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, . 104 Lope's Labour's loft. yea, he loveth. Aflift me, some extemporal God of rhime, for, I am sure, I shall turn sonnet. Devise wit, write pen, for I am for whole volumes in folio.

[Exeunt. ACT

II. SCENE, before the King of Navarre's

Palace. Enter the Princess of France, Rosaline, Maria, Catharine, Boyet, Lords and other attendants

Β Ο Υ Ε Τ.
OW, madam, summon up your deareft fpirits ;

Consider, whom the King your father sends;
Your self, 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 Aquitain, a dowry for a Queen.
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace,
As nature was in making graces dear,
When she did ftarve the general world beside, (8)
And prodigally gave them all to you.

Prin. 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 utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues. I am less proud to hear you


my worth, 18) When she did starve the general World beside,] Catullus has a Compliment, much of this Cast, to his Lesbia in his 87th Epigram:

quæ cùm pulcherrima tota eft, Tum omnibus una omnes surripuit Veneres.



Than you much willing to be counted wise,
In spending thus your wit in 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 out-wear three years,
No woman may approach his filent Court;
Therefore to us seems it a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness, we fingle you
As our best moving fair sollicitor.
Tell him, the daughter of the King of France,
On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
Importunes personal conference with his Grace.
Halte, signifie so much, while we attend,
Like humble-visag'd fuitors, his high will.

Boyet. Proud of imployment, willingly I go. [Exit,

Prin. All pride is willing pride, and yours is 1o ;
Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous King ?

Lord. Longaville is one.
Prin. Know you the man?

Mar. I knew him, madam, at a marriage feast,
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Faulconbridge solemnized.
In Normandy saw I this Longaville,
A man of sovereign parts he is esteemid;
Well fitted in the 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 spare none, that come within his power.

Prin. Some merry-mocking lord, belike ; is’t so? Mar. They say lo most, that most his humours

know. Prin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow, Who are the rest ?


Cath. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd youth,
Of all that virtue love, for virtue lov’d.
Most power to do most harm, leaft knowing ill ;
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win

grace, tho' he had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alanson's once,
And much too little of that good I saw,
Is my report to his great worthiness.

Rosa. Another of these students at that time
Was there with him, as I have heard a truth;
Biron 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 jeft;
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.

Prin. God bless my ladies, are they all in love,
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise ?
Mar. Here comes Boyet.

Enter Boyet.
Prin. Now, what admittance, Lord?

Boyet. Navarre had notice of your fair approach ;
And he and his competitors in oath
Were all addrest to meet you, gentle lady,
Before I came: marry, thus much I've 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.
Here comes Navarre.



Enter the King, Longaville, Dumain, Biron, and

King. Fair Princess, welcome to the Court of Na-

Prin. 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, Prin. I will be welcome then; conduct me thither, King. Hear me, dear Lady, I have sworn an oath. Prin. Our Lady help my lord! he'll be forsworn. King. Not for the world, fair Madam, by my will. Prin. Why, Will shall break its will, and nothing

else. King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.

Prin. 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 fin to keep chat oath, my Lord; And fin to break it. But pardon me, I am coq sudden bold: To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me. Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my Coming, And suddenly resolve me in my suit.

King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.

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

Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
Ros. Did not dance with you in Brabant once ?
Biron. I know, you did.
Rof. How needless was it then to ask the question?
Biron. You must not be so quick.
Rof. 'Tis long of you, that spur me with such

questions. Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill

tire. Rof. Not 'till it leave the rider in the mire. Biron. What time o' day?


Rofa. The hour, that fools should ask. Biron. Now fair befall your mask! Rosa. Fair fall the face it covers! Biron. And send you many lovers! Rofa. Amen, so you be none ! Biron. Nay, then will I be gone. King. Madam, your father here doth intimate The payment of a hundred thousand crowns ; Being but th' one half of an intire fum, 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 Aquitain is bound to us, Although not valu'd to the mony's worth: If then the King your father will restore But that one half which is unsatisfy'd, We will give up our right in Aquitain, And hold

fair friendship with his Majesty : But that, it seems, he little purposeth, For here he doth demand to have repaid An hundred thousand crowns; and not demands, () On payment of an hundred thousand crowns, To have his title live in Aquitain ; Which' we much rather had depart withal, And have the mony by our father lent, Than Aquitain fo gelded as it is.


tai And not demands One payment of an hundred theuland Crowns,

To have his Title liose in Aquitaine.] The old Books concur in this Reading, and Mr. Pope has embraced it ; tho', as I conceive, it is stark Nonsense, and repugnant to the Circumstance suppos’d by our Poet. I have, by reforming the Pointing, and throwing out a single Letter, restor'd, I believe, the genuine Sense of the Passage. Aquitain was pledg’d, it seems, to Navarre's Father for 200000 Crowns. The French King pretends to have paid one Moiety of this Debt, (which Navarre knows nothing of,) but demands this Moiety back again: instead whereof (says Navarre) he should rather pay the remaining Moiety, and demand to have Aquitain redeliver'd up to him. This is plain and easy Reasoning upon the fact suppos'd ; and Navarre declares, he had rather receive the Residue of his Debt, than detain the Province mortgag'd for Security of it.


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