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And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won as towns with fire, so won, so lost.
King. We must of force dispense with this


She must lie here on mere necessity.

Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn Three thousand times within this three years' space;

For every man with his affects is born,

Not by might master'd but by special grace: If I break faith, this word shall speak for me; I am forsworn on 'mere necessity.'

So to the laws at large I write my name:

[Subscribes. And he that breaks them in the least degree Stands in attainder of eternal shame:

Suggestions are to other as to me;
But I believe, although I seem so loath,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted?
King. Ay, that there is.

is haunted

Our court, you know,

With a refined traveller of Spain;

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One whom the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;

A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
For interim to our studies shall relate

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ments. Armado is a finished
cavalier, whose decision upon
all matters of etiquette is final.
Moth calls him ironically 'my
complete master,' iii. I. II.
171. hight, is called.


In high-born words the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
Long. Costard the swain and he shall be our

And, so to study, three years is but short.

Enter DULL with a letter, and COSTARD.

Dull. Which is the duke's own person?
Biron. This, fellow: what wouldst ?

Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

Biron. This is he.

Dull. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you. There's villany abroad: this letter will tell you



Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching

King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Long. A high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!

Biron. To hear? or forbear laughing?

Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.

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means that Armado's 'high words' are a low object to hope for.

198. laughing. Capell's correction of Q; Ff, 'hearing.'

Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

Biron. In what manner?

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is in 210 manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner, it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman for the form,-in some form.

Biron. For the following, sir?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction: and
God defend the right!

King. Will you hear this letter with attention?
Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King [reads]. 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god, and body's fostering patron.' Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.

King [reads]. 'So it is,'—

Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so.

King. Peace!

Cost. Be to me and every man that dares not fight!

King. No words!

Cost. Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.
King [reads]. So it is, besieged with sable-

204. taken with the manner (mainour), 'with the thing stolen upon him,' a legal phrase. There



is thus a threefold quibble upon the word.

coloured melancholy, I did commend the blackoppressing humour to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper : so much for the 240 time when. Now for the ground which; which,


I mean, I walked upon it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon - coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest: but to the place where; it standeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy curious - knotted garden there did I see that low-spirited swain, 250 that base minnow of thy mirth,'—

Cost. Me?

King [reads]. that unlettered small-knowing soul,'

Cost. Me?

King [reads]. that shallow vassal,'

Cost. Still me?

King [reads]. which, as I remember, hight Costard,'

Cost. O, me!

King [reads]. sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, which with,-O, with-but with this I passion to say wherewith,

Cost. With a wench.

249. curious-knotted, with intricately contrived flower-beds.

Knot' in this sense was a technical term in Elizabethan



262. continent canon, law en. joining continence.

264. passion, grieve.

King [reads]. 'with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I, as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on, have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet grace's 270 officer, Anthony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.'

Dull. Me, an 't shall please you; I am Anthony Dull.

King [reads]. For Jaquenetta,-so is the weaker vessel called which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain,-I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty. 280 DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.'

Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, but the best that ever I heard.

King. Ay, the best for the worst.

what say you to this?

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.

But, sirrah,

King. Did you hear the proclamation ?

Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.

King. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, to be taken with a wench.

Cost. I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damsel.

King. Well, it was proclaimed 'damsel.'

Cost. This was no damsel neither, sir; she was a virgin.

King. It is so varied too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin.'

Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.

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King. This maid' will not serve your turn, sir. 300

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