Arts-man, praeambula; we will be singled from the barbarous. Do
you not educate youth at the charge-house on the top of the
Or mons, the hill.
At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
I do, sans question.
Sir, it is the King's most sweet pleasure and affection to
congratulate the princess at her pavilion, in the posteriors of
this day, which the rude multitude call the afternoon.
The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is liable,
congruent, and measurable, for the afternoon. The word is well
culled, chose, sweet, and apt, I do assure you, sir; I do assure.
Sir, the King is a noble gentleman, and my familiar, I do
assure ye, very good friend. For what is inward between us, let
it pass: I do beseech thee, remember thy courtsy; I beseech
thee, apparel thy head: and among other importunate and most
serious designs, and of great import indeed, too, but let that
pass: for I must tell thee it will please his Grace, by the
world, sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder, and with his royal
finger thus dally with my excrement, with my mustachio: but,
sweet heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no fable:
some certain special honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart
to Armado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen the world:
but let that pass. The very all of all is, but, sweet heart, I do
implore secrecy, that the King would have me present the
princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show,
or pageant, or antic, or firework. Now, understanding that the
curate and your sweet self are good at such eruptions and sudden
breaking-out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal,
to the end to crave your assistance.
Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies. Sir
Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some
show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by our
assistance, the King's command, and this most gallant,
illustrate, and learned gentleman, before the princess, I say
none so fit as to present the Nine Worthies.
Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?
Joshua, yourself; myself, Alexander; this gallant
gentleman, Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the page, Hercules, —
Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for that
Worthy's thumb; he is not so big as the end of his club.
Shall I have audience? He shall present Hercules in minority: his
enter and exit shall be strangling a snake; and I will have an
apology for that purpose.
An excellent device! So, if any of the audience hiss, you may
cry 'Well done, Hercules; now thou crushest the snake!' That is
the way to make an offence gracious, though few have the grace to
For the rest of the Worthies? —
I will play three myself.
Shall I tell you a thing?
We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. I beseech you,
Via, goodman Dull! Thou has spoken no word all this while.
Nor understood none neither, sir.
Allons! we will employ thee.
I'll make one in a dance, or so, or I will play on the tabor to
the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.
Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away.