madam; so it stead you, I will write,
Please you command, a thousand times as much.
And yet— 126
A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel;
And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not;
And yet take this again; and yet I thank you,
Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more. 130
[Aside.] And yet you will; and yet another yet.
What means your ladyship? do you not like it? 132
Yes, yes: the lines are very quaintly writ,
But since unwillingly, take them again:
Nay, take them.
[Gives back the letter.
Madam, they are for you.
Ay, ay; you writ them, sir, at my request,
But I will none of them; they are for you. 137
I would have had them writ more movingly.
Please you, I’ll write your ladyship another.
And when it’s writ, for my sake read it over: 140
And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
If it please me, madam, what then?
Why, if it please you, take it for your labour: 143
And so, good morrow, servant.
O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible,
As a nose on a man’s face, or a weathercock on a steeple!
My master sues to her, and she hath taught her suitor,
He being her pupil, to become her tutor. 148
O excellent device! was there ever heard a better,
That my master, being scribe, to himself should write the letter?
How now, sir! what are you reasoning with yourself?
Nay, I was riming: ’tis you that have the reason. 152
To do what?
To be a spokesman from Madam Silvia.
To yourself. Why, she wooes you by a figure. 156
By a letter, I should say.
Why, she hath not writ to me?
What need she, when she hath made you write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest? 162
No, believe me.
No believing you, indeed, sir. But did you perceive her earnest?
She gave me none, except an angry word.
Why, she hath given you a letter.
That’s the letter I writ to her friend. 168
And that letter hath she delivered, and there an end.
I would it were no worse.
I’ll warrant you, ’tis as well: 172
‘For often have you writ to her, and she, in modesty,
Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply;
Or fearing else some messenger that might her mind discover,
Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover.’ 176
All this I speak in print, for in print I found it.
Why muse you, sir? ’tis dinner-time.
I have dined. 179
Ay, but hearken, sir: though the chameleon Love can feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by my victuals and would fain have meat. O! be not like your mistress: be moved, be moved.
Enter Proteus and Julia.
Have patience, gentle Julia.
I must, where is no remedy.
When possibly I can, I will return.
If you turn not, you will return the sooner. 4
Keep this remembrance for thy Julia’s sake.
[Gives him a ring.
Why, then, we’ll make exchange: here, take you this.
[Gives her another.
And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
Here is my hand for my true constancy;
And when that hour o’erslips me in the day 9
Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake,
The next ensuing hour some foul mischance
Torment me for my love’s forgetfulness! 12
My father stays my coming; answer not.
The tide is now: nay, not thy tide of tears;
That tide will stay me longer than I should.
What! gone without a word? 16
Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak;
For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.
Sir Proteus, you are stay’d for.
Go; I come, I come.
Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb. 20
Enter Launce, leading a dog.
Nay, ’twill be this hour ere I have done weeping: all the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the imperial’s court. I think Crab my dog be the sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog; a Jew would have wept to have seen our parting: why, my grandam, having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I’ll show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father; no, this left shoe is my father: no, no, this left shoe is my mother; nay, that cannot be so neither:—yes, it is so; it is so; it hath the worser sole. This shoe, with the hole in, is my mother, and this my father. A vengeance on’t! there ’tis: now, sir, this staff is my sister; for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand: this hat is Nan, our maid: I am the dog; no, the dog is himself, and I am the dog,—O! the dog is me, and I am myself: ay, so, so. Now come I to my father; ‘Father, your blessing;’ now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping: now should I kiss my father; well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother;—O, that she could speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her; why, there ’tis; here’s my mother’s breath up and down. Now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes: Now the dog all this while sheds not a tear nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears. 36
Launce, away, away, aboard! thy master is shipped, and thou art to post after with oars. What’s the matter? why weepest thou, man? Away, ass! you’ll lose the tide if you tarry any longer. 41
It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
What’s the unkindest tide? 44
Why, he that’s tied here, Crab, my dog.
Tut, man, I mean thou’lt lose the flood; and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage, and, in losing thy voyage, lose thy master; and, in losing thy master, lose thy service; and, in losing thy service,—Why dost thou stop my mouth? 52
For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue.
Where should I lose my tongue?
In thy tale. 56
In thy tail!
Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and the service, and the tied! Why, man, if the river were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the wind were down, I could drive the boat with my sighs.
Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee. 64
Sir, call me what thou darest.
Wilt thou go?
Well, I will go.
Enter Valentine, Silvia, Thurio, and Speed.
Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you.
Ay, boy, it’s for love. 4
Not of you.
Of my mistress, then.
’Twere good you knock’d him.
Servant, you are sad. 8
Indeed, madam, I seem so.
Seem you that you are not?
Haply I do.
So do counterfeits. 12
So do you.
What seem I that I am not?
What instance of the contrary? 16
And how quote you my folly?
I quote it in your jerkin.
My jerkin is a doublet. 20
Well, then, I’ll double your folly.
What, angry, Sir Thurio! do you change colour? 24
Give him leave, madam; he is a kind of chameleon.
That hath more mind to feed on your blood than live in your air. 28
You have said, sir.
Ay, sir, and done too, for this time.
I know it well, sir: you always end ere you begin. 32
A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.
’Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver. 36
Who is that, servant?
Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the fire. Sir Thurio borrows his wit from your ladyship’s looks, and spends what he borrows kindly in your company. 41
Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.
I know it well, sir: you have an exchequer of words, and, I think, no other treasure to give your followers; for it appears by their bare liveries that they live by your bare words.
No more, gentlemen, no more. Here comes my father. 49
Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset.
Sir Valentine, your father’s in good health:
What say you to a letter from your friends 52
Of much good news?
My lord, I will be thankful
To any happy messenger from thence.
Know ye Don Antonio, your countryman?
Ay, my good lord; I know the gentleman
To be of worth and worthy estimation, 57
And not without desert so well reputed.
Hath he not a son?
Ay, my good lord; a son that well deserves 60
The honour and regard of such a father.
You know him well?
I know him as myself; for from our infancy
We have convers’d and spent our hours together:
And though myself have been an idle truant, 65
Omitting the sweet benefit of time
To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection,
Yet hath Sir Proteus,—for that’s his name,— 68
Made use and fair advantage of his days:
His years but young, but his experience old;
His head unmellow’d, but his judgment ripe;
And, in a word,—for far behind his worth 72
Come all the praises that I now bestow,—
He is complete in feature and in mind
With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good, 76
He is as worthy for an empress’ love
As meet to be an emperor’s counsellor.
Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me
With commendation from great potentates; 80
And here he means to spend his time awhile:
I think, ’tis no unwelcome news to you.
Should I have wish’d a thing, it had been he.
Welcome him then according to his worth. 84
Silvia, I speak to you; and you, Sir Thurio:—
For Valentine, I need not cite him to it.
I’ll send him hither to you presently.
This is the gentleman I told your ladyship 88
Had come along with me, but that his mistress
Did hold his eyes lock’d in her crystal looks.
Belike that now she hath enfranchis’d them
Upon some other pawn for fealty. 92
Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners still.
Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind,
How could he see his way to seek out you?
Why, lady, Love hath twenty pairs of eyes.
They say that Love hath not an eye at all. 97
To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself:
Upon a homely object Love can wink.
Have done, have done. Here comes the gentleman. 100
Welcome, dear Proteus! Mistress, I beseech you,
Confirm his welcome with some special favour.
His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, 103
If this be he you oft have wish’d to hear from.
Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him
To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.
Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant 108
To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
Leave off discourse of disability:
Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
My duty will I boast of, nothing else. 112
And duty never yet did want his meed.
Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.
I’ll die on him that says so but yourself.
That you are welcome?
That you are worthless. 116
Enter a Servant.
Madam, my lord your father would speak with you.
I wait upon his pleasure. [Exit Servant.] Come, Sir Thurio,
Go with me. Once more, new servant, welcome:
I’ll leave you to confer of home-affairs; 120
When you have done, we look to hear from you.
We’ll both attend upon your ladyship.
[Exeunt Silvia, Thurio, and Speed.
Now, tell me, how do all from whence you came?
Your friends are well and have them much commended. 124
And how do yours?
I left them all in health.
How does your lady and how thrives your love?
My tales of love were wont to weary you;
I know you joy not in a love-discourse. 128
Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter’d now:
I have done penance for contemning love;
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish’d me
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans, 132
With nightly tears and daily heart-sore sighs;
For, in revenge of my contempt of love,
Love hath chas’d sleep from my enthralled eyes,
And made them watchers of mine own heart’s sorrow. 136
O, gentle Proteus! Love’s a mighty lord,
And hath so humbled me as I confess,
There is no woe to his correction,
Nor to his service no such joy on earth. 140
Now no discourse, except it be of love;
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup and sleep,
Upon the very naked name of love.
Enough; I read your fortune in your eye.
Was this the idol that you worship so? 145
Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint?
No; but she is an earthly paragon.
Call her divine.
I will not flatter her. 148
O! flatter me, for love delights in praises.
When I was sick you gave me bitter pills,
And I must minister the like to you.
Then speak the truth by her; if not divine, 152
Yet let her be a principality,
Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.
Except my mistress.
Sweet, except not any,
Except thou wilt except against my love. 156
Have I not reason to prefer mine own?
And I will help thee to prefer her too:
She shall be dignified with this high honour,—
To bear my lady’s train, lest the base earth 160
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss,
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower,
And make rough winter everlastingly. 164
Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?
Pardon me, Proteus: all I can is nothing
To her whose worth makes other worthies nothing.
She is alone.
Then, let her alone. 168
Not for the world: why, man, she is mine own,
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold. 172
Forgive me that I do not dream on thee,
Because thou see’st me dote upon my love.
My foolish rival, that her father likes
Only for his possessions are so huge, 176
Is gone with her along, and I must after,
For love, thou know’st, is full of jealousy.
But she loves you?
Ay, and we are betroth’d: nay, more, our marriage-hour, 180
With all the cunning manner of our flight,
Determin’d of: how I must climb her window,
The ladder made of cords, and all the means
Plotted and ’greed on for my happiness. 184
Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber,
In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel.
Go on before, I shall inquire you forth:
I must unto the road, to disembark 188
Some necessaries that I needs must use,
And then I’ll presently attend you.
Will you make haste?
Even as one heat another heat expels, 193
Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
So the remembrance of my former love
Is by a newer object quite forgotten. 196
Is it mine eye, or Valentinus’ praise,
Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
That makes me reasonless to reason thus?
She’s fair; and so is Julia that I love,— 200
That I did love, for now my love is thaw’d,
Which, like a waxen image ’gainst a fire,
Bears no impression of the thing it was.
Methinks my zeal to Valentine is cold, 204
And that I love him not as I was wont:
O! but I love his lady too-too much;
And that’s the reason I love him so little.
How shall I dote on her with more advice, 208
That thus without advice begin to love her?
’Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
And that hath dazzled my reason’s light;
But when I look on her perfections, 212
There is no reason but I shall be blind.
If I can check my erring love, I will;
If not, to compass her I’ll use my skill.
Enter Speed and Launce.
Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!
Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am not welcome. I reckon this always that a man is never undone till he be hanged; nor never welcome to a place till some certain shot be paid and the hostess say, ‘Welcome!’ 7
Come on, you madcap, I’ll to the alehouse with you presently; where, for one shot of five pence, thou shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how did thy master part with Madam Julia? 12
Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.
But shall she marry him?
How then? Shall he marry her?
What, are they broken?
No, they are both as whole as a fish.
Why then, how stands the matter with them?
Marry, thus; when it stands well with him, it stands well with her. 24
What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.
What a block art thou, that thou canst not! My staff understands me. 28
What thou sayest?
Ay, and what I do too: look thee, I’ll but lean, and my staff understands me.
It stands under thee, indeed. 32
Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one.
But tell me true, will’t be a match?
Ask my dog: if he say ay, it will; if he say no, it will; if he shake his tail and say nothing, it will.
The conclusion is, then, that it will.
Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a parable. 41
’Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how sayest thou, that my master is become a notable lover? 44
I never knew him otherwise.
A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be. 48
Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me.
Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master. 52
I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.
Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to the alehouse so; if not, thou art a Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian.
Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go?
At thy service.
To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;
And even that power which gave me first my oath 4
Provokes me to this threefold perjury:
Love bade me swear, and Love bids me forswear.
O sweet-suggesting Love! if thou hast sinn’d,
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it. 8
At first I did adore a twinkling star,
But now I worship a celestial sun.
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit that wants resolved will 12
To learn his wit to exchange the bad for better.
Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad,
Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr’d
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
I cannot leave to love, and yet I do; 17
But there I leave to love where I should love.
Julia I lose and Valentine I lose:
If I keep them, I needs must lose myself; 20
If I lose them, thus find I by their loss,
For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
I to myself am dearer than a friend,
For love is still most precious in itself; 24
And Silvia—witness heaven that made her fair!—
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
I will forget that Julia is alive,
Remembering that my love to her is dead; 28
And Valentine I’ll hold an enemy,
Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend.
I cannot now prove constant to myself
Without some treachery us’d to Valentine: 32
This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
To climb celestial Silvia’s chamber-window,
Myself in counsel, his competitor.
Now presently, I’ll give her father notice 36
Of their disguising and pretended flight;
Who, all enrag’d, will banish Valentine;
For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter;
But, Valentine being gone, I’ll quickly cross, 40
By some sly trick blunt Thurio’s dull proceeding.
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift!
Enter Julia and Lucetta.
Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me:
And e’en in kind love I do conjure thee,
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly character’d and engrav’d, 4
To lesson me and tell me some good mean
How, with my honour, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.
Alas! the way is wearisome and long. 8
A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps;
Much less shall she that hath Love’s wings to fly,
And when the flight is made to one so dear, 12
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.
Better forbear till Proteus make return.
O! know’st thou not his looks are my soul’s food?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in, 16
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words. 20
I do not seek to quench your love’s hot fire,
But qualify the fire’s extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
The more thou damm’st it up, the more it burns. 24
The current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know’st, being stopp’d, impatiently doth rage;
But when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with th’ enamell’d stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge 29
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays
With willing sport, to the wild ocean. 32
Then let me go and hinder not my course:
I’ll be as patient as a gentle stream
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love; 36
And there I’ll rest, as after much turmoil
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
But in what habit will you go along?
Not like a woman; for I would prevent
The loose encounters of lascivious men. 41
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.
Why, then, your ladyship must cut your hair. 44
No, girl; I’ll knit it up in silken strings
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots:
To be fantastic may become a youth
Of greater time than I shall show to be. 48
What fashion, madam, shall I make your breeches?
That fits as well as ‘Tell me, good my lord,
What compass will you wear your farthingale?’
Why, even what fashion thou best lik’st, Lucetta. 52
You must needs have them with a cod-piece, madam.
Out, out, Lucetta! that will be ill-favour’d.
A round hose, madam, now’s not worth a pin,
Unless you have a cod-piece to stick pins on. 56
Lucetta, as thou lov’st me, let me have
What thou think’st meet and is most mannerly.
But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me
For undertaking so unstaid a journey? 60
I fear me, it will make me scandaliz’d.
If you think so, then stay at home and go not.
Nay, that I will not.
Then never dream on infamy, but go. 64
If Proteus like your journey when you come,
No matter who’s displeas’d when you are gone.
I fear me, he will scarce be pleas’d withal.
That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear: 68
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
And instances of infinite of love
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
All these are servants to deceitful men.
Base men, that use them to so base effect; 73
But truer stars did govern Proteus’ birth:
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles,
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate, 76
His tears pure messengers sent from his heart,
His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.
Pray heaven he prove so when you come to him!
Now, as thou lov’st me, do him not that wrong 80
To bear a hard opinion of his truth:
Only deserve my love by loving him,
And presently go with me to my chamber,
To take a note of what I stand in need of 84
To furnish me upon my longing journey.
All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
My goods, my lands, my reputation;
Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch me hence. 88
Come, answer not, but to it presently!
I am impatient of my tarriance.
Enter Duke, Thurio, and Proteus.
Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
We have some secrets to confer about.
Now tell me, Proteus, what’s your will with me?
My gracious lord, that which I would discover 4
The law of friendship bids me to conceal;
But when I call to mind your gracious favours
Done to me, undeserving as I am,
My duty pricks me on to utter that 8
Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
Know, worthy prince, Sir Valentine, my friend,
This night intends to steal away your daughter:
Myself am one made privy to the plot. 12
I know you have determin’d to bestow her
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates;
And should she thus be stol’n away from you
It would be much vexation to your age. 16
Thus, for my duty’s sake, I rather chose
To cross my friend in his intended drift,
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
A pack of sorrows which would press you down,
Being unprevented, to your timeless grave. 21
Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care,
Which to requite, command me while I live.
This love of theirs myself have often seen, 24
Haply, when they have judg’d me fast asleep,
And oftentimes have purpos’d to forbid
Sir Valentine her company and my court;
But fearing lest my jealous aim might err 28
And so unworthily disgrace the man,—
A rashness that I ever yet have shunn’d,—
I gave him gentle looks, thereby to find
That which thyself hast now disclos’d to me. 32
And, that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
The key whereof myself have ever kept; 36
And thence she cannot be convey’d away.
Know, noble lord, they have devis’d a mean
How he her chamber-window will ascend
And with a corded ladder fetch her down; 40
For which the youthful lover now is gone
And this way comes he with it presently;
Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.
But, good my lord, do it so cunningly 44
That my discovery be not aimed at;
For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.
Upon mine honour, he shall never know 48
That I had any light from thee of this.
Adieu, my lord: Sir Valentine is coming.
Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?
Please it your Grace, there is a messenger 52
That stays to bear my letters to my friends,
And I am going to deliver them.
Be they of much import?
The tenour of them doth but signify 56
My health and happy being at your court.
Nay then, no matter: stay with me awhile;
I am to break with thee of some affairs
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 60
’Tis not unknown to thee that I have sought
To match my friend Sir Thurio to my daughter.
I know it well, my lord; and sure, the match
Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman 64
Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities
Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter.
Cannot your Grace win her to fancy him?
No, trust me: she is peevish, sullen, froward, 68
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
Neither regarding that she is my child,
Nor fearing me as if I were her father:
And, may I say to thee this pride of hers, 72
Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her;
And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
Should have been cherish’d by her child-like duty,
I now am full resolv’d to take a wife 76
And turn her out to who will take her in:
Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower;
For me and my possessions she esteems not.
What would your Grace have me to do in this? 80
There is a lady of Verona here,
Whom I affect; but she is nice and coy
And nought esteems my aged eloquence:
Now therefore, would I have thee to my tutor,
For long agone I have forgot to court; 85
Besides, the fashion of the time is chang’d,
How and which way I may bestow myself
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye. 88
Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
More than quick words do move a woman’s mind.
But she did scorn a present that I sent her. 92
A woman sometime scorns what best contents her.
Send her another; never give her o’er,
For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, ’tis not in hate of you, 96
But rather to beget more love in you;
If she do chide, ’tis not to have you gone;
For why the fools are mad if left alone.
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say; 100
For, ‘get you gone,’ she doth not mean, ‘away!’
Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
Though ne’er so black, say they have angels’ faces.
That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman. 105
But she I mean is promis’d by her friends
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,
And kept severely from resort of men, 108
That no man hath access by day to her.
Why then, I would resort to her by night.
Ay, but the doors be lock’d and keys kept safe,
That no man hath recourse to her by night. 112
What lets but one may enter at her window?
Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground,
And built so shelving that one cannot climb it
Without apparent hazard of his life. 116
Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords,
To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero’s tower,
So bold Leander would adventure it. 120
Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder.
When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.
This very night; for Love is like a child, 124
That longs for every thing that he can come by.
By seven o’clock I’ll get you such a ladder.
But hark thee; I will go to her alone:
How shall I best convey the ladder thither? 128
It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it
Under a cloak that is of any length.
A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?
Ay, my good lord.
Then let me see thy cloak: 132
I’ll get me one of such another length.
Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord.
How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak?
I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me. 136
[Pulls open Valentine’s cloak.
