ACT IV
Scene I.
 

The park

Enter the PRINCESS, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, LORDS, ATTENDANTS,
and a FORESTER

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Was that the King that spurr'd his horse so
hard
Against the steep uprising of the hill?

BOYET
I know not; but I think it was not he.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Whoe'er 'a was, 'a show'd a mounting mind.
Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch;
On Saturday we will return to France.
Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
That we must stand and play the murderer in?

FORESTER
Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
I thank my beauty I am fair that shoot,
And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot.

FORESTER
Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
O short-liv'd pride! Not fair? Alack for woe!

FORESTER
Yes, madam, fair.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Nay, never paint me now;
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:

[Giving him money]

Fair payment for foul words is more than due.

FORESTER
Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
See, see, my beauty will be sav'd by merit.
O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
But come, the bow. Now mercy goes to kill,
And shooting well is then accounted ill;
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
And, out of question, so it is sometimes:
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart;
As I for praise alone now seek to spill
The poor deer's blood that my heart means no ill.

BOYET
Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
Only for praise sake, when they strive to be
Lords o'er their lords?

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Only for praise; and praise we may afford
To any lady that subdues a lord.

Enter COSTARD

BOYET
Here comes a member of the commonwealth.

COSTARD
God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that
have no heads.

COSTARD
Which is the greatest lady, the highest?

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
The thickest and the tallest.

COSTARD
The thickest and the tallest! It is so; truth is truth.
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest here.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
What's your will, sir? What's your will?

COSTARD
I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one
Lady Rosaline.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
O, thy letter, thy letter! He's a good friend
of mine.
Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve.
Break up this capon.

BOYET
I am bound to serve.
This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
It is writ to Jaquenetta.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
We will read it, I swear.
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.

BOYET
[Reads] 'By heaven, that thou art fair is most infallible;
true that thou art beauteous; truth itself that thou art lovely.
More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer than truth
itself, have commiseration on thy heroical vassal. The
magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set eye upon the
pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it was that
might rightly say, 'Veni, vidi, vici'; which to annothanize in
the vulgar,- O base and obscure vulgar!- videlicet, He came, saw,
and overcame. He came, one; saw, two; overcame, three. Who came?-
the king. Why did he come?- to see. Why did he see?-to overcome.
To whom came he?- to the beggar. What saw he?- the beggar. Who
overcame he?- the beggar. The conclusion is victory; on whose
side?- the king's. The captive is enrich'd; on whose side?- the
beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial; on whose side?- the
king's. No, on both in one, or one in both. I am the king, for so
stands the comparison; thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy
lowliness. Shall I command thy love? I may. Shall I enforce thy
love? I could. Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou
exchange for rags?- robes, for tittles?- titles, for thyself?
-me. Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot, my
eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every part.
Thine in the dearest design of industry,
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.
'Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey;
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play.
But if thou strive, poor soul, what are thou then?
Food for his rage, repasture for his den.'

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
What plume of feathers is he that indited this
letter?
What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?

BOYET
I am much deceived but I remember the style.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Else your memory is bad, going o'er it
erewhile.

BOYET
This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the Prince and his book-mates.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Thou fellow, a word.
Who gave thee this letter?

COSTARD
I told you: my lord.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
To whom shouldst thou give it?

COSTARD
From my lord to my lady.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
From which lord to which lady?

COSTARD
From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.

PRINCESS OF FRANCE
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords,
away.
[To ROSALINE] Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine another
day.

Exeunt PRINCESS and TRAIN

BOYET
Who is the shooter? who is the shooter?

ROSALINE
Shall I teach you to know?

BOYET
Ay, my continent of beauty.

ROSALINE
Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off!

BOYET
My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

ROSALINE
Well then, I am the shooter.

BOYET
And who is your deer?

ROSALINE
If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
Finely put on indeed!

MARIA
You Still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the
brow.

BOYET
But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?

ROSALINE
Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man
when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit
it?

BOYET
So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when
Queen Guinever of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit
it.

ROSALINE
[Singing]
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

BOYET
An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.

Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE

COSTARD
By my troth, most pleasant! How both did fit it!

MARIA
A mark marvellous well shot; for they both did hit it.

BOYET
A mark! O, mark but that mark! A mark, says my lady!
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.

MARIA
Wide o' the bow-hand! I' faith, your hand is out.

COSTARD
Indeed, 'a must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the
clout.

BOYET
An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

COSTARD
Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.

MARIA
Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.

COSTARD
She's too hard for you at pricks, sir; challenge her to
bowl.

BOYET
I fear too much rubbing; good-night, my good owl.

Exeunt BOYET and MARIA

COSTARD
By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown!
Lord, Lord! how the ladies and I have put him down!
O' my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit!
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were, so fit.
Armado a th' t'one side- O, a most dainty man!
To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly 'a will swear!
And his page a t' other side, that handful of wit!
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
Sola, sola!

Exit COSTARD