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My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes,
Long. I am resolvid: 'tis but a three years' fast; The mind shall banquet, though the body pine: Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Make rich the ribs, but bank’rout quite the wits.
Dum. My loving lord, Dumnain is mortified;
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep;
King. Your oath has pass’d to pass away from these.
Biron. Let me say, no, my liege, an if you please; I only swore, to study with your grace, And stay here in your court for three years' space.
Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest.
Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest. What is the end of study? let me know. King. Why, that to know, which else we should
not know. Biron. Things hid and barr’d, you mean, from
common sense? King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.
Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so,
When I to feast expressly am forbid”;
When mistresses from common sense are hid:
King. These be the stops that hinder study quite,
vain, Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain:
As, painfully to pore upon a book,
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while Doth falsely blind 3 the eyesight of his look:
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile:
By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
And give him light that was it blinded by.
That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books. These earthly godfathers of beav'n'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 reason against reading! Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding+! Long. He weeds the corn, and still lets 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. Dum. In reason nothing. Biron.
Something then in rhime.
Long. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost,
That bites the first born infants of the spring.
King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron, adieu!
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
shame! Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court.
And hath this been proclaim'd?
Four days ago.
Who devis d this?
Biron. Sweet lord, and why?
[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such pullick shame as the rest of the court can possilly 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 complete majesty, About surrender-up of Aquitain
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father: Therefore this article is made in vain, Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. King. What say you, lords? why, this was quite
forgot. Biron. So study 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; so won, so lost.
King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree; She must lie here on mere necessity. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn 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 6 :