What letter is this same? What’s here?—To Silvia!
And here an engine fit for my proceeding!
I’ll be so bold to break the seal for once.
My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly; 140
And slaves they are to me that send them flying
O! could their master come and go as lightly,
Himself would lodge where senseless they are lying!
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them;
While I, their king, that thither them importune,
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless’d them,
Because myself do want my servants’ fortune:
I curse myself, for they are sent by me, 148
That they should harbour where their lord would be.
Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee
’Tis so; and here’s the ladder for the purpose.
Why, Phaethon,—for thou art Merops’ son,—
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car
And with thy daring folly burn the world?
Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee? 156
Go, basc intruder! overweening slave!
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates,
And think my patience, more than thy desert,
Is privilege for thy departure hence. 160
Thank me for this more than for all the favours
Which all too much I have bestow’d on thee.
But if thou linger in my territories
Longer than swiftest expedition 164
Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
By heaven! my wrath shall far exceed the love
I ever borc my daughter or thyself.
Be gone! I will not hear thy vain excuse; 168
But, as thou lov’st thy life, make speed from hence.
And why not death rather than living torment?
To die is to be banish’d from myself;
And Silvia is myself: banish’d from her 172
Is self from self,—a deadly banishment!
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by 176
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale;
Unless I look on Silvia in the day, 180
There is no day for me to look upon.
She is my essence; and I leave to be,
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster’d, illumin’d, cherish’d, kept alive. 184
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.
Enter Proteus and Launce.
Run, boy; run, run, and seek him out.
Soho! soho! 189
What seest thou?
Him we go to find: there’s not a hair on’s head but ’tis a Valentine. 192
Who then? his spirit?
Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike? 200
Who would’st thou strike?
Why, sir, I’ll strike nothing: I pray you,— 204
Sirrah, I say, forbear.—Friend Valentine, a word.
My ears are stopp’d and cannot hear good news,
So much of bad already hath possess’d them.
Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untuneable and bad. 209
Is Silvia dead?
No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia!
Hath she forsworn me? 213
No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!
What is your news? 216
Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.
That thou art banished, O, that’s the news,
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
O, I have fed upon this woe already, 220
And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
Doth Silvia know that I am banished?
Ay, ay; and she hath offer’d to the doom— 223
Which, unrevers’d, stands in effectual force—
A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears:
Those at her father’s churlish feet she tender’d;
With them, upon her knees, her humble self;
Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them 228
As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire; 232
But Valentine, if he be ta’en, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf’d him so,
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
That to close prison he commanded her, 236
With many bitter threats of biding there.
No more; unless the next word that thou speak’st
Have some malignant power upon my life:
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear, 240
As ending anthem of my endless dolour.
Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
And study help for that which thou lament’st.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good. 244
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
Hope is a lover’s staff; walk hence with that
And manage it against despairing thoughts. 248
Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence;
Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver’d
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.
The time now serves not to expostulate: 252
Come, I’ll convey thee through the city-gate,
And, ere I part with thee, confer at large
Of all that may concern thy love-affairs.
As thou lov’st Silvia, though not for thyself, 256
Regard thy danger, and along with me!
I pray thee, Launce, and if thou seest my boy,
Bid him make haste and meet me at the North-gate.
Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. 260
O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine!
[Exeunt Valentine and Proteus.
I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think my master is a kind of a knave: but that’s all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now that knows me to be in love: yet I am in love; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me, nor who ’tis I love; and yet ’tis a woman; but what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet ’tis a milkmaid; yet ’tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips; yet ’tis a maid, for she is her master’s maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel,—which is much in a bare Christian. [Pulling out a paper.] Here is the catelog of her condition. Imprimis, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands. 280
How now, Signior Launce! what news with your mastership?
With my master’s ship? why, it is at sea. 284
Well, your old vice still; mistake the word. What news, then, in your paper?
The blackest news that ever thou heardest. 288
Why, man, how black?
Why, as black as ink.
Let me read them.
Fie on thee, jolthead! thou canst not read. 293
Thou liest; I can.
I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee? 296
Marry, the son of my grandfather.
O, illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy grandmother. This proves that thou canst not read. 300
Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper.
There; and Saint Nicholas be thy speed! 304
Imprimis, She can milk.
Ay, that she can.
Item, She brews good ale.
And thereof comes the proverb, ‘Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.’ 309
Item, She can sew.
That’s as much as to say, Can she so? 312
Item, She can knit.
What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can knit him a stock?
Item, She can wash and scour. 316
A special virtue; for then she need not be washed and scoured.
Item, She can spin.
Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for her living. 321
Item, She hath many nameless virtues.
That’s as much as to say, bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore have no names.
Here follow her vices.
Close at the heels of her virtues. 328
Item, She is not to be kissed fasting, in respect of her breath.
Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast. Read on. 332
Item, She hath a sweet mouth.
That makes amends for her sour breath.
Item, She doth talk in her sleep. 336
It’s no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
Item, She is slow in words.
O villain, that set this down among her vices! To be slow in words is a woman’s only virtue: I pray thee, out with’t, and place it for her chief virtue.
Item, She is proud. 344
Out with that too: it was Eve’s legacy, and cannot be ta’en from her.
Item, She hath no teeth.
I care not for that neither, because I love crusts. 349
Item, She is curst.
Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to bite. 352
Item, She will often praise her liquor.
If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not, I will; for good things should be praised. 356
Item, She is too liberal.
Of her tongue she cannot, for that’s writ down she is slow of: of her purse she shall not, for that I’ll keep shut: now, of another thing she may, and that cannot I help. Well, proceed.
Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults. 365
Stop there; I’ll have her: she was mine, and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article. Rehearse that once more. 368
Item, She hath more hair than wit.—
More hair than wit it may be; I’ll prove it: the cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the salt; the hair, that covers the wit is more than the wit, for the greater hides the less. What’s next?
And more faults than hairs.— 376
That’s monstrous! O, that that were out!
And more wealth than faults.
Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well, I’ll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing is impossible,—
Why, then will I tell thee,—that thy master stays for thee at the North-gate. 385
For thee! ay; who art thou? he hath stayed for a better man than thee. 388
And must I go to him?
Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so long that going will scarce serve the turn. 392
Why didst not tell me sooner? pox of your love-letters!
Now will he be swing’d for reading my letter. An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets. I’ll after, to rejoice in the boy’s correction.
Enter Duke and Thurio.
Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will love you,
Now Valentine is banish’d from her sight.
Since his exile she hath despis’d me most,
Forsworn my company and rail’d at me, 4
That I am desperate of obtaining her.
This weak impress of love is as a figure
Trenched in ice, which with an hour’s heat
Dissolves to water and doth lose his form. 8
A little time will melt her frozen thoughts,
And worthless Valentine shall be forgot.
How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman
According to our proclamation gone? 12
Gone, my good lord.
My daughter takes his going grievously.
A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.
So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.
Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee,— 17
For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,—
Makes me the better to confer with thee.
Longer than I prove loyal to your Grace
Let me not live to look upon your Grace. 21
Thou know’st how willingly I would effect
The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.
I do, my lord. 24
And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
How she opposes her against my will.
She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
Ay, and perversely she persevers so. 28
What might we do to make the girl forget
The love of Valentine, and love Sir Thurio?
The best way is to slander Valentine
With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent,
Three things that women highly hold in hate.
Ay, but she’ll think that it is spoke in hate.
Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend. 37
Then you must undertake to slander him.
And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do:
’Tis an ill office for a gentleman, 40
Especially against his very friend.
Where your good word cannot advantage him,
Your slander never can endamage him:
Therefore the office is indifferent, 44
Being entreated to it by your friend.
You have prevail’d, my lord. If I can do it,
By aught that I can speak in his dispraise,
She shall not long continue love to him. 48
But say this weed her love from Valentine,
It follows not that she will love Sir Thurio.
Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
Lest it should ravel and be good to none, 52
You must provide to bottom it on me;
Which must be done by praising me as much
As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine.
And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind, 56
Because we know, on Valentine’s report,
You are already Love’s firm votary
And cannot soon revolt and change your mind.
Upon this warrant shall you have access 60
Where you with Silvia may confer at large;
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy,
And, for your friend’s sake, will be glad of you;
Where you may temper her, by your persuasion
To hate young Valentine and love my friend. 65
As much as I can do I will effect.
But you, Sir Thurio, are not sharp enough;
You must lay lime to tangle her desires 68
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rimes
Should be full-fraught with serviceable vows.
Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy. 72
Say that upon the altar of her beauty
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart.
Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line 76
That may discover such integrity:
For Orpheus’ lute was strung with poets’ sinews,
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame and huge leviathans 80
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
After your dire-lamenting elegies,
Visit by night your lady’s chamber-window
With some sweet consort: to their instruments
Tune a deploring dump; the night’s dead silence
Will well become such sweet-complaining grievance.
This, or else nothing, will inherit her.
This discipline shows thou hast been in love. 88
And thy advice this night I’ll put in practice.
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver,
Let us into the city presently
To sort some gentlemen well skill’d in music. 92
I have a sonnet that will serve the turn
To give the onset to thy good advice.
About it, gentlemen!
We’ll wait upon your grace till aftersupper, 96
And afterward determine our proceedings.
Even now about it! I will pardon you.
Enter certain Outlaws.
Fellows, stand fast; I see a passenger.
If there be ten, shrink not, but down with ’em.
Enter Valentine and Speed.
Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about ye;
If not, we’ll make you sit and rifle you. 4
Sir, we are undone: these are the villains
That all the travellers do fear so much.
That’s not so, sir; we are your enemies. 8
Peace! we’ll hear him.
Ay, by my beard, will we, for he is a proper man.
Then know, that I have little wealth to lose.
A man I am cross’d with adversity: 12
My riches are these poor habiliments,
Of which if you should here disfurnish me,
You take the sum and substance that I have.
Whither travel you? 16
Whence came you?
Have you long sojourn’d there?
Some sixteen months; and longer might have stay’d 21
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
What! were you banish’d thence?
I was. 24
For what offence?
For that which now torments me to rehearse.
I kill’d a man, whose death I much repent;
But yet I slew him manfully, in fight, 28
Without false vantage or base treachery.
Why, ne’er repent it, if it were done so.
But were you banish’d for so small a fault?
I was, and held me glad of such a doom.
Have you the tongues? 33
My youthful travel therein made me happy,
Or else I often had been miserable.
By the bare scalp of Robin Hood’s fat friar, 36
This fellow were a king for our wild faction!
We’ll have him: Sirs, a word.
Master, be one of them;
It is an honourable kind of thievery. 40
Tell us this: have you anything to take to?
Nothing, but my fortune.
Know then, that some of us are gentlemen, 44
Such as the fury of ungovern’d youth
Thrust from the company of awful men:
Myself was from Verona banished
For practising to steal away a lady, 48
An heir, and near allied unto the duke.
And I from Mantua, for a gentleman,
Who, in my mood, I stabb’d unto the heart.
And I for such like petty crimes as these. 52
But to the purpose; for we cite our faults,
That they may hold excus’d our lawless lives;
And, partly, seeing you are beautified
With goodly shape, and by your own report 56
A linguist, and a man of such perfection
As we do in our quality much want—
Indeed, because you are a banish’d man,
Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you. 60
Are you content to be our general?
To make a virtue of necessity
And live, as we do, in this wilderness?
What say’st thou? wilt thou be of our consort? 64
Say ‘ay,’ and be the captain of us all:
We’ll do thee homage and be rul’d by thee,
Love thee as our commander and our king.
But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou diest. 68
Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offer’d.
I take your offer and will live with you,
Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women, or poor passengers. 72
No; we detest such vile, base practices.
Come, go with us; we’ll bring thee to our crews,
And show thee all the treasure we have got,
Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose. 76
Already have I been false to Valentine,
And now I must be as unjust to Thurio.
Under the colour of commending him,
I have access my own love to prefer: 4
But Silvia is too fair, too true, too holy,
To be corrupted with my worthless gifts.
When I protest true loyalty to her,
She twits me with my falsehood to my friend; 8
When to her beauty I commend my vows,
She bids me think how I have been forsworn
In breaking faith with Julia whom I lov’d:
And notwithstanding all her sudden quips, 12
The least whereof would quell a lover’s hope,
Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love,
The more it grows, and fawneth on her still.
But here comes Thurio: now must we to her window, 16
And give some evening music to her ear.
Enter Thurio, and Musicians.
How now, Sir Proteus! are you crept before us?
Ay, gentle Thurio; for you know that love
Will creep in service where it cannot go. 20
Ay; but I hope, sir, that you love not here.
Sir, but I do; or else I would be hence.
Ay, Silvia, for your sake. 24
I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen,
Let’s tune, and to it lustily a while.
Enter Host and Julia behind. Julia in boy’s clothes.
Now, my young guest, methinks you’re allycholly: I pray you, why is it? 28
Marry, mine host, because I cannot be merry.
Come, we’ll have you merry. I’ll bring you where you shall hear music and see the gentleman that you asked for. 33
But shall I hear him speak?
Ay, that you shall.
That will be music.
Hark! hark! 37
Is he among these?
Ay; but peace! let’s hear ’em.
Who is Silvia? what is she? 40
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be. 44
Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness:
Love doth to her eyes repair,
To help him of his blindness; 48
And, being help’d, inhabits there.
Then to Silvia let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing 52
Upon the dull earth dwelling;
To her let us garlands bring.
How now! are you sadder than you were before? How do you, man? the music likes you not. 57
You mistake; the musician likes me not.
Why, my pretty youth?
He plays false, father. 60
How? out of tune on the strings?
Not so; but yet so false that he grieves my very heart-strings.
You have a quick ear. 64
Ay; I would I were deaf; it makes me have a slow heart.
I perceive you delight not in music.
Not a whit,—when it jars so. 68
Hark! what fine change is in the music!
Ay, that change is the spite.
You would have them always play but one thing? 72
I would always have one play but one thing.
But, host, doth this Sir Proteus that we talk on
Often resort unto this gentlewoman?
I will tell you what Launce, his man, told me: he lov’d her out of all nick. 77
Where is Launce?
Gone to seek his dog; which, to-morrow, by his master’s command, he must carry for a present to his lady. 81
Peace! stand aside: the company parts.
Sir Thurio, fear not you: I will so plead
That you shall say my cunning drift excels. 84
Where meet we?
At Saint Gregory’s well.
[Exeunt Thurio and Musicians.
Enter Silvia above, at her window.
Madam, good even to your ladyship. 88
I thank you for your music, gentlemen.
Who is that that spake?
One, lady, if you knew his pure heart’s truth,
You would quickly learn to know him by his voice. 92
Sir Proteus, as I take it.
Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
What is your will?
That I may compass yours.
You have your wish; my will is even this:
That presently you hie you home to bed. 97
Thou subtle, perjur’d, false, disloyal man!
Think’st thou I am so shallow, so conceitless,
To be seduced by thy flattery, 100
That hast deceiv’d so many with thy vows?
Return, return, and make thy love amends.
For me, by this pale queen of night I swear,
I am so far from granting thy request 104
That I despise thee for thy wrongful suit,
And by and by intend to chide myself
Even for this time I spend in talking to thee.
I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady;
But she is dead.
[Aside.] ’Tware false, if I should speak it;
For I am sure she is not buried.
Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend
Survives; to whom, thyself art witness 112
I am betroth’d: and art thou not asham’d
To wrong him with thy importunacy?
I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
And so suppose am I; for in his grave, Assure thyself my love is buried. 117
Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth.
Go to thy lady’s grave and call hers thence;
Or, at the least, in hers sepulchre thine. 120
[Aside.] He heard not that.
Madam, if your heart be so obdurate,
Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love,
The picture that is hanging in your chamber:
To that I’ll speak, to that I’ll sigh and weep;
For since the substance of your perfect self
Is else devoted, I am but a shadow,
And to your shadow will I make true love. 128
[Aside.] If ’twere a substance, you would, sure, deceive it,
And make it but a shadow, as I am.
I am very loath to be your idol, sir;
But, since your falsehood shall become you well
To worship shadows and adore false shapes, 133
Send to me in the morning and I’ll send it.
And so, good rest.
As wretches have o’er night
That wait for execution in the morn. 136
[Exeunt Proteus, and Silvia, above.
Host, will you go?
By my halidom, I was fast asleep.
Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?
Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think ’tis almost day. 141
Not so; but it hath been the longest night
That e’er I watch’d and the most heaviest.
This is the hour that Madam Silvia
Entreated me to call, and know her mind:
There’s some great matter she’d employ me in.
Enter Silvia above, at her window.
Your servant, and your friend; 4
One that attends your ladyship’s command.
Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good morrow.
As many, worthy lady, to yourself.
According to your ladyship’s impose, 8
I am thus early come to know what service
It is your pleasure to command me in.
O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman—
Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not— 12
Valiant, wise, remorseful, well-accomplish’d.
Thou art not ignorant what dear good will
I bear unto the banish’d Valentine,
Nor how my father would enforce me marry 16
Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhors.
Thyself hast lov’d; and I have heard thee say
No grief did ever come so near thy heart
As when thy lady and thy true love died, 20
Upon whose grave thou vow’dst pure chastity.
Sir Eglamour, I would to Valentine,
To Mantua, where, I hear he makes abode;
And, for the ways are dangerous to pass, 24
I do desire thy worthy company,
Upon whose faith and honour I repose.
Urge not my father’s anger, Eglamour,
But think upon my grief, a lady’s grief, 28
And on the justice of my flying hence,
To keep me from a most unholy match,
Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues.
I do desire thee, even from a heart 32
As full of sorrows as the sea of sands,
To bear me company and go with me:
If not, to hide what I have said to thee,
That I may venture to depart alone. 36
Madam, I pity much your grievances;
Which since I know they virtuously are plac’d,
I give consent to go along with you,
Recking as little what betideth me 40
As much I wish all good befortune you.
When will you go?
This evening coming.
Where shall I meet you?
At Friar Patrick’s cell,
Where I intend holy confession. 44
I will not fail your ladyship.
Good morrow, gentle lady.
Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.
Enter Launce with his dog.
When a man’s servant shall play the cur with him, look you, it goes hard; one that I brought up of a puppy; one that I saved from drowning, when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters went to it. I have taught him, even as one would say precisely, ‘Thus would I teach a dog.’ I was sent to deliver him as a present to Mistress Silvia from my master, and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber but he steps me to her trencher and steals her capon’s leg. O! ’tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies. I would have, as one should say, one that takes upon him to be a dog indeed, to be, as it were, a dog at all things. If I had not had more wit than he, to take a fault upon me that he did, I think verily he had been hanged for’t: sure as I live, he had suffered for’t: you shall judge. He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four gentleman-like dogs under the duke’s table: he had not been there—bless the mark—a pissing-while, but all the chamber smelt him. ‘Out with the dog!’ says one; ‘What cur is that?’ says another; ‘Whip him out,’ says the third; ‘Hang him up,’ says the duke. I, having been acquainted with the smell before, knew it was Crab, and goes me to the fellow that whips the dogs: ‘Friend,’ quoth I, ‘you mean to whip the dog?’ ‘Ay, marry, do I,’ quoth he. ‘You do him the more wrong,’ quoth I; ‘’twas I did the thing you wot of.’ He makes me no more ado, but whips me out of the chamber. How many masters would do this for his servant? Nay, I’ll be sworn, I have sat in the stocks for puddings he hath stolen, otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on the pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he had suffered for’t; thou thinkest not of this now. Nay, I remember the trick you served me when I took my leave of Madam Silvia: did not I bid thee still mark me and do as I do? When didst thou see me heave up my leg and make water against a gentlewoman’s farthingale? Didst thou ever see me do such a trick? 44
Enter Proteus, and Julia in boy’s clothes.
Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
And will employ thee in some service presently.
In what you please: I will do what I can.
I hope thou wilt. [To Launce.] How now, you whoreson peasant! 48
Where have you been these two days loitering?
Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.
And what says she to my little jewel? 52
Marry, she says, your dog was a cur, and tells you, currish thanks is good enough for such a present.
