« AnteriorContinua »
Have fworn for three years' term to live with me,
Long. I am refolv'd; 'tis but a three years faft:
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortify'd:
Biron. I can but fay their proteftation over,
King. Your Oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the reft. Biron. By yea and nay, Sir, then I swore in jeft. What is the end of ftudy? let me know?
King. Why, that to know, which elle we fhould not know.
Biron. Things hid and barr'd (you mean) from common sense.
King. Ay, that is ftudy's god-like recompence.
When I to (a) feaft exprefly am forbid;
When miftreffes from common fenfe are hid:
King. These be the ftops, that hinder study quite ; And train our Intellects to vain delight.
Biron. Why, all delights are vain ; but that moft 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 falfly blind the eye-fight of his look:
Light, feeking light, doth light of light beguile;
Who dazling fo, that eye fhall be his heed,
That will not be deep fearch'd with fawcy looks;
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
"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 ftill let's grow the weeding.
Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are a breeding.
Dum. How follows that?
Biron. Fit in his place and time.
Biron. Something then in rhime.
That bites the firft-born infants of the fpring. 1 Too much to know, is to know nought but FAME;
And every Godfather can give a name."] The first line in this reading is abfurd and impertinent. There are two ways of fetting it right. The firft is to read it thus,
Too much to know, is to know nought but SHAME;
This makes a fine fenfe, and alludes to Adam's Fall, which came from the inordinate paffion of knowing too much. The other way is to read, and point it thus,
Too much to know, is to know nought: but FEIGN, i. e. 10 feign. As much as to fay, the affecting to know too much is the way to know nothing. The fenfe, in both these readings, is equally good: But with this difference; If we read the first way, the following line is impertinent; and to fave the correction we muft judge it fpurious. If we read it the fecond way, then the following line compleats the fenfe. Confequently the correction of feign is to be preferred. To know too much (lays the fpeaker) is to know nothing; it is only feigning to know what we do not: giving names for things without knowing their natures; which is falfe knowledge: And this was the peculiar defect of the Peripatetic Philofophy then in vogue. Thefe philofophers, the poet, with the higheft humour and good fenfe, calls the Godfathers of Nature, who could only give things a name, but had no manner of acquaintance with their effences,
Biron. Well; fay, I am; why fhould proud fum-
Before the birds have any cause to fing?
King. Well, fit you out-Go home, Biron: Adieu!
And though I have for barbarifm fpoke more,
And 'bide the penance of each three years' day.
King. How well this yielding refcues thee from fhame!
Biron. Item, That no woman fhall come within a
Long. Marry, that did İ.
Long. To fright them hence with that dread pe nalty.
Biron. A dangerous law against gentility! Item, [reading.] If any man be feen to talk with a woman within the term of three Years, he fhall endure fuch publick shame as the reft of the Court can poffibly devife.
This article, my liege, your felf must break;
To her decrepit, fick, and bed-rid father:
Or vainly comes th' admired Princess hither.
Biron. So ftudy evermore is overshot
King. We muft, of force, dispense with this decree, She muft lye here on mere neceffity.
Biron. Neceffity will make us all forfworn
Three thousand times within this three years'
For every man with his affects is born:
Not by might mafter'd, but by fpecial grace.
And he, that breaks them in the leaft degree,
Suggestions are to others, as to me;
King. Ay, that there is; our Court, you know, is
With a refined traveller of Spain,
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,