Imatges de pÓgina
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LONG. You fwore to that, Biron, and to the rest. BIRON. By yea and nay, fir, then I fwore in jeft. What is the end of ftudy? let me know.

[know. KING. Why, that to know, which elfe we fhould not BIRON. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common fenfe?

KING. Ay, that is ftudy's god-like recompenfe.
BIRON. Come on then, I will fwear to ftudy fo,
To know the thing I am forbid to know:
As thus, To ftudy where I well may dine,
When I to feast exprefsly am forbid;
Or, ftudy where to meet fome miftrefs fine,
When mistreffes from common fense are hid :
Or, having fworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it, and not break my
troth.
If study's gain be thus, and this be fo,

Study knows that, which yet it doth not know:

Swear me to this, and I will ne'er fay, no.

KING. These be the ftops that hinder study quite,

And train our intellects to vain delight.

BIRON. Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain, Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain: As, painfully to pore upon a book,

To feek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falfely blind the eyefight of his look:

Light, feeking light, doth light of light beguile :
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by lofing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the
eye indeed,
By fixing it upon a a fairer eye;

Who dazzling fo, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that was it blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious fun,

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That will not be deep fearch'd with faucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won,

Save base authority from others' books. These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights,

Than those that walk, and wot not what they are, Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame; And every godfather can give a name.

KING. How well he's read, to reafon against reading! DUM. Proceeded well, to ftop all good proceeding! LONG. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the [breeding. BIRON. The spring is near, when green geefe are a DUM. How follows that?

weeding.

BIRON. Fit in his place and time,

DUM. In reason nothing.

BIRON. Something then in rhime.

LONG. Biron is like an envious fneaping froft,

That bites the first-born infants of the spring.

[boaft,

BIRON. Well, fay I am; why should proud fummer
Before the birds have any cause to sing?

Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more defire a rose,

Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
But like of each thing, that in feason grows.
So you, to study now it is too late,

Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.

KING. Well, fit you out: go home, Biron; adieu !

BIRON. No, my good lord; I have fworn to stay with

you:

And, though I have for barbarifm fpoke more;

Than for that angel knowledge you can Lay,

Yet confident I'll keep what I have fwore,
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper, let me read the fame;

And to the strict'ft decrees I'll write my name.
KING. How well this yielding refcues thee from shame!
BIRON. [Reads.] Item, That no woman fhall come within
a mile of my court.—

And hath this been proclaimed?

LONG. Four days ago.

BIRON. Let's fee the penalty.

[Reads.]-On pain of lofing her tongue.

Who devis'd this?

LONG. Marry, that did I.

BIRON. Sweet lord, and why?

LONG. To fright them hence with that dread penalty. BIRON. A dangerous law against gentility!

[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure fuch publick Shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.— This article, my liege, yourself must break ;

For, well you know, here comes in embassy The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak,— A maid of grace, and cómplete majefty,About furrender-up of Aquitain

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father: Therefore this article is made in vain,

Or vainly comes the admired princefs hither.

KING. What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.
BIRON, So ftudy evermore is overshot;

While it doth study to have what it would,
It doth forget to do the thing it should:
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won, as towns with fire; fo won, fo loft.

KING. We muft, of force, dispense with this decree; She must lie here on mere neceffity.

BIRON. Neceffity will make us all forfworn

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 fhall speak for me,
I am forfworn on mere neceffity.-

So to the laws at large I write my name :

[Subfcribes.

And he, that breaks them in the least degree,

Stands in attainder of eternal shame :

Suggestions are to others, as to me;

But, I believe, although I feem fo loth,

I am the last that will last keep his oath.

But is there no quick recreation granted?

KING. Ay, that there is: our court, you know, is haunted
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 musick 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 ftudies, fhall relate,
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate,
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
But, I proteft, I love to hear him lie,
And I will ufe him for my minstrelfy.

BIRON. Armado is a moft illuftrious wight,

A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
LONG. Coftard the fwain, and he, fhall be our fport;

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 would'st?

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

COST. This is he.

DULL. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you. There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you more.

Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me, KING. A letter from the magnificent Armado. BIRON. How low foever the matter, I hope in God for high words. [patience! LONG. A high hope for a low having: God grant us BIRON. To hear? or forbear hearing?

LONG. To hear meekly, fir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.

BIRON. Well, fir, be it as the stile fhall give us cause to climb in the merrinefs.

COST. The matter is to me, fir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner. BIRON. In what manner?

COST. In manner and form following, fir; all those three: I was feen with her in the manor house, fitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, fir, for the manner,—it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,-in fome form.

BIRON. For the following, fir?

COST. As it fhall follow in my correction; And God defend the right!

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