But she received my dog? 56
No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him back again.
What! didst thou offer her this from me?
Ay, sir: the other squirrel was stolen from me by the hangman boys in the marketplace; and then I offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift the greater. 64
Go, get thee hence, and find my dog again,
Or ne’er return again into my sight.
Away, I say! Stay’st thou to vex me here?
A slave that still an end turns me to shame. 68
Sebastian, I have entertained thee
Partly, that I have need of such a youth,
That can with some discretion do my business,
For’t is no trusting to yond foolish lout; 72
But chiefly for thy face and thy behaviour,
Which, if my augury deceive me not,
Witness good bringing up, fortune, and truth:
Therefore, know thou, for this I entertain thee.
Go presently, and take this ring with thee. 77
Deliver it to Madam Silvia:
She lov’d me well deliver’d it to me.
It seems, you lov’d not her, to leave her token. 80
She’s dead, belike?
Not so: I think, she lives.
Why dost thou cry ‘alas?’
I cannot choose
But pity her. 84
Wherefore should’st thou pity her?
Because methinks that she lov’d you as well
As you do love your lady Silvia.
She dreams on him that has forgot her love; 88
You dote on her, that cares not for your love.
’Tis pity, love should be so contrary;
And thinking on it makes me cry, ‘alas!’
Well, well, give her that ring and therewithal 92
This letter: that’s her chamber. Tell my lady
I claim the promise for her heavenly picture.
Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary.
How many women would do such a message? 97
Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain’d
A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him 100
That with his very heart despiseth me?
Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
Because I love him, I must pity him.
This ring I gave him when he parted from me,
To bind him to remember my good will; 105
And now am I—unhappy messenger—
To plead for that which I would not obtain,
To carry that which I would have refus’d, 108
To praise his faith which I would have disprais’d.
I am my master’s true-confirmed love,
But cannot be true servant to my master,
Unless I prove false traitor to myself. 112
Yet will I woo for him; but yet so coldly
As heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.
Enter Silvia, attended.
Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you, be my mean
To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.
What would you with her, if that I be she?
If you be she, I do entreat your patience To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
From whom? 120
From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
O! he sends you for a picture?
Ursula, bring my picture there. 124
[A picture brought.
Go, give your master this: tell him from me,
One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.
Madam, please you peruse this letter.—
Pardon me, madam, I have unadvis’d 129
Deliver’d you a paper that I should not:
This is the letter to your ladyship.
I pray thee, let me look on that again.
It may not be: good madam, pardon me.
I will not look upon your master’s lines:
I know, they are stuff’d with protestations 136
And full of new-found oaths, which he will break
As easily as I do tear his paper.
Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.
The more shame for him that he sends it me; 140
For, I have heard him say a thousand times,
His Julia gave it him at his departure.
Though his false finger have profan’d the ring,
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong. 144
She thanks you.
What say’st thou?
I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
Poor gentlewoman! my master wrongs her much. 148
Dost thou know her?
Almost as well as I do know myself:
To think upon her woes, I do protest
That I have wept a hundred several times. 152
Belike, she thinks, that Proteus hath forsook her.
I think she doth, and that’s her cause of sorrow.
Is she not passing fair? 155
She hath been fairer, madam, than she is.
When she did think my master lov’d her well,
She, in my judgment, was as fair as you;
But since she did neglect her looking-glass
And threw her sun-expelling mask away, 160
The air hath starv’d the roses in her cheeks
And pinch’d the lily-tincture of her face,
That now she is become as black as I.
How tall was she? 164
About my stature; for, at Pentecost,
When all our pageants of delight were play’d,
Our youth got me to play the woman’s part,
And I was trimm’d in Madam Julia’s gown, 168
Which served me as fit, by all men’s judgments,
As if the garment had been made for me:
Therefore I know she is about my height.
And at that time I made her weep agood; 172
For I did play a lamentable part.
Madam, ’twas Ariadne passioning
For Theseus’ perjury and unjust flight;
Which I so lively acted with my tears 176
That my poor mistress, moved therewithal,
Wept bitterly, and would I might be dead
If I in thought felt not her very sorrow!
She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.—
Alas, poor lady, desolate and left! 181
I weep myself to think upon thy words.
Here, youth, there is my purse: I give thee this
For thy sweet mistress’ sake, because thou lov’st her. 184
And she shall thank you for’t, if e’er you know her.—
[Exit Silvia, with Attendants.
A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful.
I hope my master’s suit will be but cold, 188
Since she respects my mistress’ love so much.
Alas, how love can trifle with itself!
Here is her picture: let me see; I think,
If I had such a tire, this face of mine 192
Were full as lovely as is this of hers;
And yet the painter flatter’d her a little,
Unless I flatter with myself too much.
Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow: 196
If that be all the difference in his love
I’ll get me such a colour’d periwig.
Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine:
Ay, but her forehead’s low, and mine’s as high.
What should it be that he respects in her 201
But I can make respective in myself,
If this fond Love were not a blinded god?
Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up,
For ’tis thy rival. O thou senseless form! 205
Thou shalt be worshipp’d, kiss’d, lov’d, and ador’d,
And, were there sense in his idolatry,
My substance should be statue in thy stead. 208
I’ll use thee kindly for thy mistress’ sake,
That us’d me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
I should have scratch’d out your unseeing eyes,
To make my master out of love with thee.
The sun begins to gild the western sky,
And now it is about the very hour
That Silvia at Friar Patrick’s cell should meet me.
She will not fail; for lovers break not hours, 4
Unless it be to come before their time,
So much they spur their expedition.
See, where she comes.
Lady, a happy evening!
Amen, amen! go on, good Eglamour, 8
Out at the postern by the abbey-wall.
I fear I am attended by some spies.
Fear not: the forest is not three leagues off;
If we recover that, we’re sure enough.
Enter Thurio, Proteus, and Julia.
Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit?
O, sir, I find her milder than she was;
And yet she takes exceptions at your person.
What! that my leg is too long? 4
No, that it is too little.
I’ll wear a boot to make it somewhat rounder.
[Aside.] But love will not be spurr’d to what it loathes.
What says she to my face? 8
She says it is a fair one.
Nay then, the wanton lies; my face is black.
But pearls are fair, and the old saying is,
‘Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies’ eyes.’
[Aside.] ’Tis true, such pearls as put out ladies’ eyes; 13
For I had rather wink than look on them.
How likes she my discourse?
Ill, when you talk of war. 16
But well, when I discourse of love and peace?
[Aside.] But better, indeed, when you hold your peace.
What says she to my valour?
O, sir, she makes no doubt of that. 20
[Aside.] She needs not, when she knows it cowardice.
What says she to my birth?
That you are well deriv’d.
[Aside.] True; from a gentleman to a fool. 24
Considers she my possessions?
O, ay; and pities them.
[Aside.] That such an ass should owe them. 28
That they are out by lease.
Here comes the duke.
How now, Sir Proteus! how now, Thurio!
Which of you saw Sir Eglamour of late? 32
Saw you my daughter?
She’s fled unto that peasant Valentine,
And Eglamour is in her company. 36
’Tis true; for Friar Laurence met them both,
As he in penance wander’d through the forest;
Him he knew well, and guess’d that it was she,
But, being mask’d, he was not sure of it; 40
Besides, she did intend confession
At Patrick’s cell this even, and there she was not.
These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence.
Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse, 44
But mount you presently and meet with me
Upon the rising of the mountain-foot,
That leads towards Mantua, whither they are fled.
Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me.
Why, this it is to be a peevish girl,
That flies her fortune when it follows her. 50
I’ll after, more to be reveng’d on Eglamour
Than for the love of reckless Silvia.
And I will follow, more for Silvia’s love
Than hate of Eglamour that goes with her.
And I will follow, more to cross that love
Than hate for Silvia that is gone for love.
Enter Outlaws with Silvia.
Be patient; we must bring you to our captain.
A thousand more mischances than this one
Have learn’d me how to brook this patiently. 4
Come, bring her away.
Where is the gentleman that was with her?
Being nimble-footed, he hath outrun us;
But Moyses and Valerius follow him. 8
Go thou with her to the west end of the wood;
There is our captain. We’ll follow him that’s fled:
The thicket is beset; he cannot ’scape.
[Exeunt all except the First Outlaw and Silvia.
Come, I must bring you to our captain’s cave. 12
Fear not; he bears an honourable mind,
And will not use a woman lawlessly.
O Valentine! this I endure for thee.
How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desart, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, 4
And to the nightingale’s complaining notes
Tune my distresses and record my woes.
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless, 8
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall
And leave no memory of what it was!
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia! 11
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain!
What halloing and what stir is this to-day?
These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
Have some unhappy passenger in chase.
They love me well; yet I have much to do 16
To keep them from uncivil outrages.
Withdraw thee, Valentine: who’s this comes here?
Enter Proteus, Silvia, and Julia.
Madam, this service I have done for you—
Though you respect not aught your servant doth— 20
To hazard life and rescue you from him
That would have forc’d your honour and your love.
Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look;
A smaller boon than this I cannot beg, 24
And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give.
[Aside.] How like a dream is this I see and hear!
Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.
O, miserable, unhappy that I am! 28
Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came;
But by my coming I have made you happy.
By thy approach thou mak’st me most unhappy.
[Aside.] And me, when he approacheth to your presence. 32
Had I been seized by a hungry lion,
I would have been a breakfast to the beast,
Rather than have false Proteus rescue me.
O! heaven be judge how I love Valentine, 36
Whose life’s as tender to me as my soul,
And full as much—for more there cannot be—
I do detest false perjur’d Proteus.
Therefore be gone, solicit me no more. 40
What dangerous action, stood it next to death,
Would I not undergo for one calm look!
O, ’tis the curse in love, and still approv’d,
When women cannot love where they’re belov’d! 44
When Proteus cannot love where he’s belov’d.
Read over Julia’s heart, thy first best love,
For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith
Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths 48
Descended into perjury to love me.
Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou’dst two,
And that’s far worse than none: better have none
Than plural faith which is too much by one. 52
Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!
Who respects friend?
All men but Proteus.
Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
Can no way change you to a milder form, 56
I’ll woo you like a soldier, at arms’ end,
And love you ’gainst the nature of love,—force ye.
I’ll force thee yield to my desire.
[Coming forward.] Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch; 60
Thou friend of an ill fashion!
Thou common friend, that’s without faith or love—
For such is a friend now—treach’rous man!
Thou hast beguil’d my hopes: naught but mine eye 64
Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say
I have one friend alive: thou wouldst disprove me.
Who should be trusted now, when one’s right hand
Is perjur’d to the bosom? Proteus, 68
I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deep’st. O time most curst!
’Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!
My shame and guilt confound me. 73
Forgive me, Valentine. If hearty sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender’t here: I do as truly suffer 76
As e’er I did commit.
Then, I am paid;
And once again I do receive thee honest.
Who by repentance is not satisfied
Is nor of heaven, nor earth; for these are pleas’d.
By penitence the Eternal’s wrath’s appeas’d: 81
And, that my love may appear plain and free,
All that was mine in Silvia I give thee.
O me unhappy!
Look to the boy. 85
Why, boy! why, wag! how now! what’s the matter?
Look up; speak.
O good sir, my master charg’d me 88
To deliver a ring to Madam Silvia,
Which out of my neglect was never done.
Where is that ring, boy?
Here ’tis this is it.
[Gives a ring.
How! let me see. 92
Why this is the ring I gave to Julia.
O, cry you mercy, sir; I have mistook:
This is the ring you sent to Silvia.
[Shows another ring.
But how cam’st thou by this ring? 96
At my depart I gave this unto Julia.
And Julia herself did give it me;
And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
How! Julia! 100
Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,
And entertain’d them deeply in her heart:
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
O Proteus! let this habit make thee blush. 104
Be thou asham’d that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment; if shame live
In a disguise of love.
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds, 108
Women to change their shapes than men their minds.
Than men their minds! ’tis true. O heaven! were man
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins: 112
Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
What is in Silvia’s face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia’s with a constant eye?
Come, come, a hand from either. 116
Let me be blest to make this happy close:
’Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish, for ever.
And I mine. 120
Enter Outlaws with Duke and Thurio.
A prize! a prize! a prize!
Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Your Grace is welcome to a man disgrac’d,
Sir Valentine! 124
Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia’s mine.
Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
Come not within the measure of my wrath;
Do not name Silvia thine; if once again, 128
Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands;
Take but possession of her with a touch;
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.
Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I. 132
I hold him but a fool that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine. 135
The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.
Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine, 140
And think thee worthy of an empress’ love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
Plead a new state in thy unrivall’d merit, 144
To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman and well deriv’d;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserv’d her.
I thank your Grace; the gift hath made me happy. 148
I now beseech you, for your daughter’s sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.
I grant it, for thine own, whate’er it be.
These banish’d men, that I have kept withal 152
Are men endu’d with worthy qualities:
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recall’d from their exile.
They are reformed, civil, full of good, 156
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Thou hast prevail’d; I pardon them, and thee:
Dispose of them as thou know’st their deserts.
Come, let us go: we will include all jars 160
With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.
And as we walk along, I dare be bold
With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.
What think you of this page, my lord? 164
I think the boy hath grace in him: he blushes.
I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.
What mean you by that saying?
Please you, I’ll tell you as we pass along,
That you will wonder what hath fortuned. 169
Come, Proteus; ’tis your penance, but to hear
The story of your loves discovered:
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. 173
|Sir John Falstaff.|
|Fenton,||a young Gentleman.|
|Shallow,||a Country Justice.|
|Slender,||Cousin to Shallow.|
|Ford, }||two Gentlemen dwelling at Windsor.|
|William Page,||a Boy, Son to Page.|
|Sir Hugh Evans,||a Welsh Parson.|
|Doctor Caius,||a French Physician.|
|Host||of the Garter Inn.|
|Bardolph, Pistol, Nym,||Followers of Falstaff.|
|Robin,||Page to Falstaff.|
|Simple,||Servant to Slender.|
|Rugby,||Servant to Doctor Caius.|
|Anne Page,||her Daughter, in love with Fenton.|
|Mistress Quickly,||Servant to Doctor Caius.|
|Servants to Page, Ford, &c.|
Scene.—Windsor; and the Neighbourhood.
Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans.
Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-chamber matter of it; if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire. 4
In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and coram.
Ay, cousin Slender, and cust-alorum.
Ay, and rato-lorum too; and a gentleman born, Master Parson; who writes himself armigero, in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation,—armigero. 11
Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
All his successors gone before him hath done’t; and all his ancestors that come after him may: they may give the dozen white luces in their coat. 17
It is an old coat.
The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love. 21
The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
I may quarter, coz? 24
You may, by marrying.
It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
Not a whit.
Yes, py’r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the Church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compremises between you. 34
The Council shall hear it; it is a riot.
It is not meet the Council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot. The Council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments in that.
Ha! o’ my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it. 41
It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it; and there is also another device in my prain, which, peradventure, prings goot discretions with it. There is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity.
Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman. 49
It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold and silver, is her grandsire, upon his death’s-bed,—Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!—give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old. It were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound? 60
Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts. 64
Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there? 68
Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a har as I do despise one that is false; or as I despise one that is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door for Master Page. [Knocks.] What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
[Within ] Who’s there? 76
Here is Got’s plessing, and your friend. and Justice Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that peradventures shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to your likings. 80
I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.
Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it your good heart! I wished your venison better; it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?—and I thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.
Sir, I thank you. 88
Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall. 93
It could not be judged, sir.
You’ll not confess, you’ll not confess.
That he will not: ’tis your fault, ’tis your fault. ’Tis a good dog. 97
A cur, sir.
Sir, he’s a good dog, and a fair dog; can there be more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff here? 101
Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office between you.
It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
He hath wronged me, Master Page. 105
Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
If it be confessed, it is not redressed: is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed, he hath;—at a word, he hath,—believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.
Here comes Sir John. 112
Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me to the king?
Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge. 116
But not kissed your keeper’s daughter?
Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.
I will answer it straight: I have done all this. That is now answered. 120
The Council shall know this.
’Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you’ll be laughed at.
Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts. 124
Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?
Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket. 132
You Banbury cheese!
Ay, it is no matter.
How now, Mephistophilus!
Ay, it is no matter. 136
Slice, I say! pauca, pauca; slice! that’s my humour.
Where’s Simple, my man? can you tell, cousin? 140
Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand: there is three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that is—Master Page, fidelicet, Master Page; and there is myself, fidelicet, myself; and the three party is, lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.
We three, to hear it and end it between them. 148
Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with as great discreetly as we can.
He hears with ears.
The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, ‘He hears with ear?’ Why, it is affectations.
Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse? 157
Ay, by these gloves, did he,—or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else,—of seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Is this true, Pistol? 164
No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Ha, thou mountain foreigner!—Sir John and master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
Word of denial in thy labras here! 168
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest.
By these gloves, then, ’twas he.
Be avised, sir, and pass good humours. I will say, ‘marry trap,’ with you, if you run the nuthook’s humour on me: that is the very note of it. 174
By this hat, then, he in the red face had it; for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass. 178
What say you, Scarlet and John?
Why, sir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
It is his ‘five senses;’ fie, what the ignorance is! 183
And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashier’d; and so conclusions pass’d the careires.
Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but ’tis no matter. I’ll ne’er be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick: if I be drunk, I’ll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves. 191
So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it. 194
Enter Anne Page, with Wine; Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.
Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we’ll drink within.
[Exit Anne Page.
O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
How now, Mistress Ford!
Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress. 200
Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness. 204
[Exeunt all but Shallow, Slender, and Evans.
I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of Songs and Sonnets here.
How now, Simple! Where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you? 209
Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon All-Hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas? 212
Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as ’twere a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here: do you understand me? 216
Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable: if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
Nay, but understand me.
So I do, sir. 220
Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you pe capacity of it.
Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says. I pray you pardon me; he’s a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.
But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage. 228
Ay, there’s the point, sir.
Marry, is it, the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands. 233
But can you affection the ’oman? Let us command to know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the mouth: therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid? 239
Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason. 243
Nay, Got’s lords and his ladies! you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.
That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her? 248
I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.
Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do, is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid? 253
I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married and have more occasion to know one another: I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you say, ‘Marry her,’ I will marry her; that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely. 261
It is a fery discretion answer; save, the faul is in the ort ‘dissolutely:’ the ort is, according to our meaning, ‘resolutely.’ His meaning is goot.
Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la! 268
Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
Re-enter Anne Page.
Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne.
The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships’ company. 273
I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
Od’s plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace. 276
[Exeunt Shallow and Evans.
Will’t please your worship to come in, sir?
No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well. 280
The dinner attends you, sir.
I am not a-hungry, I thank you forsooth. Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow. [Exit Simple.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholding to his friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead; but what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born. 289
I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.
I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
I pray you, sir, walk in. 294
I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin th’ other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes;—and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i’ the town? 301
I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?
Ay, indeed, sir. 308
That’s meat and drink to me, now: I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women, indeed, cannot abide ’em; they are very ill-favoured rough things. 315
Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
I’ll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come. 320
Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Come on, sir.
Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
Not I, sir; pray you, keep on. 324
Truly, I will not go first: truly, la! I will not do you that wrong.
I pray you, sir.
I’ll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself wrong, indeed, la! 329
Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple.
Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius’ house, which is the way: and there dwells one Mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his try nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer. 5
Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter; for it is a ’oman that altogether’s acquaintance with Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master’s desires to Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will make an end of my dinner; there’s pippins and seese to come. 13
Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and Robin.
Mine host of the Garter!
What says my bully-rook? Speak scholarly and wisely.
Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers. 5
Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
I sit at ten pounds a week. 8
Thou’rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
Do so, good mine host. 12
I have spoke; let him follow. [To Bard.] Let me see thee forth and lime: I am at a word; follow.
Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man, a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
It is a life that I have desired. I will thrive. 20
O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
He was gotten in drink; is not the humour conceited? 24
I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox; his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer; he kept not time.
