Actus Quartus.

Enter the Princesse, a Forrester, her Ladies, and her Lords.

Qu. Was that the King that spurd his horse so hard, Against the steepe vprising of the hill? Boy. I know not, but I thinke it was not he

Qu. Who ere a was, a shew'd a mounting minde: Well Lords, to day we shall haue our dispatch, On Saterday we will returne to France. Then Forrester my friend, Where is the Bush That we must stand and play the murtherer in? For. Hereby vpon the edge of yonder Coppice, A stand where you may make the fairest shoote

Qu. I thanke my beautie, I am faire that shoote, And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoote

For. Pardon me Madam, for I meant not so

Qu. What, what? First praise me, & then again say no. O short liu'd pride. Not faire? alacke for woe

For. Yes Madam faire

Qu. Nay, neuer paint me now, Where faire is not, praise cannot mend the brow. Here (good my glasse) take this for telling true: Faire paiment for foule words, is more then due

For. Nothing but faire is that which you inherit

Qu. See, see, my beautie will be sau'd by merit. O heresie in faire, fit for these dayes, A giuing hand, though foule, shall haue faire praise. But come, the Bow: Now Mercie goes to kill, And shooting well, is then accounted ill: Thus will I saue my credit in the shoote, Not wounding, pittie would not let me do't: If wounding, then it was to shew my skill, That more for praise, then purpose meant to kill. And out of question, so it is sometimes: Glory growes guiltie of detested crimes, When for Fames sake, for praise an outward part, We bend to that, the working of the hart. As I for praise alone now seeke to spill The poore Deeres blood, that my heart meanes no ill

Boy. Do not curst wiues hold that selfe-soueraigntie Onely for praise sake, when they striue to be Lords ore their Lords? Qu. Onely for praise, and praise we may afford, To any Lady that subdewes a Lord. Enter Clowne.

Boy. Here comes a member of the common-wealth

Clo. God dig-you-den all, pray you which is the head Lady? Qu. Thou shalt know her fellow, by the rest that haue no heads

Clo. Which is the greatest Lady, the highest? Qu. The thickest, and the tallest

Clo. The thickest, & the tallest: it is so, truth is truth. And your waste Mistris, were as slender as my wit, One a these Maides girdles for your waste should be fit. Are not you the chiefe woma[n]? You are the thickest here? Qu. What's your will sir? What's your will? Clo. I haue a Letter from Monsier Berowne, To one Lady Rosaline

Qu. O thy letter, thy letter: He's a good friend of mine. Stand a side good bearer. Boyet, you can carue, Breake vp this Capon

Boyet. I am bound to serue. This Letter is mistooke: it importeth none here: It is writ to Iaquenetta

Qu. We will read it, I sweare. Breake the necke of the Waxe, and euery one giue eare

Boyet reades. By heauen, that thou art faire, is most infallible: true that thou art beauteous, truth it selfe that thou art louely: more fairer then faire, beautifull then beautious, truer then truth it selfe: haue comiseration on thy heroicall Vassall. The magnanimous and most illustrate King Cophetua set eie vpon the pernicious and indubitate Begger Zenelophon: and he it was that might rightly say, Veni, vidi, vici: Which to annothanize in the vulgar, O base and obscure vulgar; videliset, He came, See, and ouercame: hee came one; see, two; ouercame three: Who came? the King. Why did he come? to see. Why did he see? to ouercome. To whom came he? to the Begger. What saw he? the Begger. Who ouercame he? the Begger. The conclusion is victorie: On whose side? the King: the captiue is inricht: On whose side? the Beggers. The catastrophe is a Nuptiall: on whose side? the Kings: no, on both in one, or one in both. I am the King (for so stands the comparison) thou the Begger, for so witnesseth thy lowlinesse. Shall I command thy loue? I may. Shall I enforce thy loue? I could. Shall I entreate thy loue? I will. What, shalt thou exchange for ragges, roabes: for tittles titles, for thy selfe mee. Thus expecting thy reply, I prophane my lips on thy foote, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy euerie part. Thine in the dearest designe of industrie, Don Adriana de Armatho. Thus dost thou heare the Nemean Lion roare, Gainst thee thou Lambe, that standest as his pray: Submissiue fall his princely feete before, And he from forrage will incline to play. But if thou striue (poore soule) what art thou then? Foode for his rage, repasture for his den

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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