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Prin. Thy news, Boyet?
Prepare, madam, prepare!
That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage:
And ever and anon they made a doubt
'For,' quoth the king, 'an angel shalt thou see;
I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.'
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder:
109. rubb'd his elbow, a sign of satisfaction. Cf. Jonson, Barthol. Fair, iii. 1:
[He sings the burden with him. Oh rare! I would fain rub my elbow now, but I dare not pull out my hand.
Cokes. That again, good balladman, that again
109. fleer'd, grinned.
A better speech was never spoke before;
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.
Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparell'd thus,
Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd;
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
And change you favours too; so shall your loves
Ros. Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.
Kath. But in this changing what is your intent?
117. spleen ridiculous, paroxysm of laughter, the spleen being regarded as the seat of laughter, as well as of ill-humour. Boyet says that they laughed
till they shed the tears which, as properly belonging to grief, constituted a reproof.
122. parle, discourse.
Prin. The effect of my intent is to cross theirs:
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to 't?
And quite divorce his memory from his part.
Prin. Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. There's no such sport as sport by sport o'erthrown, To make theirs ours and ours none but our own: So shall we stay, mocking intended game, And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame. [Trumpets sound within. Boyet. The trumpet sounds: be mask'd; the maskers come. [The Ladies mask.
Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; the
Moth. All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!
Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.
159. taffeta, a rich smooth silken stuff; here, the taffeta marks, which alone were seen,
used also metaphorically of fine phrases (v. 406).
160. parcel, company, party.
Biron. [Aside to Moth] Their eyes, villain,
Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!
Boyet. True; out indeed.
Moth. Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
Not to behold—
Biron. [Aside to Moth] Once to behold, rogue.
—with your sun-beamed eyes
Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet; You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.' Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings
Biron. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
Boyet. What would you with the princess?
Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be
King. Say to her, we have measured many miles
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
185. measure, a stately dance.
Boyet. They say, that they have measured many a mile
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
Is in one mile: if they have measured many,
Boyet. If to come hither you have measured
And many miles, the princess bids you tell
Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary
Boyet. She hears herself.
Biron. We number nothing that we spend for
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.
Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter; Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. King. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change;
Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange. Ros. Play, music, then! Nay, you must do [Music plays.