The good humour is to steal at a minim’s rest. 29
‘Convey,’ the wise it call. ‘Steal!’ foh! a fico for the phrase!
Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels. 32
Why, then, let kibes ensue.
There is no remedy; I must conycatch, I must shift.
Merry Wives of Windsor, by R. Smirke.
Young ravens must have food. 36
Which of you know Ford of this town?
I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about. 41
Two yards, and more.
No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford’s wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, ‘I am Sir John Falstaff’s.’ 51
He hath studied her well, and translated her well, out of honesty into English.
The anchor is deep: will that humour pass? 55
Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband’s purse; he hath a legion of angels.
As many devils entertain, and ‘To her, boy,’ say I. 60
The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
I have writ me here a letter to her; and here another to Page’s wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious œilliades: sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
Then did the sun on dunghill shine. 68
I thank thee for that humour.
O! she did so course o’er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass. Here’s another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be ’cheator to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me: they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to Mistress Ford. We will thrive, lads, we will thrive. 80
Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter. I will keep the haviour of reputation. 85
[To Robin.] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly:
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence! avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o’the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of this age,
French thrift, you rogues: myself and skirted page.
[Exeunt Falstaff and Robin.
Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds, 92
And high and low beguile the rich and poor.
Tester I’ll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!
I have operations in my head, which be humours of revenge. 97
Wilt thou revenge?
By welkin and her star!
With wit or steel? 100
With both the humours, I:
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
And I to Ford shall eke unfold
How Falstaff, varlet vile, 104
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.
My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour. 110
Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee; troop on.
Enter Mistress Quickly and Simple.
What, John Rugby!—
I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming: if he do, i’ faith, and find anybody in the house, here will be an old abusing of God’s patience and the king’s English. 6
I’ll go watch.
Go; and we’ll have a posset for’t soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. [Exit Rugby.] An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale, nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish that way, but nobody but has his fault; but let that pass. Peter Simple you say your name is? 16
Ay, for fault of a better.
And Master Slender’s your master?
Does he not wear a great round beard like a glover’s paring-knife? 21
No, forsooth: he hath but a little wheyface, with a little yellow beard—a cane-coloured beard. 24
A softly-sprighted man, is he not?
Ay, forsooth; but he is as tall a man of his hands as any is between this and his head: he hath fought with a warrener. 28
How say you?—O! I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
Yes, indeed, does he. 32
Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish— 36
Out, alas! here comes my master.
We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet. [Shuts Simple in the closet.] He will not stay long. What, John Rugby! John, what, John, I say! Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home. [Exit Rugby.] [Sings.]
‘And down, down, adown-a,’ &c. 44
Enter Doctor Caius.
Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet une boitine verde; a box, a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box. 48
Ay, forsooth; I’ll fetch it you. [Aside.] I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m’en vais à la cour,—la grande affaire. 54
Is it this, sir?
Oui; mettez le au mon pocket; dépêchez, quickly.—Vere is dat knave Rugby?
What, John Rugby! John! 58
You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby: come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to de court.
’Tis ready, sir, here in the porch. 63
By my trot, I tarry too long.—Od’s me! Qu’ay j’oublié? dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for de varld I shall leave behind. 67
[Aside.] Ay me! he’ll find the young man there, and be mad.
O diable! diable! vat is in my closet?—Villain! larron! [Pulling Simple out.] Rugby, my rapier! 72
Good master, be content.
Verefore shall I be content-a?
The young man is an honest man.
Vat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet. 78
I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh. 81
Ay, forsooth, to desire her to—
Peace, I pray you. 84
Peace-a your tongue!—Speak-a your tale.
To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my master in the way of marriage. 89
This is all, indeed, la! but I’ll ne’er put my finger in the fire, and need not.
Sir Hugh send-a you?—Rugby, baillez me some paper: tarry you a little-a while. 93
I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been throughly moved, you should have heard him so loud, and so melancholy. But, notwithstanding, man, I’ll do your master what good I can; and the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my master,—I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself,— 102
’Tis a great charge to come under one body’s hand.
Are you avis’d o’ that? you shall find it a great charge: and to be up early and down late; but notwithstanding,—to tell you in your ear,—I would have no words of it,—my master himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that, I know Anne’s mind, that’s neither here nor there. 111
You jack’nape, give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a challenge: I vill cut his troat in de Park; and I vill teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good you tarry here: by gar, I vill cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog.
Alas! he speaks but for his friend. 119
It is no matter-a for dat:—do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine host of de Jartiere to measure our weapon. By gar, I vill myself have Anne Page.
Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer! 127
Rugby, come to the court vit me. By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door. Follow my heels, Rugby.
[Exeunt Caius and Rugby.
You shall have An fool’s-head of your own. No, I know Anne’s mind for that: never a woman in Windsor knows more of Anne’s mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.
[Within.] Who’s within there? ho! 136
Who’s there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.
How now, good woman! how dost thou?
The better, that it pleases your good worship to ask. 141
What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?
In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? Shall I not lose my suit? 149
Troth, sir, all is in his hands above; but notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I’ll be sworn on a book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart above your eye? 153
Yes, marry have I; what of that?
Well, thereby hangs a tale. Good faith, it is such another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread: we had an hour’s talk of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that maid’s company;—but, indeed, she is given too much to allicholy and musing. But for you—well, go to. 161
Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there’s money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me. 165
Will I? i’ faith, that we will: and I will tell your worship more of the wart the next time we have confidence; and of other wooers. 169
Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.
Farewell to your worship.—[Exit Fenton.] Truly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not; for I know Anne’s mind as well as another does. Out upon’t! what have I forgot?
Enter Mistress Page, with a Letter.
What! have I ’scaped love-letters in the holiday-time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see.
Ask me no reason why I love you; for though Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more am I; go to then, there’s sympathy; you are merry, so am I, ha! ha! then, there’s more sympathy, you love sack, and so do I, would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page, at the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice, that I love thee I will not say, pity me,—’tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me,
Thine own true knight,
By day or night, 16
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight,
What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked, wicked world! one that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked, with the devil’s name! out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I say to him? I was then frugal of my mirth:—heaven forgive me! Why, I’ll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings. 32
Enter Mistress Ford.
Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.
And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill. 36
Nay, I’ll ne’er believe that: I have to show to the contrary.
Faith, but you do, in my mind.
Well, I do then; yet, I say I could show you to the contrary. O, Mistress Page! give me some counsel. 42
What’s the matter, woman?
O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour! 45
Hang the trifle, woman; take the honour. What is it?—dispense with trifles;—what is it? 48
If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.
What? thou liest. Sir Alice Ford! These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry. 53
We burn daylight: here, read, read; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat men as long as I have an eye to make difference of men’s liking: and yet he would not swear; praised women’s modesty; and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere and keep place together than the Hundredth Psalm to the tune of ‘Green Sleeves.’ What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged on him? I think, the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like? 70
Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here’s the twin brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names, sure more, and these are of the second edition. He will print them, out of doubt; for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two: I had rather be a grantess, and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man. 83
Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?
Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I’ll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
Boarding call you it? I’ll be sure to keep him above deck. 93
So will I: if he come under my hatches, I’ll never to sea again. Let’s be revenged on him: let’s appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his suit, and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter. 99
Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy.
Why, look, where he comes; and my good man too: he’s as far from jealousy, as I am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance.
You are the happier woman. 108
Let’s consult together against this greasy knight. Come hither.
Enter Ford, Pistol, Page, and Nym.
Well, I hope it be not so.
Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs: 112
Sir John affects thy wife.
Why, sir, my wife is not young.
He woos both high and low, both rich and poor,
Both young and old, one with another, Ford. 116
He loves the galimaufry: Ford, perpend.
Love my wife!
With liver burning hot: prevent, or go thou,
Like Sir Actæon he, with Ringwood at thy heels.—
O! odious is the name! 121
What name, sir?
The horn, I say. Farewell:
Take heed; have open eye, for thieves do foot by night: 124
Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing.
Away, sir Corporal Nym!
Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.
[Aside.] I will be patient: I will find out this. 129
[To Page.] And this is true; I like not the humour of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I should have borne the humoured letter to her, but I have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there’s the short and the long. My name is Corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch ’tis true: my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife. Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and cheese; and there’s the humour of it. Adieu.
[Aside.] ‘The humour of it,’ quoth’a! here’s a fellow frights humour out of his wits. 142
I will seek out Falstaff.
I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue. 145
If I do find it: well.
I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest o’ the town commended him for a true man. 149
’Twas a good sensible fellow: well.
How now, Meg!
Whither go you, George?—Hark you. 153
How now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy?
I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go. 157
Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now. Will you go, Mistress Page?
Have with you. You’ll come to dinner, George? [Aside to Mrs. Ford.] Look, who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
Trust me, I thought on her: she’ll fit it. 165
Enter Mistress Quickly.
You are come to see my daughter Anne?
Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne? 169
Go in with us, and see: we’d have an hour’s talk with you.
[Exeunt Mistress Page, Mistress Ford, and Mistress Quickly.
How now, Master Ford! 172
You heard what this knave told me, did you not?
Yes; and you heard what the other told me? 176
Do you think there is truth in them?
Hang ’em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service.
Were they his men?
Marry, were they. 184
I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter?
Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loth to turn them together. A man may be too confident: I would have nothing ‘lie on my head:’ I cannot be thus satisfied. 194
Look, where my ranting host of the Garter comes. There is either liquor in his pate or money in his purse when he looks so merrily.— 198
Enter Host and Shallow.
How now, mine host!
How now, bully-rook! thou’rt a gentleman. Cavaliero-justice, I say! 201
I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand. 204
Tell him, cavaliero-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor. 209
Good mine host o’ the Garter, a word with you.
What sayest thou, my bully-rook? 212
[They go aside.
[To Page.] Will you go with us to behold it? My merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
[They go aside.
Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier? 220
None, I protest: but I’ll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him my name is Brook, only for a jest.
My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well? and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry knight. Will you go, mynheers?
Have with you, mine host. 228
I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.
Tut, sir! I could have told you more. In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: ’tis the heart, Master Page; ’tis here, ’tis here. I have seen the time with my long sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats. 236
Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
Have with you. I had rather hear them scold than fight.
[Exeunt Host, Shallow, and Page.
Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife’s frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily. She was in his company at Page’s house, and what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into’t; and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, ’tis labour well bestowed.
Enter Falstaff and Pistol.
I will not lend thee a penny.
Why, then the world’s mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.
I will retort the sum in equipage. 4
Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow Nym; or else you had looked through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t upon mine honour thou hadst it not. 14
Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?
Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou, I’ll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me; I am no gibbet for you: go: a short knife and a throng!—to your manor of Picht-hatch! go. You’ll not bear a letter for me, you rogue!—you stand upon your honour!—Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of mine honour precise. I, I, I, myself sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you!
I do relent: what wouldst thou more of man? 32
Sir, here’s a woman would speak with you.
Let her approach.
Enter Mistress Quickly.
Give your worship good morrow. 36
Good morrow, good wife.
Not so, an’t please your worship.
Good maid, then.
I’ll be sworn 40
As my mother was, the first hour I was born.
I do believe the swearer. What with me?
Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two? 44
Two thousand, fair woman; and I’ll vouchsafe thee the hearing.
There is one Mistress Ford, sir,—I pray, come a little nearer this ways:—I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius. 49
Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,—
Your worship says very true:—I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways. 52
I warrant thee, nobody hears; mine own people, mine own people.
Are they so? God bless them, and make them his servants! 56
Well: Mistress Ford; what of her?
Why, sir, she’s a good creature. Lord, Lord! your worship’s a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray! 60
Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,—
Marry, this is the short and the long of it. You have brought her into such a canaries as ’tis wonderful: the best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary; yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly—all musk, and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best and the fairest, that would have won any woman’s heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty angels given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in any such sort, as they say, but in the way of honesty: and, I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all; and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
But what says she to me? be brief, my good she Mercury. 83
Marry, she hath received your letter; for the which she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you to notify that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven. 88
Ten and eleven?
Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wot of: Master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; he’s a very jealousy man; she leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.
Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her. 97
Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to your worship: Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too: and let me tell you in your ear, she’s as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe’er be the other: and she bade me tell your worship that her husband is seldom from home; but, she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man: surely, I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth. 109
Not I, I assure thee: setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.
Blessing on your heart for’t! 112
But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford’s wife and Page’s wife acquainted each other how they love me? 115
That were a jest indeed! they have not so little grace, I hope: that were a trick, indeed! But Mistress Page would desire you to send her your little page, of all loves: her husband has a marvellous infection to the little page; and, truly, Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does: do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will: and, truly she deserves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy. 128
Why, I will.
Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and in any case have a nay-word, that you may know one another’s mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for ’tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world. 137
Fare thee well: commend me to them both. There’s my purse; I am yet thy debtor.—Boy, go along with this woman.—[Exeunt Mistress Quickly and Robin.] This news distracts me. 142
This punk is one of Cupid’s carriers.
Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights;
Give fire! she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
Sayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I’ll make more of thy old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee. Let them say ’tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter. 151
Enter Bardolph, with a cup of Sack.
Sir John, there’s one Master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you: and hath sent your worship a morning’s draught of sack.
Brook is his name? 156
Call him in. [Exit Bardolph.] Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o’erflow such liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have I encompassed you? go to; via! 161
Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford disguised.
Bless your, sir!
And you, sir; would you speak with me?
I make bold to press with so little preparation upon you. 165
You’re welcome. What’s your will?—Give us leave, drawer.
Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much: my name is Brook. 169
Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
Good Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you; for I must let you understand I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something emboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion; for, they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open. 177
Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me: if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage. 183
Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
Speak, good Master Brook; I shall be glad to be your servant. 189
Sir, I hear you are a scholar,—I will be brief with you, and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never so good means, as desire, to make myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfection; but, good Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender. 200
Very well, sir; proceed.
There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband’s name is Ford.
Well, sir. 204
I have long loved her, and, I protest to you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her; fee’d every slight occasion that could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to know what she would have given. Briefly, I have pursued her as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind or in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none; unless experience be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite rate; and that hath taught me to say this,
Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues; 220
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues
Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
Have you importuned her to such a purpose?
Of what quality was your love, then? 228
Like a fair house built upon another man’s ground; so that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected it.
To what purpose have you unfolded this to me? 233
When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that though she appear honest to me, yet in other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your place and person, generally allowed for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
O, sir! 244
Believe it, for you know it. There is money; spend it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford’s wife: use your art of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any. 251
Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously. 255
O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not present itself: she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to commend themselves: I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too-too strongly embattled against me. What say you to’t, Sir John? 266
Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford’s wife.
O good sir!
I say you shall. 272
Want no money, Sir John; you shall want none.
Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook; you shall want none. I shall be with her, I may tell you, by her own appointment; even as you came in to me, her assistant or go-between parted from me: I say I shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave her husband will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall know how I speed. 283
I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, sir?
Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not. Yet I wrong him, to call him poor: they say the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the which his wife seems to me well-favoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue’s coffer; and there’s my harvest-home. 292
I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him, if you saw him.
Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o’er the cuckold’s horns. Master Brook, thou shalt know I will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt he with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford’s a knave, and I will aggravate his style; thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and cuckold. Come to me soon at night.
What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him, the hour is fixed, the match is made. Would any man have thought this? See the hell of having a false woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils’ additions, the names of fiends: but Cuckold! Wittol!—Cuckold! the devil himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass: he will trust his wife; he will not be jealous. I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. God be praised for my jealousy! Eleven o’clock the hour: I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it; better three hours too soon than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!
Enter Caius and Rugby.
Vat is de clock, Jack?
’Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet. 5
By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come: he has pray his Pible vell, dat he is no come. By gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come. 9
He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill him, if he came.
By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Alas, sir! I cannot fence.
Villany, take your rapier. 16
Forbear; here’s company.
Enter Host, Shallow, Slender, and Page.
Bless thee, bully doctor!
Save you, Master Doctor Caius!
Now, good Master doctor! 20
Give you good morrow, sir.
Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?
To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse; to see thee here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my Æsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully stale? is he dead? 31
By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld; he is not show his face.
Thou art a Castilian King Urinal! Hector of Greece, my boy! 35
I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come. 38
He is the wiser man, Master doctor: he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should fight, you go against the hair of your professions. Is it not true, Master Page? 43
Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one. Though we are justices and doctors and churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; we are the sons of women, Master Page.
’Tis true, Master Shallow. 52
It will be found so, Master Page. Master Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace: you have showed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman. You must go with me, Master doctor.
Pardon, guest-justice.—A word, Monsieur Mockwater. 60
Mock-vater! vat is dat?
Mock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
By gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as de Englishman. — Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me vill cut his ears.
He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat? 68
That is, he will make thee amends.
By gar, me do look, he shall clapper-de-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it.
And I will provoke him to’t, or let him wag. 73
Me tank you for dat.
And moreover, bully,—But first, Master guest, and Master Page, and eke Cavaliero Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore. 77
[Aside to them.
Sir Hugh is there, is he?
He is there: see what humour he is in; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well? 81
We will do it.
Adieu, good Master doctor.
[Exeunt Page, Shal., and Slen.
By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page. 86
Let him die. Sheathe thy impatience; throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mistress Anne Page is, at a farmhouse a-feasting; and thou shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well? 92
By gar, me tank you for dat: by gar, I love you; and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients. 96
For the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne Page: said I well?
By gar, ’tis good; vell said.
Let us wag, then. 100
Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple.
I pray you now, good Master Slender’s serving-man, and friend Simple by your name, which way have you looked for Master Caius, that calls himself doctor of physic? 4
Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the parkward, every way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town way.
I most fehemently desire you you will also look that way. 9
I will, sir.
Pless my soul! how full of chollors I am, and trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have deceived me. How melancholies I am! I will knog his urinals about his knave’s costard when I have goot opportunities for the ’ork: pless my soul!
To shallow rivers, to whose falls 17
Melodious birds sing madrigals;
There will we make our peds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant pasies. 20
Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.
Melodious birds sing madrigals,—
When as I sat in Pabylon,— 24
And a thousand vagram posies.
Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.
To shallow rivers, to whose falls— 29
Heaven prosper the right!—what weapons is he?
No weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over the stile, this way. 33
Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.
[Reads in a book.
Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.
How now, Master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.
[Aside.] Ah, sweet Anne Page! 40
Save you, good Sir Hugh!
Pless you from His mercy sake, all of you!
What, the sword and the word! do you study them both, Master Parson? 45
And youthful still in your doublet and hose! this raw rheumatic day?
There is reasons and causes for it. 48
We are come to you to do a good office, Master parson.
Fery well: what is it?
Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike having received wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you saw. 55
I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.
What is he?
I think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, the renowned French physician. 61
Got’s will, and his passion of my heart! I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge. 64
He has no more knowledge in Hibbocrates and Galen,—and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you would desires to be acquainted withal.
I warrant you, he’s the man should fight with him.
[Aside.] O, sweet Anne Page! 72
It appears so, by his weapons. Keep them asunder: here comes Doctor Caius.
Enter Host, Caius, and Rugby.
Nay, good Master parson, keep in your weapon. 76
So do you, good Master doctor.
Disarm them, and let them question: let them keep their limbs whole and hack our English. 80
I pray you, let-a me speak a word vit your ear: verefore vill you not meet-a me?
[Aside to Caius.] Pray you, use your patience: in good time. 84
By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.
[Aside to Caius.] Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs to other men’s humours; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends: [Aloud.] I will knog your urinals about your knave’s cogscomb for missing your meetings and appointments. 92
Diable!—Jack Rugby,—mine host de Jarretierre,—have I not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place I did appoint?
As I am a Christians soul, now, look you, this is the place appointed: I’ll be judgment by mine host of the Garter.
Peace, I say, Gallia and Guallia; French and Welsh, soul-curer and body-curer! 100
Ay, dat is very good; excellent.
Peace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my Sir Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so;—give me thy hand celestial; so. Boys of art, I have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace; follow, follow, follow. 114
Trust me, a mad host!—Follow, gentlemen, follow.
