ACT II
Scene I.
 

The park

Enter the PRINCESS OF FRANCE, with three attending ladies,
ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, and two other LORDS

BOYET
Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
Consider who the King your father sends,
To whom he sends, and what's his embassy:
Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem,
To parley with the sole inheritor
Of all perfections that a man may owe,
Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
As Nature was in making graces dear,
When she did starve the general world beside
And prodigally gave them all to you.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
Not utt'red by base sale of chapmen's tongues;
I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
Than you much willing to be counted wise
In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
You are not ignorant all-telling fame
Doth noise abroad Navarre hath made a vow,
Till painful study shall outwear three years,
No woman may approach his silent court.
Therefore to's seemeth it a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness, we single you
As our best-moving fair solicitor.
Tell him the daughter of the King of France,
On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
Importunes personal conference with his Grace.
Haste, signify so much; while we attend,
Like humble-visag'd suitors, his high will.

BOYET
Proud of employment, willingly I go.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.

[Exit BOYET]

Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?

FIRST LORD
Lord Longaville is one.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Know you the man?

MARIA
I know him, madam; at a marriage feast,
Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized
In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
A man of sovereign parts, peerless esteem'd,
Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms;
Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss,
If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,
Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a will,
Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
It should none spare that come within his power.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so?

MARIA
They say so most that most his humours know.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow.
Who are the rest?

KATHARINE
The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd youth,
Of all that virtue love for virtue loved;
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill,
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alencon's once;
And much too little of that good I saw
Is my report to his great worthiness.

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

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
God bless my ladies! Are they all in love,
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise?

FIRST LORD
Here comes Boyet.

Re-enter BOYET

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Now, what admittance, lord?

BOYET
Navarre had notice of your fair approach,
And he and his competitors in oath
Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady,
Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt:
He rather means to lodge you in the field,
Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
To let you enter his unpeopled house.

[The LADIES-IN-WAITING mask]

Enter KING, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BEROWNE, and ATTENDANTS

Here comes Navarre.

KING
Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
'Fair' I give you back again; and 'welcome' I
have not yet. The roof of this court is too high to be yours, and
welcome to the wide fields too base to be mine.

KING
You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
I will be welcome then; conduct me thither.

KING
Hear me, dear lady: I have sworn an oath-

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Our Lady help my lord! He'll be forsworn.

KING
Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing
else.

KING
Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
I hear your Grace hath sworn out house-keeping.
'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
And sin to break it.
But pardon me, I am too sudden bold;
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
And suddenly resolve me in my suit. [Giving a paper]

KING
Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
You will the sooner that I were away,
For you'll prove perjur'd if you make me stay.

BEROWNE
Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?

KATHARINE
Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?

BEROWNE
I know you did.

KATHARINE
How needless was it then to ask the question!

BEROWNE
You must not be so quick.

KATHARINE
'Tis long of you, that spur me with such questions.

BEROWNE
Your wit 's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.

KATHARINE
Not till it leave the rider in the mire.

BEROWNE
What time o' day?

KATHARINE
The hour that fools should ask.

BEROWNE
Now fair befall your mask!

KATHARINE
Fair fall the face it covers!

BEROWNE
And send you many lovers!

KATHARINE
Amen, so you be none.

BEROWNE
Nay, then will I be gone.

KING
Madam, your father here doth intimate
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns;
Being but the one half of an entire sum
Disbursed by my father in his wars.
But say that he or we, as neither have,
Receiv'd that sum, yet there remains unpaid
A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which,
One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
Although not valued to the money's worth.
If then the King your father will restore
But that one half which is unsatisfied,
We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
And hold fair friendship with his Majesty.
But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
For here he doth demand to have repaid
A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have his title live in Aquitaine;
Which we much rather had depart withal,
And have the money by our father lent,
Than Aquitaine so gelded as it is.
Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
A yielding 'gainst some reason in my breast,
And go well satisfied to France again.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
You do the King my father too much wrong,
And wrong the reputation of your name,
In so unseeming to confess receipt
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.

