Immagini della pagina


[blocks in formation]

Enter BIRON, with a paper.

Biron. The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing myself: they have pitched a toil; I am toiling in a pitch,-pitch that defiles: defile! a foul word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so they say the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool well proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep well proved again o' my side! I will not love: if I do, hang me; i' faith, I will not. O, but her eye, by this light, but for her eye, I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I do love; and it hath taught me to rhyme and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets already: the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the lady hath it sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one with a paper: God give him grace to groan! [Stands aside.

Enter the KING, with a paper.

King. Ay me!

Biron. [Aside] Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid: thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the left pap.

King [reads].

2. coursing, chasing, pursuing. ib. toil, hunting-net. 'Toiling in a pitch,' ensnared in Rosaline's pitch-ball' eyes.

In faith, secrets!

4. set thee down, sit down.



25. bird-bolt, a thick, square blunt arrow.

So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not

To those fresh morning drops upon the rose, As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have


The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows: Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright

Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep:
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
So ridest thou triúmphing in my woe.
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,

And they thy glory through my grief will show :
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the


Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
[Steps aside.

What, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear.
Biron. Now, in thy likeness, one more fool

Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper.

Long. Ay me, I am forsworn!

Biron. Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.

King. In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!

Biron. One drunkard loves another of the


47. perjure, perjurer. The perjurer had to wear a paper on




his breast containing a confes. sion of his crime.

Long. Am I the first that have been per

jured so?

Biron. I could put thee in comfort.

two that I know:

Not by

Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of


The shape of Love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.

Long. I fear these stubborn lines lack power

to move.

O sweet Maria, empress of my love!

These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.

Biron. O, rhymes are guards on

Cupid's hose:

Disfigure not his slop.



This same shall go. [Reads.
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?

Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,

Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;

Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me. Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is : Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth doth shine,

Exhalest this vapour-vow; in thee it is:

If broken then, it is no fault of mine:

53. triumviry, triumvirate.

ib. corner-cap, the beretta or three-cornered cap of the Catholic priest. The shape of this suggests the triangle formed by the timbers of a gallows,-the Tyburn of love, at which the three perjurers' have hung up

their innocence.



58. guards, trimmings. 59. slop, loose trousers. Qq and Ff, shop. The correction is Theobald's. The objection that the hose is not the slop has no weight where both terms are figurative.

If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise?

Biron. This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity,

A green goose a goddess: pure, pure idolatry.
God amend us, God amend! we are much out o'
the way.

Long. By whom shall I send this?-Com

pany! stay.

[Steps aside.

Biron. All hid, all hid; an old infant play.

Like a demigod here sit I in the sky,

And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye. More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!

Enter DUMAIN, with a paper.

Dumain transform'd! four woodcocks in a dish!
Dum. O most divine Kate !

Biron. O most profane coxcomb!

Dum. By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye! Biron. By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie.

Dum. Her amber hair for foul hath amber quoted.

Biron. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.

Dum. As upright as the cedar.

74 liver-vein, the strain or style of lovers, the liver being considered the seat of love.

78. All hid, all hid, the cry of chidren at Hide-and-Seek.

79. These lines have suggested that iron is hidden in a tree overheid, and some editors have adoptel Capell's stage direction a v. 23, gets up into a VOL. I



tree, or the like. But this is very cumbrous, and Biron may well mean merely that from his vantage-ground he commands the secrets of men's hearts like a god, or demigod. Cf. v. 175. 82. woodcocks, gulls, simple


87. quoted, noted, marked.


[blocks in formation]

Biron. Ay, as some days; but then no sun

must shine.

Dum. O that I had my wish!


And I had mine!

King. And I mine too, good Lord!

Biron. Amen, so I had mine: is not that a good word?

Dum. I would forget her; but a fever she Reigns in my blood and will remember'd be.

Biron. A fever in your blood! why, then incision

Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision ! Dum. Once more I'll read the ode that I

have writ.

Biron. Once more I'll mark how love can



Dum. [reads]

On a day-alack the day!-

Love, whose month is ever May,

Spied a blossom passing fair

Playing in the wanton air:

Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn

Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;

[blocks in formation]



106. can (gan), did; a com. mon Middle-English usage imi. tated by Spenser.

« IndietroContinua »