[Aside.] O, sweet Anne Page!
[Exeunt Shallow, Slender, Page, and Host.
Ha! do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of us, ha, ha? 119
This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. I desire you that we may be friends and let us knog our prains together to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy, cogging companion, the host of the Garter. 124
By gar, vit all my heart. He promise to bring me vere is Anne Page: by gar, he deceive me too.
Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow.
Enter Mistress Page and Robin.
Nay, keep your way, little gallant: you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a leader. Whether had you rather lead mine eyes, or eye your master’s heels? 4
I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man than follow him like a dwarf.
O! you are a flattering boy: now I see you’ll be a courtier. 8
Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
Truly, sir, to see your wife: is she at home? 12
Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company. I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.
Be sure of that,—two other husbands.
Where had you this pretty weathercock?
I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of. What do you call your knight’s name, sirrah?
Sir John Falstaff.
Sir John Falstaff! 24
He, he; I can never hit on’s name. There is such a league between my good man and he! Is your wife at home indeed?
Indeed she is. 28
By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.
[Exeunt Mistress Page and Robin.
Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve score. He pieces out his wife’s inclination; he gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she’s going to my wife, and Falstaff’s boy with her. A man may hear this shower sing in the wind: and Falstaff’s boy with her! Good plots! they are laid; and our revolted wives share damnation together. Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim. [Clock strikes.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff. I shall be rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as positive as the earth is firm, that Falstaff is there: I will go. 52
Enter Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, Sir Hugh Evans, Caius, and Rugby.
Well met, Master Ford.
Trust me, a good knot. I have good cheer at home; and I pray you all go with me.
I must excuse myself, Master Ford. 56
And so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I’ll speak of.
We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
I hope I have your good will, father Page. 64
You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you: but my wife, Master doctor, is for you altogether.
Ay, by gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush. 69
What say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will carry’t, he will carry’t; ’tis in his buttons; he will carry’t. 74
Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having: he kept company with the wild prince and Pointz; he is of too high a region; he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my substance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way. 82
I beseech you heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor, you shall go; so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.
Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing at Master Page’s. 89
[Exeunt Shallow and Slender.
Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.
Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
[Aside.] I think I shall drink in pipewine first with him; I’ll make him dance. Will you go, gentles? 96
Have with you to see this monster.
Enter Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.
What, John! what, Robert!
Quickly, quickly:—Is the buckbasket—
I warrant. What, Robin, I say! 4
Enter Servants with a Basket.
Come, come, come.
Here, set it down.
Give your men the charge; we must be brief. 8
Marry, as I told you before, John, and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brewhouse; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and without any pause or staggering, take this basket on your shoulders: that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry it among the whitsters in Datchet-mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch, close by the Thames side. 16
You will do it?
I have told them over and over; they lack no direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.
Here comes little Robin. 21
How now, my eyas-musket! what news with you?
My master, Sir John, is come in at your back-door, Mistress Ford, and requests your company.
You little Jack-a-Lent, have you been true to us? 28
Ay, I’ll be sworn. My master knows not of your being here, and hath threatened to put me into everlasting liberty if I tell you of it; for he swears he’ll turn me away. 32
Thou’rt a good boy; this secrecy of thine shall be a tailor to thee and shall make thee a new doublet and hose. I’ll go hide me.
Do so. Go tell thy master I am alone. [Exit Robin.] Mistress Page, remember you your cue. 38
I warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me.
Go to, then: we’ll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watery pumpion; we’ll teach him to know turtles from jays. 44
‘Have I caught my heavenly jewel?’ Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough: this is the period of my ambition: O this blessed hour! 48
O, sweet Sir John!
Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy husband were dead. I’ll speak it before the best lord, I would make thee my lady.
I your lady, Sir John! alas, I should be a pitiful lady. 56
Let the court of France show me such another. I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast the right arched beauty of the brow that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of Venetian admittance. 61
A plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither. 64
By the Lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thou wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it. 71
Believe me, there’s no such thing in me.
What made me love thee? let that persuade thee there’s something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog and say thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping hawthornbuds, that come like women in men s apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury in simple-time; I cannot; but I love thee; none but thee; and thou deservest it. 81
Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love Mistress Page.
Thou mightst as well say, I love to walk by the Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.
Well, heaven knows how I love you; and you shall one day find it. 88
Keep in that mind; I’ll deserve it.
Nay, I must tell you, so you do, or else I could not be in that mind.
[Within.] Mistress Ford! Mistress Ford! here’s Mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing and looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.
She shall not see me: I will ensconce me behind the arras. 97
Pray you, do so: she’s a very tattling woman.
[Falstaff hides himself.
Re-enter Mistress Page and Robin.
What’s the matter? how now! 100
O Mistress Ford! what have you done? You’re shamed, you are overthrown, you’re undone for ever!
What’s the matter, good Mistress Page? 105
O well-a-day, Mistress Ford! having an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion! 108
What cause of suspicion?
What cause of suspicion! Out upon you! how am I mistook in you!
Why, alas, what’s the matter? 112
Your husband’s coming hither, woman, with all the officers of Windsor, to search for a gentleman that he says is here now in the house by your consent, to take an ill advantage of his absence: you are undone. 117
[Aside.] Speak louder.—’Tis not so, I hope.
Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here! but ’tis most certain your husband’s coming with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. I come before to tell you. If you know yourself clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you have a friend here, convey, convey him out. Be not amazed; call all your senses to you: defend your reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever. 128
What shall I do?—There is a gentleman, my dear friend; and I fear not mine own shame so much as his peril: I had rather than a thousand pound he were out of the house. 132
For shame! never stand ‘you had rather’ and ‘you had rather:’ your husband’s here at hand; bethink you of some conveyance: in the house you cannot hide him. O, how have you deceived me! Look, here is a basket: if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: or—it is whiting-time—send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.
He’s too big to go in there. What shall I do? 144
[Coming forward.] Let me see’t, let me see’t, O, let me see’t! I’ll in, I’ll in. Follow your friend’s counsel. I’ll in.
What, Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight? 149
I love thee, and none but thee; help me away: let me creep in here. I’ll never—
[He gets into the basket; they cover him with foul linen.
Help to cover your master, boy. Call your men, Mistress Ford. You dissembling knight! 154
What, John! Robert! John!
Go take up these clothes here quickly; where’s the cowl-staff? look, how you drumble! carry them to the laundress in Datchet-mead; quickly, come.
Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.
Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause, why then make sport at me; then let me be your jest; I deserve it. How now! what goes here? whither bear you this?
To the laundress, forsooth. 163
Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best meddle with buck-washing.
Buck! I would I could wash myself of the buck! Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck; and of the season too, it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, I have dreamed to-night; I’ll tell you my dream. Here, here, here be my keys: ascend my chambers; search, seek, find out: I’ll warrant we’ll unkennel the fox. Let me stop this way first. [Locking the door.] So, now uncape.
Good Master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much. 177
True, Master Page. Up, gentlemen; you shall see sport anon: follow me, gentlemen.
This is fery fantastical humours and jealousies. 181
By gar, ’tis no de fashion of France; it is not jealous in France.
Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search. 185
[Exeunt Page, Caius, and Evans.
Is there not a double excellency in this?
I know not which pleases me better; that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.
What a taking was he in when your husband asked who was in the basket! 191
I am half afraid he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would all of the same strain were in the same distress. 197
I think my husband hath some special suspicion of Falstaff’s being here; for I never saw him so gross in his jealousy till now.
I will lay a plot to try that; and we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.
Shall we send that foolish carrion Mistress Quickly to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment? 207
We will do it: let him be sent for to-morrow, eight o’clock, to have amends. 209
Re-enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.
I cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that he could not compass.
[Aside to Mrs. Ford.] Heard you that? 213
[Aside to Mrs. Page.] Ay, ay, peace.—You use me well, Master Ford, do you?
Ay, I do so. 216
Heaven make you better than your thoughts!
You do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford. 221
Ay, ay; I must bear it.
If there pe any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment! 226
By gar, nor I too, dere is no bodies.
Fie, fie, Master Ford! are you not ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not ha’ your distemper in this kind for the wealth of Windsor Castle.
’Tis my fault, Master Page: I suffer for it.
You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is as honest a ’omans as I will desires among five thousand, and five hundred too. 235
By gar, I see ’tis an honest woman.
Well; I promised you a dinner. Come, come, walk in the Park: I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter make known to you why I have done this. Come, wife; come, Mistress Page. I pray you, pardon me; pray heartily, pardon me.
Let’s go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we’ll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house to breakfast; after, we’ll a-birding together: I have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be so? 246
If there is one, I shall make two in the company.
If dere be one or two, I shall make-a de turd.
Pray you go, Master Page. 252
I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow on the lousy knave, mine host.
Dat is good; by gar, vit all my heart.
A lousy knave! to have his gibes and his mockeries!
Enter Fenton, Anne Page, and Mistress Quickly. Mistress Quickly stands apart.
I see I cannot get thy father’s love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
Alas! how then?
Why, thou must be thyself.
He doth object, I am too great of birth, 4
And that my state being gall’d with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth.
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies; 8
And tells me ’tis a thing impossible
I should love thee but as a property.
May be he tells you true.
No, heaven so speed me in my time to come! 12
Albeit I will confess thy father’s wealth
Was the first motive that I woo’d thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags; 16
And ’tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
Gentle Master Fenton,
Yet seek my father’s love; still seek it, sir:
If opportunity and humblest suit 20
Cannot attain it, why, then,—hark you hither.
[They converse apart.
Enter Shallow and Slender.
Break their talk, Mistress Quickly: my kinsman shall speak for himself.
I’ll make a shaft or a bolt on’t. ’Slid, ’tis but venturing. 25
Be not dismayed.
No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that, but that I am afeard. 28
Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.
I come to him. [Aside.] This is my father’s choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favour’d faults 32
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.
She’s coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father! 37
I had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can tell you good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle. 41
Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Glostershire. 44
He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the degree of a squire. 48
He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself. 52
Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I’ll leave you.
Now, Master Slender. 56
Now, good Mistress Anne.—
What is your will? 58
My will? od’s heartlings! that’s a pretty jest, indeed! I ne’er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
I mean, Master Slender, what would you with me? 64
Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you. Your father and my uncle have made motions: if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be his dole! They can tell you how things go better than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes. 70
Enter Page and Mistress Page.
Now, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne.
Why, how now! what does Master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is dispos’d of.
Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.
Good Master Fenton, come not to my child. 76
She is no match for you.
Sir, will you hear me?
No, good Master Fenton.
Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton. 80
[Exeunt Page, Shallow, and Slender.
Speak to Mistress Page.
Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes and manners, 84
I must advance the colours of my love
And not retire: let me have your good will.
Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
I mean it not; I seek you a better husband. 88
That’s my master, Master doctor.
Alas! I had rather be set quick i’ the earth,
And bowl’d to death with turnips.
Come, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton, 92
I will not be your friend nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected.
’Till then, farewell, sir: she must needs go in;
Her father will be angry. 97
Farewell, gentle mistress. Farewell, Nan.
[Exeunt Mistress Page and Anne.
This is my doing, now: ‘Nay,’ said I, ‘will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on Master Fenton.’ This is my doing. 102
I thank thee: and I pray thee, once to-night
Give my sweet Nan this ring. There’s for thy pains. 104
Now heaven send thee good fortune! [Exit Fenton.] A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master Fenton had her. I will do what I can for them all three, for so I have promised, and I’ll be as good as my word; but speciously for Master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses: what a beast am I to slack it!
Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.
Bardolph, I say,—
Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t. [Exit Bard.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, and to be thrown in the Thames like a barrow of butcher’s offal? Well, if I be served such another trick, I’ll have my brains ta’en out, and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year’s gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned a blind bitch’s puppies, fifteen i’ the litter; and you may know by my size that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking: if the bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drowned but that the shore was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abhor, for the water swells a man, and what a thing should I have been when I had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy. 19
Re-enter Bardolph, with the sack.
Here’s Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you. 21
Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water, for my belly’s as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. 25
Come in, woman.
Enter Mistress Quickly.
By your leave. I cry you mercy: give your worship good morrow. 28
Take away these chalices. Go brew me a pottle of sack finely.
With eggs, sir?
Simple of itself; I’ll no pullet-sperm in my brewage. [Exit Bardolph.]—How now! 33
Marry, sir, I come to your worship from Mistress Ford.
Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough; I was thrown into the ford; I have my belly full of ford. 38
Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault: she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection. 41
So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman’s promise.
Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning a-birding: she desires you once more to come to her between eight and nine. I must carry her word quickly: she’ll make you amends, I warrant you. 49
Well, I will visit her: tell her so; and bid her think what a man is: let her consider his frailty, and then judge of my merit. 52
I will tell her.
Do so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?
Eight and nine, sir.
Well, be gone: I will not miss her. 56
Peace be with you, sir.
I marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word to stay within. I like his money well. O! here he comes. 60
Bless you, sir!
Now, Master Brook, you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford’s wife? 64
That, indeed, Sir John, is my business.
Master Brook, I will not lie to you: I was at her house the hour she appointed me. 68
And how sped you, sir?
Very ill-favouredly, Master Brook.
How so, sir? did she change her determination? 72
No, Master Brook; but the peaking cornuto her husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continual ’larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife’s love. 81
What! while you were there?
While I was there.
And did he search for you, and could not find you? 85
You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford’s approach; and in her invention, and Ford’s wife’s distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket. 90
By the Lord, a buck-basket! rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins; that, Master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril. 96
And how long lay you there?
Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford’s knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchet-lane: they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door, who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket. I quaked for fear lest the lunatic knave would have searched it; but Fate, ordaining he should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well; on went he for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But mark the sequel, Master Brook: I suffered the pangs of three several deaths: first, an intolerable-fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease: think of that, a man of my kidney, think of that, that am as subject to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw: it was a miracle to ’scape suffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that, hissing hot, think of that, Master Brook! 127
In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have suffered all this. My suit then is desperate; you’ll undertake her no more?
Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have received from her another embassy of meeting; ’twixt eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook. 136
’Tis past eight already, sir.
Is it? I will then address me to my appointment. Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed, and the conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying her: adieu. You shall have her, Master Brook; Master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford.
Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? Master Ford, awake! awake, Master Ford! there’s a hole made in your best coat, Master Ford. This ’tis to be married: this ’tis to have linen and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my house; he cannot ’scape me; ’tis impossible he should; he cannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepper-box; but, lest the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not, shall not make me tame: if I have horns to make me mad, let the proverb go with me; I’ll be horn-mad.
Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, and William.
Is he at Master Ford’s already, thinkest thou? 2
Sure he is by this, or will be presently; but truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly. 6
I’ll be with her by and by: I’ll but bring my young man here to school. Look, where his master comes; ’tis a playing-day, I see. 10
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
No; Master Slender is get the boys leave to play. 13
Blessing of his heart!
Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in the world at his book: I pray you, ask him some questions in his accidence.
Come hither, William; hold up your head; come. 20
Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.
William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Truly, I thought there had been one number more, because they say, ‘Od’s nouns.’
Peace your tattlings! What is fair, William? 28
Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.
You are a very simplicity ’oman: I pray you peace. What is lapis, William? 33
And what is a stone, William?
A pebble. 36
No, it is lapis: I pray you remember in your prain.
That is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles? 41
Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc. 44
Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?
Accusativo, hinc. 48
I pray you, have your remembrance, child; accusativo, hung, hang, hog.
Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you. 52
Leave your prabbles, ’oman. What is the focative case, William?
O vocativo, O.
Remember, William; focative is caret.
And that’s a good root. 57
What is your genitive case plural, William? 61
Genitive, horum, harum, horum. 64
Vengeance of Jenny’s case! fie on her! Never name her, child, if she be a whore.
For shame, ’oman!
You do ill to teach the child such words. He teaches him to hick and to hack, which they’ll do fast enough of themselves, and to call ‘horum?’ fie upon you! 71
’Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases and the numbers and the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.
Prithee, hold thy peace. 76
Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
Forsooth, I have forgot.
It is qui, quæ, quod; if you forget your quis, your quæs, and your quods, you must be preeches. Go your ways and play; go.
He is a better scholar than I thought he was. 84
He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.
Adieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit Sir Hugh.] Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
Enter Falstaff and Mistress Ford.
Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance. I see you are obsequious in your love, and I profess requital to a hair’s breadth; not only, Mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but in all the accoutrement, complement and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
He’s a-birding, sweet Sir John. 8
[Within.] What ho! gossip Ford! what ho!
Step into the chamber, Sir John.
Enter Mistress Page.
How now, sweetheart! who’s at home besides yourself? 13
Why, none but mine own people.
No, certainly.—[Aside to her.] Speak louder. 17
Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again: he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve’s daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, ‘Peer out, peer out!’ that any madness I ever yet beheld seemed but tameness, civility and patience, to this his distemper he is in now. I am glad the fat knight is not here. 30
Why, does he talk of him?
Of none but him; and swears he was carried out, the last time he searched for him, in a basket: protests to my husband he is now here, and hath drawn him and the rest of their company from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion. But I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.
How near is he, Mistress Page? 40
Hard by; at street end; he will be here anon.
I am undone! the knight is here.
Why then you are utterly shamed, and he’s but a dead man. What a woman are you! Away with him, away with him! better shame than murder. 47
Which way should he go? how should I bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket again?
No, I’ll come no more i’ the basket. May I not go out ere he come? 52
Alas! three of Master Ford’s brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here? 56
What shall I do? I’ll creep up into the chimney.
There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces. 60
Creep into the kiln-hole.
Where is it?
He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and goes to them by his note: there is no hiding you in the house.
I’ll go out, then. 68
If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir John. Unless you go out disguised,—
How might we disguise him? 72
Alas the day! I know not. There is no woman’s gown big enough for him; otherwise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape. 76
Good hearts, devise something: any extremity rather than a mischief.
My maid’s aunt, the fat woman of Brainford, has a gown above. 80
On my word, it will serve him; she’s as big as he is: and there’s her thrummed hat and her muffler too. Run up, Sir John.
Go, go, sweet Sir John: Mistress Page and I will look some linen for your head.
Quick, quick! we’ll come dress you straight; put on the gown the while. 87
I would my husband would meet him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brainford; he swears she’s a witch; forbade her my house, and hath threatened to beat her.
Heaven guide him to thy husband’s cudgel, and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards! 94
But is my husband coming?
Ay, in good sadness, is he; and talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.
We’ll try that; for I’ll appoint my men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as they did last time. 101
Nay, but he’ll be here presently: let’s go dress him like the witch of Brainford.
I’ll first direct my men what they shall do with the basket. Go up; I’ll bring linen for him straight.
Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough. 108
We’ll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:
We do not act that often jest and laugh;
’Tis old, but true, ‘Still swine eats all the draff.’
Re-enter Mistress Ford, with two Servants.
Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders: your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him. Quickly; dispatch.
Come, come, take it up. 117
Pray heaven, it be not full of knight again.
I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead. 121
Enter Ford, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.
Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again? Set down the basket, villains. Somebody call my wife. Youth in a basket! O you panderly rascals! there’s a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: now shall the devil be shamed. What, wife, I say! Come, come forth! Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching! 130
Why, this passes! Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned. 133
Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!
Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed. 137
So say I too, sir.—
Re-enter Mistress Ford.
Come hither, Mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?
Heaven by my witness, you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty. 144
Well said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, sirrah!
[Pulls the clothes out of the basket.
Are you not ashamed? let the clothes alone. 149
I shall find you anon.
’Tis unreasonable. Will you take up your wife’s clothes? Come away. 152
Empty the basket, I say!
Why, man, why?
Master Page, as I am an honest man, there was one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket: why may not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is; my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable. Pluck me out all the linen. 160
If you find a man there he shall die a flea’s death.
Here’s no man.
By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this wrongs you. 165
Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies. 168
Well, he’s not here I seek for.
No, nor nowhere else but in your brain.
[Servants carry away the basket.