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

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

KING
Satisfy me so.

BOYET
So please your Grace, the packet is not come,
Where that and other specialties are bound;
To-morrow you shall have a sight of them.

KING
It shall suffice me; at which interview
All liberal reason I will yield unto.
Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
As honour, without breach of honour, may
Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
You may not come, fair Princess, within my gates;
But here without you shall be so receiv'd
As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart,
Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
To-morrow shall we visit you again.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Sweet health and fair desires consort your
Grace!

KING
Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.

[Exit with attendants]

BEROWNE
Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.

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

BEROWNE
I would you heard it groan.

ROSALINE
Is the fool sick?

BEROWNE
Sick at the heart.

ROSALINE
Alack, let it blood.

BEROWNE
Would that do it good?

ROSALINE
My physic says 'ay.'

BEROWNE
Will YOU prick't with your eye?

ROSALINE
No point, with my knife.

BEROWNE
Now, God save thy life!

ROSALINE
And yours from long living!

BEROWNE
I cannot stay thanksgiving.

[Retiring]

DUMAIN
Sir, I pray you, a word: what lady is that same?

BOYET
The heir of Alencon, Katharine her name.

DUMAIN
A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well.

Exit

LONGAVILLE
I beseech you a word: what is she in the white?

BOYET
A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.

LONGAVILLE
Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.

BOYET
She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a shame.

LONGAVILLE
Pray you, sir, whose daughter?

BOYET
Her mother's, I have heard.

LONGAVILLE
God's blessing on your beard!

BOYET
Good sir, be not offended;
She is an heir of Falconbridge.

LONGAVILLE
Nay, my choler is ended.
She is a most sweet lady.

BOYET
Not unlike, sir; that may be.

Exit LONGAVILLE

BEROWNE
What's her name in the cap?

BOYET
Rosaline, by good hap.

BEROWNE
Is she wedded or no?

BOYET
To her will, sir, or so.

BEROWNE
You are welcome, sir; adieu!

BOYET
Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.

Exit BEROWNE. LADIES Unmask

MARIA
That last is Berowne, the merry mad-cap lord;
Not a word with him but a jest.

BOYET
And every jest but a word.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
It was well done of you to take him at his
word.

BOYET
I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.

KATHARINE
Two hot sheeps, marry!

BOYET
And wherefore not ships?
No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.

KATHARINE
You sheep and I pasture- shall that finish the jest?

BOYET
So you grant pasture for me. [Offering to kiss her]

KATHARINE
Not so, gentle beast;
My lips are no common, though several they be.

BOYET
Belonging to whom?

KATHARINE
To my fortunes and me.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles,
agree;
This civil war of wits were much better used
On Navarre and his book-men, for here 'tis abused.

BOYET
If my observation, which very seldom lies,
By the heart's still rhetoric disclosed with eyes,
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
With what?

BOYET
With that which we lovers entitle 'affected.'

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Your reason?

BOYET
Why, all his behaviours did make their retire
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.
His heart, like an agate, with your print impressed,
Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed;
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
All senses to that sense did make their repair,
To feel only looking on fairest of fair.
Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
Who, tend'ring their own worth from where they were glass'd,
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd.
His face's own margent did quote such amazes
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
I'll give you Aquitaine and all that is his,
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Come, to our pavilion. Boyet is dispos'd.

BOYET
But to speak that in words which his eye hath disclos'd;
I only have made a mouth of his eye,
By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.

MARIA
Thou art an old love-monger, and speakest skilfully.

KATHARINE
He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns news of him.

ROSALINE
Then was Venus like her mother; for her father is but
grim.

BOYET
Do you hear, my mad wenches?

MARIA
No.

BOYET
What, then; do you see?

MARIA
Ay, our way to be gone.

BOYET
You are too hard for me.

Exeunt