Help to search my house this one time: if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity; let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, ‘As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife’s leman.’ Satisfy me once more; once more search with me. 177
What ho, Mistress Page! come you and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber. 180
Old woman! What old woman’s that?
Why, it is my maid’s aunt of Brainford. 183
A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what’s brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is, beyond our element: we know nothing. Come down, you witch, you hag, you; come down, I say! 192
Nay, good, sweet husband! good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Enter Falstaff in women’s clothes, led by Mistress Page.
Come, Mother Prat; come, give me your hand. 196
I’ll ‘prat’ her.—[Beats him.] Out of my door, you witch, you rag, you baggage, you polecat, you ronyon! out, out! I’ll conjure you, I’ll fortune-tell you.
Are you not ashamed? I think you have killed the poor woman.
Nay, he will do it. ’Tis a goodly credit for you. 204
Hang her, witch!
By yea and no, I think the ’oman is a witch indeed: I like not when a ’oman has a great peard; I spy a great peard under her muffler. 209
Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow: see but the issue of my jealousy. If I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again. 213
Let’s obey his humour a little further. Come, gentlemen.
[Exeunt Ford, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Evans.
Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. 217
Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most unpitifully methought.
I’ll have the cudgel hallowed and hung o’er the altar: it hath done meritorious service. 222
What think you? May we, with the warrant of womanhood and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge? 226
The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of him: if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again.
Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him? 232
Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband’s brains. If they can find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers. 237
I’ll warrant they’ll have him publicly shamed, and methinks there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed. 241
Come, to the forge with it then; shape it: I would not have things cool.
Enter Host and Bardolph.
Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him. 3
What duke should that be comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court. Let me speak with the gentlemen; they speak English?
Ay, sir; I’ll call them to you. 8
They shall have my horses, but I’ll make them pay; I’ll sauce them: they have had my house a week at command; I have turned away my other guests: they must come off; I’ll sauce them. Come.
Enter Page, Ford, Mistress Page, Mistress Ford, and Sir Hugh Evans.
’Tis one of the pest discretions of a ’oman as ever I did look upon.
And did he send you both these letters at an instant? 4
Within a quarter of an hour.
Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;
I rather will suspect the sun with cold
Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour stand, 8
In him that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.
’Tis well, ’tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in submission
As in ofrence; 12
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
There is no better way than that they spoke of. 17
How? to send him word they’ll meet him in the Park at midnight? Fie, fie! he’ll never come. 20
You say he has been thrown into the rivers, and has been grievously peaten as an old ’oman: methinks there should be terrors in him that he should not come; methinks his flesh is punished, he shall have no desires. 25
So think I too.
Devise but how you’ll use him when he comes,
And let us two devise to bring him thither. 28
There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns; 32
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know 36
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv’d and did deliver to our age
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
Why, yet there want not many that do fear 40
In deep of night to walk by this Herne’s oak.
But what of this?
Marry, this is our device;
That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us,
Disguis’d like Herne with huge horns on his head. 44
Well, let it not be doubted but he’ll come,
And in this shape when you have brought him thither,
What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
That likewise have we thought upon, and thus: 48
Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
And three or four more of their growth, we’ll dress
Like urchins, ouphs and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, 52
And rattles in their hands. Upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a sawpit rush at once
With some diffused song: upon their sight, 56
We two in great amazedness will fly:
Then let them all encircle him about,
And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight;
And ask him why, that hour of fairy revel, 60
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread
In shape profane.
And till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound
And burn him with their tapers.
The truth being known, 64
We’ll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.
The children must
Be practis’d well to this, or they’ll ne’er do’t.
I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.
That will be excellent. I’ll go buy them vizards. 72
My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,
Finely attired in a robe of white.
That silk will I go buy:—[Aside] and in that time
Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away, 76
And marry her at Eton. Go, send to Falstaff straight.
Nay, I’ll to him again in name of Brook;
He’ll tell me all his purpose. Sure, he’ll come.
Fear not you that. Go, get us properties, 80
And tricking for our fairies.
Let us about it: it is admirable pleasures and fery honest knaveries.
[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
Go, Mistress Ford, 84
Send Quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.
[Exit Mistress Ford.
I’ll to the doctor: he hath my good will,
And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot; 88
And him my husband best of all affects:
The doctor is well money’d, and his friends
Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have her,
Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.
Enter Host and Simple.
What wouldst thou have, boor? what, thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff from Master Slender. 5
There’s his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed and truckle-bed: ’tis painted about with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go knock and call: he’ll speak like an Anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I say. 11
There’s an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber: I’ll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come down; I come to speak with her, indeed. 15
Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I’ll call. Bully knight! Bully Sir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.
[Above.] How now, mine host! 20
Here’s a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully; let her descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy? fie! 24
There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me, but she’s gone.
Pray you, sir, was’t not the wise woman of Brainford? 28
Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell: what would you with her?
My Master, sir, Master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain or no. 34
I spake with the old woman about it.
And what says she, I pray, sir? 36
Marry, she says that the very same man that beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of it.
I would I could have spoken with the woman herself: I had other things to have spoken with her too, from him.
What are they? let us know.
Ay, come; quick. 44
I may not conceal them, sir.
Conceal them, or thou diest.
Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my master’s fortune to have her or no. 49
’Tis, ’tis his fortune.
To have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so. 53
May I be bold to say so, sir?
Ay, Sir Tike; who more bold?
I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings.
Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was there a wise woman with thee? 59
Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life: and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning. 63
Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
Where be my horses? speak well of them, varletto. 66
Run away, with the cozeners; for so soon as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from behind one of them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses. 71
They are gone but to meet the duke, villain. Do not say they be fled: Germans are honest men.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Where is mine host?
What is the matter, sir? 76
Have a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is three cozen-germans that has cozened all the hosts of Readins, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you: you are wise and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs, and ’tis not convenient you should be cozened. Fare you well.
Enter Doctor Caius.
Vere is mine host de Jarteer? 85
Here, Master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.
I cannot tell vat is dat; but it is tell-a me dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jamany: by my trot, dere is no duke dat de court is know to come. I tell you for good vill: adieu.
Hue and cry, villain! go. Assist me, knight; I am undone. Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone! 95
[Exeunt Host and Bardolph.
I would all the world might be cozened, for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat drop by drop, and liquor fishermen’s boots with me: I warrant they would whip me with their fine wits till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. 107
Enter Mistress Quickly.
Now, whence come you?
From the two parties, forsooth.
The devil take one party and his dam the other! and so they shall be both bestowed. I have suffered more for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy of man’s disposition is able to bear. 114
And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant; speciously one of them: Mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her. 118
What tellest thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brainford: but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, delivered me, the knave constable had set me i’ the stocks, i’ the common stocks, for a witch. 126
Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber; you shall hear how things go, and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts! what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed.
Come up into my chamber.
Enter Fenton and Host.
Master Fenton, talk not to me: my mind is heavy; I will give over all.
Yet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,
And, as I am a gentleman, I’ll give thee 4
A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.
I will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.
From time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page; 9
Who, mutually hath answer’d my affection,
So far forth as herself might be her chooser,
Even to my wish. I have a letter from her 12
Of such contents as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter,
That neither singly can be manifested,
Without the show of both; wherein fat Falstaff
Hath a great scare: the image of the jest 17
I’ll show you here at large [Pointing to the Letter]. Hark, good mine host:
To-night at Herne’s oak, just ’twixt twelve and one,
Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen;
The purpose why, is here: in which disguise, 21
While other jests are something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to slip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eton 24
Immediately to marry: she hath consented:
Her mother, even strong against that match
And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed 28
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking of their minds;
And at the deanery, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her: to this her mother’s plot
She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath 33
Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests:
Her father means she shall be all in white,
And in that habit, when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand and bid her go, 37
She shall go with him: her mother hath intended,
The better to denote her to the doctor,—
For they must all be mask’d and vizarded— 40
That quaint in green she shall be loose enrob’d,
With ribands pendent, flaring ’bout her head;
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand; and on that token 44
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Which means she to deceive, father or mother?
Both, my good host, to go along with me:
And here it rests, that you’ll procure the vicar
To stay for me at church ’twixt twelve and one,
And, in the lawful name of marrying, 51
To give our hearts united ceremony.
Well, husband your device; I’ll to the vicar.
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
So shall I evermore be bound to thee;
Besides, I’ll make a present recompense. 56
Enter Falstaff and Mistress Quickly.
Prithee, no more prattling; go: I’ll hold. This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away! go. They say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance or death. Away! 5
I’ll provide you a chain, and I’ll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.
[Exit Mistress Quickly.
How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne’s oak, and you shall see wonders. 13
Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?
I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man; but I came from her, Master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, Master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of a man, Master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver’s beam, because I know also life is a shuttle. I am in haste: go along with me; I’ll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played traunt, and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be beaten till lately. Follow me: I’ll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow. Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.
Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.
Come, come; we’ll couch i’ the castle-ditch till we see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender, my daughter. 3
Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her and we have a nayword how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry, ‘mum;’ she cries, ‘budget;’ and by that we know one another. 8
That’s good too: but what needs either your ‘mum,’ or her ‘budget?’ the white will decipher her well enough. It hath struck ten o’clock. 12
The night is dark; light and spirits will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let’s away; follow me.
Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Ford, and Dr. Caius.
Master Doctor, my daughter is in green: when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the deanery, and dispatch it quickly. Go before into the Park: we two must go together. 5
I know vat I have to do. Adieu.
Fare you well, sir. [Exit Caius.] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor’s marrying my daughter: but ’tis no matter; better a little chiding than a great deal of heart break.
Where is Nan now and her troop of fairies, and the Welsh devil, Hugh? 13
They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne’s oak, with obscured lights; which, at the very instant of Falstaff’s and our meeting, they will at once display to the night. 17
That cannot choose but amaze him.
If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.
We’ll betray him finely.
Against such lewdsters and their lechery, 24
Those that betray them do no treachery.
The hour draws on: to the oak, to the oak!
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, disguised, and others as Fairies.
Trib, trib, fairies: come; and remember your parts. Be pold, I pray you; follow me into the pit, and when I give the watch-ords, do as I pid you. Come, come; trib, trib.
Enter Falstaff disguised as Herne, with a buck’s head on.
The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws on. Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me! Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns. O powerful love! that, in some respects, makes a beast a man; in some other, a man a beast. You were also, Jupiter, a swan for the love of Leda; O omnipotent love! how near the god drew to the complexion of a goose! A fault done first in the form of a beast; O Jove, a beastly fault! and then another fault in the semblance of a fowl: think on ’t, Jove; a foul fault! When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am here a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i’ the forest: send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? my doe? 17
Enter Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.
Sir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of ‘Green Sleeves;’ hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart. 26
Divide me like a brib’d buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter? Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
Alas! what noise?
Heaven forgive our sins! 36
What should this be?Mrs. Ford.
Away, away!Mrs. Page.
[They run off.
I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a Satyr: Pistol as Hobgoblin; Anne Page, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her Brother and Others, as Fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.
Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers, and shades of night, 44
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
Elves, list your names: silence, you airy toys! 48
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find’st unrak’d and hearths unswept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery. 52
They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
I’ll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.
[Lies down upon his face.
Where’s Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Rein up the organs of her fantasy, 57
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
But those that sleep and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and shins. 60
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphs, on every sacred room,
That it may stand till the perpetual doom, 64
In state as wholesome as in state ’tis fit,
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm and every precious flower: 68
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, ever more be blest!
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter’s compass, in a ring: 72
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And, Honi soit qui mal y pense write
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery, 77
Buckled below fair knighthood’s bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away! disperse! But, till ’tis one o’clock, 80
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set;
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanthorns be,
To guide our measure round about the tree. 85
But, stay; I smell a man of middle-earth.
Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Vile worm, thou wast o’erlook’d even in thy birth.
With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend
And turn him to no pain; but if he start, 92
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
A trial! come.
Come, will this wood take fire?
[They burn him with their tapers.
Oh, oh, oh!
Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! 96
About him, fairies, sing a scornful rime;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Fie on lust and luxury! 100
Lust is but a bloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart, whose flames aspire,
As thoughts do blow them higher and higher. 104
Pinch him, fairies, mutually;
Pinch him for his villany;
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Till candles and star-light and moonshine be out.
During this song, the Fairies pinch Falstaff. Doctor Caius comes one way, and steals away a Fairy in green; Slender another way, and takes off a Fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals away Anne Page. A noise of hunting is heard within. The Fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off his buck’s head, and rises.
Enter Page, Ford, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. They lay hold on Falstaff.
Nay, do not fly: I think we have watch’d you now: 109
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higher.
Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives? 112
See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes
Become the forest better than the town?
Now sir, who’s a cuckold now? Master Brook, Falstaff’s a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, Master Brook: and, Master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford’s but his buck-basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, which must be paid too, Master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, Master Brook. 121
Sir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you my deer. 125
I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are extant. 129
And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought they were not fairies; and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth of all rime and reason, that they were fairies. See now how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when ’tis upon ill employment!
Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you. 140
Well said, fairy Hugh.
And leave you your jealousies too, I pray you.
I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English. 145
Have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o’er-reaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? shall I have a coxcomb of frize? ’Tis time I were choked with a piece of toasted cheese.
Seese is not goot to give putter: your pelly is all putter. 153
‘Seese’ and ‘putter!’ have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking through the realm. 157
Why, Sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?
What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
A puffed man? 164
Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?
And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
And as poor as Job? 168
And as wicked as his wife?
And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings and swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles? 173
Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel. Ignorance itself is a plummet o’er me: use me as you will. 177
Marry, sir, we’ll bring you to Windsor, to one Master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction.
Nay, husband, let that go to make amends;
Forgive that sum, and so we’ll all be friends. 184
Well, here’s my hand: all is forgiven at last.
Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee. Tell her, Master Slender hath married her daughter.
[Aside.] Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this Doctor Caius’ wife. 193
Whoa, ho! ho! father Page!
Son, how now! how now, son! have you dispatched? 196
Dispatched! I’ll make the best in Gloster-shire know on ’t; would I were hanged, la, else!
Of what, son? 200
I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, and she’s a great lubberly boy: if it had not been i’ the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir! and ’tis a postmaster’s boy. 206
Upon my life, then, you took the wrong.
What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl. If I had been married to him, for all he was in woman’s apparel, I would not have had him. 211
Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you how you should know my daughter by her garments?
I went to her in white, and cried, ‘mum,’ and she cried ‘budget,’ as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a postmaster’s boy.
Jeshu! Master Slender, cannot you see put marry poys? 220
O I am vexed at heart: what shall I do?
Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married. 226
Enter Doctor Caius.
Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened: I ha’ married un garçon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened. 230
Why, did you not take her in green?
Shakespeare's Birthplace, by W.W. Quatremain.
Ay, by gar, and ’tis a boy: by gar, I’ll raise all Windsor.
This is strange. Who hath got the right Anne? 235
My heart misgives me: here comes Master Fenton.
Enter Fenton and Anne Page.
How now, Master Fenton!
Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon! 240
Now, mistress, how chance you went not with Master Slender?
Why went you not with Master Doctor, maid? 244
You do amaze her: hear the truth of it.
You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, 248
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy that she hath committed,
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
Of disobedience, or unduteous title, 252
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
Stand not amaz’d: here is no remedy:
In love the heavens themselves do guide the state: 257
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
I am glad, though you have ta’en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. 261
Well, what remedy?—Fenton, heaven give thee joy!
What cannot be eschew’d must be embrac’d.
When night dogs run all sorts of deer are chas’d. 264
Well, I will muse no further. Master Fenton,
Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o’er by a country fire; 268
Sir John and all.
Let it be so. Sir John,
To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he to-night shall lie with Mistress Ford. 272
|Angelo,||Lord Deputy in the Duke’s absence.|
|Escalus,||an Ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in the deputation.|
|Claudio,||a young Gentleman.|
|Two other like Gentlemen.|
|Varrius,||a Gentleman attending on the Duke.|
|Thomas, }||two Friars.|
|Elbow,||a simple Constable.|
|Froth,||a foolish Gentleman.|
|Pompey,||Tapster to Mistress Overdone.|
|Barnardine,||a dissolute Prisoner.|
|Isabella,||sister to Claudio.|
|Mariana,||betrothed to Angelo.|
|Juliet,||beloved of Claudio.|
|Mistress Overdone,||a Bawd.|
|Lords, Officers, Citizens, Boy, and Attendants.|
Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants.
Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse,
Since I am put to know that your own science 5
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you: then no more remains,
But that, to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people, 9
Our city’s institutions, and the terms
For common justice, you’re as pregnant in,
As art and practice hath enriched any 12
That we remember. There is our commission,
From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,
I say, bid come before us Angelo.
[Exit an Attendant.
What figure of us think you he will bear? 16
For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply,
Lent him our terror, drest him with our love,
And given his deputation all the organs 20
Of our own power: what think you of it?
If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is Lord Angelo.
Look where he comes. 24
Always obedient to your Grace’s will,
I come to know your pleasure.
There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to th’ observer doth thy history 28
Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, 32
Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, ’twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch’d
But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends 36
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
To one that can my part in him advertise; 41
Hold, therefore, Angelo:
[Tendering his commission.
In our remove be thou at full ourself;
Mortality and mercy in Vienna 44
Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy secondary.
Take thy commission.
Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more test made of my metal,
Before so noble and so great a figure 49
Be stamp’d upon it.
No more evasion:
We have with a leaven’d and prepared choice
Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition 53
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion’d
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
As time and our concernings shall importune, 56
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doth befall you here. So, fare you well:
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.
Yet, give leave, my lord, 60
That we may bring you something on the way.
My haste may not admit it;
Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do
With any scruple: your scope is as mine own, 64
So to enforce or qualify the laws
As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand;
I’ll privily away: I love the people,
But do not like to stage me to their eyes. 68
Though it do well, I do not relish well
Their loud applause and Aves vehement,
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion
That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. 72
The heavens give safety to your purposes!
Lead forth and bring you back in happiness!
I thank you. Fare you well.
I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
To look into the bottom of my place:
A power I have, but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed. 80
’Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.
I’ll wait upon your honour.
Enter Lucio and two Gentlemen.
If the Duke with the other dukes come not to composition with the King of Hungary, why then, all the dukes fall upon the king.
Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary’s! 5
Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped one out of the table.
‘Thou shalt not steal?’ 10
Ay, that he razed.
Why, ’twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions: they put forth to steal. There’s not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that prays for peace. 17
I never heard any soldier dislike it.
I believe thee, for I think thou never wast where grace was said. 21
No? a dozen times at least.
What, in metre?
In any proportion or in any language.
I think, or in any religion. 25
Ay; why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as, for example, thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace. 28
Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.
I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: thou art the list. 32
And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou art a three-piled piece, I warrant thee. I had as lief be a list of an English kersey as be piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now? 37
I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.
I think I have done myself wrong, have I not? 44
Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.
Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to— 49
To what, I pray?
To three thousand dolours a year. 53
Ay, and more.
A French crown more.
Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full of error: I am sound. 57
Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee. 61
Enter Mistress Overdone.
How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
Well, well; there’s one yonder arrested and carried to prison was worth five thousand of you all. 66
Who’s that, I pray thee?
Marry, sir, that’s Claudio, Signior Claudio.
Claudio to prison! ’tis not so. 70
Nay, but I know ’tis so: I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head to be chopped off.
But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou sure of this? 76
I am too sure of it; and it is for getting Madam Julietta with child.
Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping. 81
Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose. 84
But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.
Away! let’s go learn the truth of it.
[Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen.
Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk.
How now! what’s the news with you?
Yonder man is carried to prison. 92
Well: what has he done?
But what’s his offence?
Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.
What, is there a maid with child by him?
No; but there’s a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you? 101
What proclamation, man?
All houses of resort in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down 104
And what shall become of those in the city?
They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. 109
But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?
To the ground, mistress. 112
Why, here’s a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I’ll be your tapster still. Courage! there will be pity taken on you; you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered. 120
What’s to do here, Thomas tapster?
Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there’s Madam Juliet.
Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers.
Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
I do it not in evil disposition,
But from Lord Angelo by special charge. 128
Thus can the demi-god Authority
Make us pay down for our offence’ by weight.
The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will;
On whom it will not, so: yet still ’tis just. 132
Re-enter Lucio and two Gentlemen.
Why, how now, Claudio! whence comes this restraint?
From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use 136
Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue—
Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,—
A thirsty evil, and when we drink we die.
If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors. And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom as the morality of imprisonment. What’s thy offence, Claudio? 144
What but to speak of would offend again.
What, is’t murder?
Call it so.
Away, sir! you must go.
One word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you.
[Takes him aside.
A hundred, if they’ll do you any good.
Is lechery so looked after?
Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract
I got possession of Julietta’s bed: 156
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower 160
Remaining in the coffer of her friends,
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
Till time had made them for us. But it chances
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment
With character too gross is writ on Juliet. 165
With child, perhaps?
Unhappily, even so.
And the new deputy now for the duke,—
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness, 168
Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
Whether the tyranny be in his place, 173
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in:—but this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties 176
Which have, like unscour’d armour, hung by the wall
So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act 180
Freshly on me: ’tis surely for a name.
I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to him. 185
I have done so, but he’s not to be found.
I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service.
This day my sister should the cloister enter, 188
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him: 192
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
There is a prone and speechless dialect,
Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade. 197
I pray she may: as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I’ll to her.
I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Within two hours.
Come, officer, away!
Enter Duke and Friar Thomas.
No, holy father; throw away that thought:
Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee
To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose 4
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.
May your Grace speak of it?
My holy sir, none better knows than you
How I have ever lov’d the life remov’d, 8
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
I have deliver’d to Lord Angelo—
A man of stricture and firm abstinence— 12
My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
And he supposes me travell’d to Poland;
For so I have strew’d it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv’d. Now, pious sir, 16
You will demand of me why I do this?
Gladly, my lord.
We have strict statutes and most biting laws,—
The needful bits and curbs to headstrong steeds,— 20
Which for this fourteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an o’ergrown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers,
Having bound up the threat’ning twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their children’s sight 25
For terror, not to use, in time the rod
Becomes more mock’d than fear’d; so our decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead, 28
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.
It rested in your Grace
T’ unloose this tied-up justice when you pleas’d;
And it in you more dreadful would have seem’d
Than in Lord Angelo.
I do fear, too dreadful:
Sith ’twas my fault to give the people scope, 35
’Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them
For what I bid them do: for we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass
And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my father,
I have on Angelo impos’d the office, 40
Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home,
And yet my nature never in the sight
To do it slander. And to behold his sway,
I will, as ’twere a brother of your order, 44
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I prithee,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar. Moe reasons for this action
At our more leisure shall I render you; 49
Only, this one: Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite 52
Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.
Enter Isabella and Francisca.
And have you nuns no further privileges?
Are not these large enough?
Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more,
But rather wishing a more strict restraint 4
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.
[Within.] Ho! Peace be in this place!
Who’s that which calls?
It is a man’s voice. Gentle Isabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him:
You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn. 9
When you have vow’d, you must not speak with men
But in the presence of the prioress:
Then, if you speak, you must not show your face,
Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, answer him.
Peace and prosperity! Who is’t that calls?
Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses 16
Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio? 20
Why ‘her unhappy brother?’ let me ask;
The rather for I now must make you know
I am that Isabella and his sister.
Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you: 24
Not to be weary with you, he’s in prison.
Woe me! for what?
For that which, if myself might be his judge,
He should receive his punishment in thanks: 28
He hath got his friend with child.
Sir, make me not your story.
It is true.
I would not, though ’tis my familiar sin
With maids to seem the lapwing and to jest, 32
Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins so:
I hold you as a thing ensky’d and sainted;
By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
And to be talk’d with in sincerity, 36
As with a saint.
You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.
Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, ’tis thus:
Your brother and his lover have embrac’d: 40
As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb
Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry. 44
Some one with child by him? My cousin Juliet?
Is she your cousin?
Adoptedly; asschool-maids change their names
By vain, though apt affection.
She it is. 48
O! let him marry her.
This is the point.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence;
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand and hope of action; but we do learn 52
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority, 56
Governs Lord Angelo; a man whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge 60
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He,—to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have for long run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions, hath pick’d out an act, 64
Under whose heavy sense your brother’s life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it,
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example. All hope is gone, 68
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
To soften Angelo; and that’s my pith of business
Twixt you and your poor brother.
Doth he so seek his life?
He’s censur’d him 72
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for his execution.
Alas! what poor ability’s in me
To do him good?
Assay the power you have. 76
My power? alas! I doubt—
Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt. Go to Lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue, 80
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would owe them.
I’ll see what I can do.
But speedily. 84
I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the Mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother; soon at night 88
I’ll send him certain word of my success.
I take my leave of you.
Good sir, adieu.
Enter Angelo, Escalus, a Justice, Provost, Officers, and other Attendants.
We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.
Ay, but yet 4
Let us be keen and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas! this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honour know,— 8
Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,—
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time coher’d with place or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood 12
Could have attain’d the effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not, some time in your life,
Err’d in this point which now you censure him,
And pull’d the law upon you. 16
’Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Another thing to fall. I not deny,
The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life,
May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two 20
Guiltier than him they try; what’s open made to justice,
That justice seizes: what know the laws
That thieves do pass on thieves? ’Tis very pregnant,
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it 24
Because we see it; but what we do not see
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend, 29
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
Be it as your wisdom will.
Where is the provost?
Here, if it like your honour.
See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar’d;
For that’s the utmost of his pilgrimage. 36
Well, heaven forgive him, and forgive us all!
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none,
And some condemned for a fault alone. 40
Enter Elbow and Officers, with Froth and Pompey.
Come, bring them away: if these be good people in a common-weal that do nothing but use their abuses in common houses, I know no law: bring them away. 44
How now, sir! What’s your name, and what’s the matter?
If it please your honour, I am the poor duke’s constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon justice, sir; and do bring in here before your good honour two notorious benefactors. 51
Benefactors! Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors?
If it please your honour, I know not well what they are; but precise villains they are, that I am sure of, and void of all profanation in the world that good Christians ought to have. 57
This comes off well: here’s a wise officer.
Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow?
He cannot, sir: he’s out at elbow. 62
What are you, sir?
He, sir! a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman, whose house, sir, was, as they say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too. 68
How know you that?
My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,—
How! thy wife? 72
Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,—
Dost thou detest her therefore?
I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as she, that this house, if it be not a bawd’s house, it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house. 79
How dost thou know that, constable?
Marry, sir, by my wife; who, if she had been a woman cardinally given, might have been accused in fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there. 84
By the woman’s means?
Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone’s means; but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.
Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so. 89
Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable man, prove it.
[To Angelo.] Do you hear how he misplaces? 93
Sir, she came in, great with child, and longing,—saving your honour’s reverence,—for stewed prunes. Sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit-dish, a dish of some three-pence; your honours have seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes.
Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.
No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in the right: but to the point. As I say, this Mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great-bellied, and longing, as I said, for prunes, and having but two in the dish, as I said, Master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly; for, as you know, Master Froth, I could not give you three-pence again.
No, indeed. 112
Very well: you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,—
Ay, so I did, indeed. 116
Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be remembered, that such a one and such a one were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I told you,— 120
All this is true.
Why, very well then.—
Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What was done to Elbow’s wife, that he hath cause to complain of? Come me to what was done to her.
Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet. 128
No, sir, nor I mean it not.
Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour’s leave. And, I beseech you, look into Master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year, whose father died at Hallowmas. Was’t not at Hallowmas, Master Froth? 134
Why, very well: I hope here be truths. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir; ’twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where indeed, you have a delight to sit, have you not? 139
I have so, because it is an open room and good for winter.
Why, very well then: I hope here be truths.
This will last out a night in Russia, 144
When nights are longest there: I’ll take my leave,
And leave you to the hearing of the cause,
Hoping you’ll find good cause to whip them all.
I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.
Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow’s wife, once more?
Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once. 152
I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.
I beseech your honour, ask me.
Well, sir, what did this gentleman to her? 157
I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman’s face. Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; ’tis for a good purpose. Doth your honour mark his face? 161
Ay, sir, very well.
Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Well, I do so. 164
Doth your honour see any harm in his face?
I’ll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the constable’s wife any harm? I would know that of your honour. 172
He’s in the right. Constable, what say you to it?
First, an’ it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow, and his mistress is a respected woman. 177
By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
Varlet, thou liest: thou liest, wicked varlet. The time is yet to come that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child. 182
Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
Which is the wiser here? Justice, or Iniquity? Is this true? 186
O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married to her? If ever I was respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke’s officer. Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I’ll have mine action of battery on thee. 193
If he took you a box o’ th’ ear, you might have your action of slander too.
Marry, I thank your good worship for it. What is’t your worship’s pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff? 198
Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him that thou wouldest discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou knowest what they are. 202
Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what’s come upon thee: thou art to continue now, thou varlet, thou art to continue.
Where were you born, friend?
Here in Vienna, sir. 208
Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
Yes, an’t please you, sir.
So. [To Pompey.] What trade are you of, sir? 212
A tapster; a poor widow’s tapster.
Your mistress’ name?
Hath she had any more than one husband?
Nine, sir; Overdone by the last. 218
Nine!—Come hither to me, Master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters; they will draw you, Master Froth, and you will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.
I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in. 226
Well: no more of it, Master Froth: farewell. [Exit Froth.]—Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What’s your name, Master tapster?
What else? 232
Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you, so that, in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you. 239
Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.
How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade? 244
If the law would allow it, sir.
But the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.
Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?
No, Pompey. 250
Truly, sir, in my humble opinion, they will to’t then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.
There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging. 256
If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you’ll be glad to give out a commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten year, I’ll rent the fairest house in it after threepence a bay. If you live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey told you so. 263
Thank you, good Pompey; and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you: I advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever; no, not for dwelling where you do: if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you. In plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt. So, for this time, Pompey, fare you well. 272
I thank your worship for your good counsel;—[Aside.] but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.
Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade;
The valiant heart’s not whipt out of his trade.
Come hither to me, Master Elbow; come hither, Master constable. How long have you been in this place of constable? 280
Seven year and a half, sir.
I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time. You say, seven years together? 284
And a half, sir.
Alas! it hath been great pains to you! They do you wrong to put you so oft upon ’t. Are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it? 289
Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters. As they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them: I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all. 293
Look you bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish. 296
To your worship’s house, sir?
To my house. Fare you well.
What’s o’clock, think you?
Eleven, sir. 300
I pray you home to dinner with me.
I humbly thank you.
It grieves me for the death of Claudio;
But there is no remedy. 304
Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but needful:
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe.
But yet, poor Claudio! There’s no remedy. 308
Enter Provost and a Servant.
He’s hearing of a cause: he will come straight:
I’ll tell him of you.
Pray you, do. [Exit Serv.] I’ll know
His pleasure; may be he will relent. Alas!
He hath but as offended in a dream: 4
All sects, all ages smack of this vice, and he
To die for it!
Now, what’s the matter, provost?
Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?
Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not order? 8
Why dost thou ask again?
Lest I might be too rash.
Under your good correction, I have seen,
When, after execution, Judgment hath
Repented o’er his doom.
Go to; let that be mine: 12
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar’d.
I crave your honour’s pardon.
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She’s very near her hour.
Dispose of her 16
To some more fitter place; and that with speed.
Here is the sister of the man condemn’d
Desires access to you.
Hath he a sister?
Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid, 20
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.
Well, let her be admitted.
See you the fornicatress be remov’d:
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means; 24
There shall be order for’t.
Enter Isabella and Lucio.
God save your honour!
[Offering to retire.
Stay a little while.—[To Isab.] You’re welcome: what’s your will?
I am a woful suitor to your honour,
Please but your honour hear me.
Well; what’s your suit? 28
There is a vice that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice,
For which I would not plead, but that I must;
For which I must not plead, but that I am 32
At war ’twixt will and will not.
Well; the matter?
I have a brother is condemn’d to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.
[Aside.] Heaven give thee moving graces! 36
Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
Why, every fault’s condemn’d ere it be done.
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To fine the faults whose fine stands in record, 40
And let go by the actor.
O just, but severe law!
I had a brother, then.—Heaven keep your honour!
[Aside to Isab.] Give’t not o’er so: to him again, entreat him;
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold; if you should need a pin, 45
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it.
To him. I say!
Must he needs die?
Maiden, no remedy.
Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, 49
And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.
I will not do’t.
But can you, if you would?
Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
But might you do’t, and do the world no wrong, 53
If so your heart were touch’d with that remorse
As mine is to him?
He’s sentenc’d: ’tis too late.
[Aside to Isab.] You are too cold. 56
Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word,
May call it back again. Well, believe this,
No ceremony that to great ones ’longs,
Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword, 60
The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does.
If he had been as you, and you as he, 64
You would have slipt like him; but he, like you,
Would not have been so stern.
Pray you, be gone.
I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus? 68
No; I would tell what ’twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.
[Aside to Isab.] Ay, touch him; there’s the vein.
Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.
Alas! alas! 72
Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once;
And He that might the vantage best have took,
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should 76
But judge you as you are? O! think on that,
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.
Be you content, fair maid;
It is the law, not I, condemn your brother: 80
Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,
It should be thus with him: he must die to-morrow.
To-morrow! O! that’s sudden! Spare him, spare him!
He’s not prepar’d for death. Even for our kitchens 84
We kill the fowl of season: shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you:
Who is it that hath died for this offence? 88
There’s many have committed it.
[Aside to Isab.] Ay, well said.
The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept:
Those many had not dar’d to do that evil,
If that the first that did th’ edict infringe 92
Had answer’d for his deed: now ’tis awake,
Takes note of what is done, and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils,
Either new, or by remissness new-conceiv’d, 96
And so in progress to be hatch’d and born,
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, ere they live, to end.
Yet show some pity.
I show it most of all when I show justice;
For then I pity those I do not know, 101
Which a dismiss’d offence would after gall,
And do him right, that, answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfied: 104
Your brother dies to-morrow: be content.
So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
And he that suffers. O! it is excellent
To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.
[Aside to Isab.] That’s well said. 109
Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne’er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer 112
Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but thunder.
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Split’st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak 116
Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape, 120
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
[Aside to Isab.] O, to him, to him, wench! He will relent: 124
He’s coming: I perceive’t.
[Aside.] Pray heaven she win him!
We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:
Great men may jest with saints; ’tis wit in them,
But, in the less foul profanation. 128
[Aside to Isab.] Thou’rt in the right, girl: more o’ that.
That in the captain’s but a choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
[Aside to Isab.] Art advis’d o’ that? more on ’t. 132
Why do you put these sayings upon me?
Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That skins the vice o’ the top. Go to your bosom;
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know 137
That’s like my brother’s fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue 140
Against my brother’s life.
She speaks, and ’tis
Such sense that my sense breeds with it. Fare you well.
Gentle my lord, turn back.
I will bethink me. Come again to-morrow. 144
Hark how I’ll bribe you. Good my lord, turn back.
How! bribe me?
Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.
[Aside to Isab.] You had marr’d all else. 148
Not with fond sicles of the tested gold,
Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor
As fancy values them; but with true prayers
That shall be up at heaven and enter there 152
Ere sun-rise: prayers from preserved souls,
From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.
Well; come to me to-morrow.
[Aside to Isab.] Go to; ’tis well: away!
Heaven keep your honour safe!
For I am that way going to temptation,
Where prayers cross.
At what hour to-morrow
Shall I attend your lordship?
At any time ’fore noon. 160
Save your honour!
[Exeunt Isabella, Lucio, and Provost.
From thee; even from thy virtue!
What’s this? what’s this? Is this her fault or mine?
The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?
Not she; nor doth she tempt: but it is I,
That, lying by the violet in the sun,
Do as the carrion does, not as the flower,
Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be 168
That modesty may more betray our sense
Than woman’s lightness? Having waste ground enough,
Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And pitch our evils there? O, fie, fie, fie! 172
What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo?
Dost thou desire her foully for those things
That make her good? O, let her brother live!
Thieves for their robbery have authority 176
When judges steal themselves. What! do I love her,
That I desire to hear her speak again,
And feast upon her eyes? What is’t I dream on?
O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint, 180
With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
Is that temptation that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet,
With all her double vigour, art and nature, 184
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite. Ever till now,
When men were fond, I smil’d and wonder’d how.
Enter Duke, disguised as a friar, and Provost.
Hail to you, provost! so I think you are.
I am the provost. What’s your will, good friar?
Bound by my charity and my bless’d order,
I come to visit the afflicted spirits 4
Here in the prison: do me the common right
To let me see them and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To them accordingly. 8
I would do more than that, if more were needful.
Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine,
Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
Hath blister’d her report. She is with child, 12
And he that got it, sentenc’d; a young man
More fit to do another such offence,
Than die for this.
When must he die?
As I do think, to-morrow.
[To Juliet.] I have provided for you: stay a while, 17
And you shall be conducted.
Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?
I do, and bear the shame most patiently. 20
I’ll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience,
And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.
I’ll gladly learn.
Love you the man that wrong’d you?
Yes, as I love the woman that wrong’d him.
So then it seems your most offenceful act
Was mutually committed?
Then was your sin of heavier kind than his. 28
I do confess it, and repent it, father.
’Tis meet so, daughter: but lest you do repent,
As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not heaven, 32
Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it,
But as we stand in fear,—
I do repent me, as it is an evil,
And take the shame with joy.
There rest. 36
Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow,
And I am going with instruction to him.
God’s grace go with you! Benedicite!
Must die to-morrow! O injurious love,
That respites me a life, whose very comfort 41
Is still a dying horror!
’Tis pity of him.
When I would pray and think, I think and pray
To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words,
Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: heaven in my mouth, 4
As if I did but only chew his name,
And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
Of my conception. The state, whereon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read, 8
Grown fear’d and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein, let no man hear me, I take pride,
Could I with boot change for an idle plume,
Which the air beats for vain. O place! O form!
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit, 13
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood:
Let’s write good angel on the devil’s horn, 16
’Tis not the devil’s crest.
Enter a Servant.
How now! who’s there?
One Isabel, a sister,
Desires access to you.
Teach her the way.
O heavens! 20
Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
Making both it unable for itself,
And dispossessing all my other parts
Of necessary fitness? 24
So play the foolish throngs with one that swounds;
Come all to help him, and so stop the air
By which he should revive: and even so
The general, subject to a well-wish’d king, 28
Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence.
How now, fair maid!
I am come to know your pleasure. 32
That you might know it, would much better please me,
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.
Even so. Heaven keep your honour!
Yet may he live awhile; and, it may be,
As long as you or I: yet he must die. 37
Under your sentence?
When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve, 40
Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not.
Ha! fie, these filthy vices! It were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen 44
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid: ’tis all as easy
Falsely to take away a life true made, 48
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
Say you so? then I shall pose you quickly. 52
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life; or, to redeem him,
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stain’d?
Sir, believe this, 56
I had rather give my body than my soul.
I talk not of your soul. Our compell’d sins
Stand more for number than for accompt.
How say you?
Nay, I’ll not warrant that; for I can speak 60
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life:
Might there not be a charity in sin 64
To save this brother’s life?
Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul;
It is no sin at all, but charity.
Pleas’d you to do’t, at peril of your soul,
Were equal poise of sin and charity.
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it! you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer 72
To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your answer.
Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so craftily; and that’s not good. 76
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I am no better.
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself; as these black masks 80
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, display’d. But mark me;
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die. 84
And his offence is so, as it appears
Accountant to the law upon that pain.
Admit no other way to save his life,—
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question,—that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desir’d of such a person, 92
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-building law; and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either 96
You must lay down the treasures of your body
To this suppos’d, or else to let him suffer;
What would you do?
As much for my poor brother, as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death, 101
Th’ impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That, longing, have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.
Then must your brother die.
And ’twere the cheaper way:
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister, by redeeming him, 108
Should die for ever.
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slander’d so?
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon 112
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.
You seem’d of late to make the law a tyrant;
And rather prov’d the sliding of your brother 116
A merriment than a vice.
O, pardon me, my lord! it oft falls out,
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate, 120
For his advantage that I dearly love.
We are all frail.
Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness. 124
Nay, women are frail too.
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women! Help heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.
I think it well:
And from this testimony of your own sex,— 132
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames,—let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none;
If you be one, as you are well express’d 137
By all external warrants, show it now,
By putting on the destin’d livery.
I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, 140
Let me entreat you speak the former language.
Plainly conceive, I love you.
My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me
That he shall die for’t. 144
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t.
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.
Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose. 149
Ha! little honour to be much believ’d,
And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming!
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t: 152
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretch’d throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.
Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoil’d name, the austereness of my life, 156
My vouch against you, and my place i’ the state,
Will so your accusation overweigh,
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun; 160
And now I give my sensual race the rein:
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite;
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother 164
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me to-morrow,
Or, by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you, 170
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.
To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, 172
Who would believe me? O perilous mouths!
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof,
Bidding the law make curt’sy to their will; 176
Hooking both right and wrong to th’ appetite,
To follow as it draws. I’ll to my brother:
Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour, 180
That, had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he’d yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorr’d pollution. 184
Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
More than our brother is our chastity.
I’ll tell him yet of Angelo’s request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul’s rest. 188
Enter Duke, as a friar, Claudio, and Provost.
So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope:
I have hope to live, and am prepar’d to die. 4
Be absolute for death; either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, 8
Servile to all the skyey influences,
That dost this habitation, where thou keep’st,
Hourly afflict. Merely, thou art death’s fool;
For him thou labour’st by thy flight to shun, 12
And yet run’st toward him still. Thou art not noble:
For all th’ accommodations that thou bear’st
Are nurs’d by baseness. Thou art by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork 16
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok’st; yet grossly fear’st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist’st on many a thousand grains 20
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou striv’st to get,
And what thou hast, forget’st. Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects, 24
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou’rt poor;
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear’st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age; 32
But, as it were, an after-dinner’s sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty, 37
To make thy riches pleasant. What’s yet in this
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid moe thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.
I humbly thank you.
To sue to live, I find I seek to die,
And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
[Within.] What ho! Peace here; grace and good company! 44
Who’s there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
Dear sir, ere long I’ll visit you again.
Most holy sir, I thank you. 47
My business is a word or two with Claudio.
And very welcome. Look, signior; here’s your sister.
Provost, a word with you.
As many as you please.
Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be conceal’d. 52
[Exeunt Duke and Provost.
Now, sister, what’s the comfort?
Why, as all comforts are; most good, most good indeed.
Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador, 56
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore, your best appointment make with speed;
To-morrow you set on.
Is there no remedy?
None, but such remedy, as to save a head 60
To cleave a heart in twain.
But is there any?
Yes, brother, you may live:
There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
If you’ll implore it, that will free your life, 64
But fetter you till death.
Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint,
Though all the world’s vastidity you had,
To a determin’d scope.
But in what nature? 68
In such a one as, you consenting to’t,
Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear,
And leave you naked.
Let me know the point.
O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
And six or seven winters more respect
Than a perpetual honour. Dar’st thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension, 76
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
Why give you me this shame?
Think you I can a resolution fetch 80
From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.
There spake my brother: there my father’s grave 84
Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die:
Thou art too noble to conserve a life
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,
Whose settled visage and deliberate word 88
Nips youth i’ the head, and follies doth enmew
As falcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil;
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.
The prenzie Angelo? 92
O, ’tis the cunning livery of hell,
The damned’st body to invest and cover
In prenzie guards! Dost thou think, Claudio?
If I would yield him my virginity, 96
Thou mightst be freed.
O heavens! it cannot be.
Yes, he would give’t thee, from this rank offence,
So to offend him still. This night’s the time
That I should do what I abhor to name, 100
Or else thou diest to-morrow.
Thou shalt not do’t.
O! were it but my life,
I’d throw it down for your deliverance
As frankly as a pin.
Thanks, dear Isabel. 104
Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow.
Yes. Has he affections in him,
That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin; 108
Or of the deadly seven it is the least.
Which is the least?
If it were damnable, he being so wise,
Why would he for the momentary trick 112
Be perdurably fin’d? O Isabel!
What says my brother?
Death is a fearful thing.
And shamed life a hateful.
Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; 116
To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside 120
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison’d in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendant world; or to be worse than worst
Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling: ’tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment 128
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
Sweet sister, let me live:
What sin you do to save a brother’s life, 132
Nature dispenses with the deed so far
That it becomes a virtue.
O you beast!
O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice? 136
Is’t not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own sister’s shame? What should I think?
Heaven shield my mother play’d my father fair;
For such a warped slip of wilderness 140
Ne’er issu’d from his blood. Take my defiance;
Die, perish! Might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed.
I’ll pray a thousand prayers for thy death, 144
No word to save thee.
Nay, hear me, Isabel.
O, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd: 148
’Tis best that thou diest quickly.
O hear me, Isabella.
Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.
What is your will? 151
Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require is likewise your own benefit.
I have no superfluous leisure: my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you a while. 158
[Aside to Claudio.] Son, I have overheard what hath past between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an assay of her virtue to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures. She, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial which he is most glad to receive: I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death. Do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible: to-morrow you must die; go to your knees and make ready. 170
Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life that I will sue to be rid of it.
Hold you there: farewell. 174
Provost, a word with you.
What’s your will, father?
That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my habit no loss shall touch her by my company. 180
In good time.
The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good: the goodness that is cheap in beauty makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How would you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother? 192
I am now going to resolve him; I had rather my brother die by the law than my son should be unlawfully born. But O, how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo! If ever he return and I can speak to him. I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government. 198
That shall not be much amiss: yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation; ‘he made trial of you only.’ Therefore, fasten your ear on my advisings: to the love I have in doing good a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit, redeem your brother from the angry law, do no stain to your own gracious person, and much please the absent duke, if peradventure he shall ever return to have hearing of this business. 210
Let me hear you speak further. I have spirit to do anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.
Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick, the great soldier who miscarried at sea?
I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name. 219
She should this Angelo have married; was affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wracked at sea, having in that perished vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befell to the poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo. 231
Can this be so? Did Angelo so leave her?
Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: in few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not. 239
What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid from the world! What corruption in this life, that it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail? 243
It is a rupture that you may easily heal; and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it.
Show me how, good father. 248
This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo: answer his requiring with a plausible obedience: agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage, first, that your stay with him may not be long, that the time may have all shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to convenience. This being granted in course, and now follows all, we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense; and here by this is your brother saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid will I frame and make fit for his attempt. If you think well to carry this, as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What think you of it? 271
The image of it gives me content already, and I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.
It lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to St. Luke’s; there, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana: at that place call upon me, and dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly. 281
I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father.
Enter Duke, as a friar; to him Elbow, Pompey, and Officers.
Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard. 4
O heavens! what stuff is here?
’Twas never merry world, since, of two usuries, the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by order of law a furred gown to keep him warm; and furred with fox and lamb skins too, to signify that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.
Come your way, sir. Bless you, good father friar. 13
And you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made you, sir?
Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.
Fie, sirrah: a bawd, a wicked bawd! 20
The evil that thou causest to be done,
That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
What ’tis to cram a maw or clothe a back
From such a filthy vice: say to thyself, 24
From their abominable and beastly touches
I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.
Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend. 28
Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I would prove—
Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,
Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer; 32
Correction and instruction must both work
Ere this rude beast will profit.
He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning. The deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.
That we were all, as some would seem to be, 40
From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!
His neck will come to your waist,—a cord, sir.
I spy comfort: I cry, bail. Here’s a gentleman and a friend of mine. 45
How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of Cæsar? Art thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion’s images, newly made woman, to he had now, for putting the hand in the pocket and extracting it clutched? What reply? ha? What say’st thou to this tune, matter and method? Is’t not drowned i’ the last rain, ha? What sayest thou Trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words, or how? The trick of it? 56
Still thus, and thus, still worse!
How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still, ha?
Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub. 61
Why, ’tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so: ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd: an unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey?
Yes, faith, sir. 66
Why, ’tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell. Go, say I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?
For being a bawd, for being a bawd. 70
Well, then, imprison him. If imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, ’tis his right: bawd is he, doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison, Pompey. You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house. 77
I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.
No, indeed will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: if you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the more. Adieu, trusty Pompey. Bless you, friar. 84
Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?
Come your ways, sir; come.
You will not bail me then, sir? 88
Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar? What news?
Come your ways, sir; come.
Go to kennel, Pompey; go. 92
[Exeunt Elbow, Pompey and Officers.
What news, friar, of the duke?
I know none. Can you tell me of any?
Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you? 97
I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.
It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he puts transgression to’t.
He does well in’t. 104
A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar.
It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it. 109
Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is well allied; but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say this Angelo was not made by man and woman after this downright way of creation: is it true, think you?
How should he be made, then? 116
Some report a sea-maid spawn’d him; some that he was begot between two stock-fishes. But it is certain that when he makes water his urine is congealed ice; that I know to be true; and he is a motion generative; that’s infallible.
You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a cod-piece to take away the life of a man! Would the duke that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hanged a man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand: he had some feeling of the sport; he knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy. 131
I never heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not inclined that way.
O, sir, you are deceived.
’Tis not possible. 136
Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty, and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish; the duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too; that let me inform you. 140
You do him wrong, surely.
Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke; and, I believe I know the cause of his withdrawing. 144
What, I prithee, might be the cause?
No, pardon; ’tis a secret must be locked within the teeth and the lips; but this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject held the duke to be wise.
Wise! why, no question but he was.
A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow. 152
Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life and the business he hath helmed must, upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much darkened in your malice.
Sir, I know him, and I love him. 162
Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.
Come, sir, I know what I know.
I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return,—as our prayers are he may,—let me desire you to make your answer before him: if it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain it. I am bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your name? 172
Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the duke.
He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you. 176
I fear you not.
O! you hope the duke will return no more, or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I can do you little harm; you’ll forswear this again.
I’ll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me, friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if Claudio die to-morrow or no? 184
Why should he die, sir?
Why? for filling a bottle with a tundish. I would the duke we talk of were returned again: this ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light: would he were returned! Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing. Farewell, good friar; I prithee, pray for me. The duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He’s not past it yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt brown bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell.
No might nor greatness in mortality
Can censure ’scape: back-wounding calumny
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
But who comes here? 204
Enter Escalus, Provost, and Officers with Mistress Overdone.
Go; away with her to prison!
Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted a merciful man; good my lord. 208
Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same kind? This would make mercy swear, and play the tyrant.
A bawd of eleven years’ continuance, may it please your honour. 213
My lord, this is one Lucio’s information against me. Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the duke’s time; he promised her marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself, and see how he goes about to abuse me! 220
That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Officers with Mistress Overdone.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered; Claudio must die to-morrow. Let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation: if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him. 229
So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death. 232
Good even, good father.
Bliss and goodness on you!
Of whence are you?
Not of this country, though my chance is now 236
To use it for my time: I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the See,
In special business from his Holiness.
What news abroad i’ the world? 240
None, but there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking: there is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure, but security enough to make fellowships accursed. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day’s news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke? 251
One that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.
What pleasure was he given to? 254
Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at anything which professed to make him rejoice: a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared. I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation. 262
He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice; yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life, which I, by my good leisure have discredited to him, and now is he resolved to die. 269
You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty; but my brother justice have I found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell him he is indeed Justice. 276
If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.
I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
Peace be with you!
[Exeunt Escalus and Provost.
He, who the sword of heaven will bear
Should be as holy as severe; 284
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;
More nor less to others paying
Than by self offences weighing. 288
Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice and let his grow! 292
O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
How many likeness made in crimes,
Making practice on the times, 296
To draw with idle spiders’ strings
Most pond’rous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply:
With Angelo to-night shall lie 300
His old betrothed but despis’d:
So disguise shall, by the disguis’d,
Pay with falsehood false exacting,
And perform an old contracting.
Enter Mariana and a Boy: Boy sings.
Take, O take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn: 4
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain,
seal’d in vain. 8
Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away:
Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often still’d my brawling discontent.
Enter Duke, disguised as before.
I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish 12
You had not found me here so musical:
Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
My mirth it much displeas’d, but pleas’d my woe.
’Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm 16
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
I pray you tell me, hath anybody inquired for me here to-day? much upon this time have I promised here to meet. 20
You have not been inquired after: I have sat here all day.
I do constantly believe you. The time is come even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little; may be I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself.
I am always bound to you.
Very well met, and well come. 28
What is the news from this good deputy?
He hath a garden circummur’d with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard back’d;
And to that vineyard is a planched gate, 32
That makes his opening with this bigger key;
This other doth command a little door
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads;
There have I made my promise 36
Upon the heavy middle of the night
To call upon him.
But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
I have ta’en a due and wary note upon’t: 40
With whispering and most guilty diligence,
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice o’er.
Are there no other tokens
Between you ’greed concerning her observance?
No, none, but only a repair i’ the dark;
And that I have possess’d him my most stay
Can be but brief; for I have made him know
I have a servant comes with me along, 48
That stays upon me, whose persuasion is
I come about my brother.
’Tis well borne up.
I have not yet made known to Mariana
A word of this. What ho! within! come forth.
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid; 53
She comes to do you good.
I do desire the like.
Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?
Good friar, I know you do, and oft have found it. 56
Take then this your companion by the hand,
Who hath a story ready for your ear.
I shall attend your leisure: but make haste;
The vaporous night approaches.
Will’t please you walk aside? 60
[Exeunt Mariana and Isabella.
O place and greatness! millions of false eyes
Are stuck upon thee: volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit 64
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies!
Re-enter Mariana and Isabella.
Welcome! How agreed?
She’ll take the enterprise upon her, father,
If you advise it.
It is not my consent, 68
But my entreaty too.
Little have you to say
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
‘Remember now my brother.’
Fear me not.
Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
He is your husband on a pre-contract: 73
To bring you thus together, ’tis no sin,
Sith that the justice of your title to him
Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go: 76
Our corn’s to reap, for yet our tithe’s to sow.
Enter Provost and Pompey.
Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man’s head?
If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a married man, he is his wife’s head, and I can never cut off a woman’s head. 5
Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine. Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping, for you have been a notorious bawd. 15
Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner.
What ho, Abhorson! Where’s Abhorson, there? 21
Do you call, sir?
Sirrah, here’s a fellow will help you to-morrow in your execution. If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him. He cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd. 28
A bawd, sir? Fie upon him! he will discredit our mystery.
Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.
Pray, sir, by your good favour—for surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that you have a hanging look,—do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery? 36
Ay, sir; a mystery.
Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and your whores, sir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hanged, I cannot imagine.
Sir, it is a mystery. 44
Every true man’s apparel fits your thief.
If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough: so, every true man’s apparel fits your thief. 50
Are you agreed?
Sir, I will serve him; for I do find that your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd, he doth often ask forgiveness.
You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe to-morrow four o’clock. 56
Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.
I do desire to learn, sir; and, I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare; for, truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you a good turn.
Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
[Exeunt Pompey and Abhorson.
The one has my pity; not a jot the other, 64
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
Look, here’s the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
’Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
Thou must be made immortal. Where’s Barnardine? 68
As fast lock’d up in sleep as guiltless labour
When it lies starkly in the traveller’s bones;
He will not wake.
Who can do good on him?
Well, go; prepare yourself. [Knocking within.] But hark, what noise?— 72
Heaven give your spirits comfort!—[Exit Claudio.] By and by.
I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
For the most gentle Claudio.
Enter Duke, disguised as before.
The best and wholesom’st spirits of the night 76
Envelop you, good provost! Who call’d here of late?
None since the curfew rung.
They will, then, ere’t be long.
What comfort is for Claudio? 80
There’s some in hope.
It is a bitter deputy.
Not so, not so: his life is parallel’d
Even with the stroke and line of his great justice:
He doth with holy abstinence subdue 84
That in himself which he spurs on his power
To qualify in others: were he meal’d with that
Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous;
But this being so, he’s just.—[Knocking within.] Now are they come.
This is a gentle provost: seldom when 89
The steeled gaoler is the friend of men.
How now! What noise? That spirit’s possess’d with haste
That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes. 92
There he must stay until the officer
Arise to let him in; he is call’d up.
Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
But he must die to-morrow?
None, sir, none. 96
As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.
You something know; yet, I believe there comes
No countermand: no such example have we. 100
Besides, upon the very siege of justice,
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
Profess’d the contrary.
Enter a Messenger.
This is his lordship’s man.
And here comes Claudio’s pardon. 104
[Giving a paper.] My lord hath sent you this note; and by me this further charge, that you swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day.
I shall obey him.
[Aside.] This is his pardon, purchased by such sin
For which the pardoner himself is in; 112
Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
When it is borne in high authority.
When vice makes mercy, mercy’s so extended,
That for the fault’s love is the offender friended.
Now, sir, what news? 117
I told you; Lord Angelo, belike thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting on; methinks strangely, for he hath not used it before. 121
Pray you, let’s hear.
Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and, in the afternoon, Barnardine. For my better satisfaction, let me have Claudio’s head sent me by five. Let this be duly performed; with a thought that more depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your office, as you will answer it at your peril.
What say you to this, sir? 131
What is that Barnardine who is to be executed this afternoon?
A Bohemian born, but here nursed up and bred; one that is a prisoner nine years old.
How came it that the absent duke had not either delivered him to his liberty or executed him? I have heard it was ever his manner to do so. 139
His friends still wrought reprieves for him; and, indeed, his fact, till now in the government of Lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.
It is now apparent? 144
Most manifest, and not denied by himself.
Hath he borne himself penitently in prison? How seems he to be touched?
A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless of what’s past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal. 152
He wants advice.
He will hear none. He hath evermore had the liberty of the prison: give him leave to escape hence, he would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked him, as if to carry him to execution, and showed him a seeming warrant for it: it hath not moved him at all. 160
More of him anon. There is written in your brow, provost, honesty and constancy; if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but, in the boldness of my cunning I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angalo who hath sentenced him. To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days’ respite, for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous courtesy.
Pray, sir, in what? 172
In the delaying death.
Alack! how may I do it, having the hour limited, and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case as Claudio’s to cross this in the smallest. 178
By the vow of mine order I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine be this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.
Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour. 184
O! death’s a great disguiser, and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard; and say it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared before his death: you know the course is common. If anything fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I will plead against it with my life. 192
Pardon me, good father; it is against my oath.
Were you sworn to the duke or to the deputy? 196
To him, and to his substitutes.
You will think you have made no offence, if the duke avouch the justice of your dealing? 200
But what likelihood is in that?
Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor persuasion can with ease attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. Look you, sir; here is the hand and seal of the duke: you know the character, I doubt not, and the signet is not strange to you. 209
I know them both.
The contents of this is the return of the duke: you shall anon over-read if at your pleasure, where you shall find within these two days, he will be here. This is a thing that Angelo knows not, for he this very day receives letters of strange tenour; perchance of the duke’s death; perchance, his entering into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what is writ. Look, the unfolding star calls up the shepherd. Put not yourself into amazement how these things should be: all difficulties are but easy when they are known. Call your executioner, and off with Barnardine’s head: I will give him a present shrift and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amaz’d, but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come away; it is almost clear dawn.
I am as well acquainted here as I was in our house of profession: one would think it were Mistress Overdone’s own house, for here be many of her old customers. First, here’s young Master Rash; he’s in for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger, nine-score and seventeen pounds, of which he made five marks, ready money: marry, then ginger was not much in request, for the old women were all dead. Then is there here one Master Caper, at the suit of Master Three-pile the mercer, for some four suits of peach-colour’d satin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we young Dizy, and young Master Deep-vow, and Master Copperspur,