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Study to break it and not break my troth.
If study's gain be thus and this be so,
Study knows that which yet it doth not know:
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.
King. These be the stops that hinder study

70 And train our intellects to vain delight. Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that

most vain, Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain: As, painfully to pore upon a book To seek the light of truth; while truth the

while Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:

Light seeking light doth light of light beguile: So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes. Study me how to please the eye indeed

80 By fixing it upon a fairer eye, Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed

And give him light that it was blinded by. Study is like the heaven's glorious sun

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 heaven's lights

That give a name to every fixed star Have no more profit of their shining nights 90 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 pro

ceeding! 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.

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Something then in rhyme. King. Biron is like an envious sneaping* frost

That bites the first-born infants of the spring

*Nipping. 101 Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud

summer boast Before the birds have any cause to

sing? Why should I joy in any abortive birth ? At Christmas I no more desire a rose Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth; But like of each thing that in season grows. So you, to study now it is too late, Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate. King Well, sit you out: go home, Biron:

adieu. Biron. No, my good lord; I have sworn to

stay with you: And though I have for barbarism spoke more

Than for that angel knowledge you can say, Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore

And bide the penance of each three years' day. Give me the paper; let me read the same; And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name. King How well this yielding rescues thee

from shame! Biron [reads]. 'Item, That no woman shall come within a inile of my court:' Hath this been proclaimed?

Long. Four days ago. Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads]. 'On pain of losing her tongue.' Who devised this penalty?

Long. Marry, that did I.
Biron. Sweet lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread

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 such public 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

I21 *Reside.

The French king's daughter with yourself to

speakA maid of grace and complete majestyAbout surrender up of Aquitaine

To her decrepit, sick and bedrid father: Therefore this article is made in vain,

140 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;

151 For every man with his affects is born,

Not by might master'd but by special grace:
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me;
I am forsworn on mere necessity.
So to the laws at large I write my name:

[Subscribes. And he that breaks them in the least degree Stands in attainder of eternal shame:

Suggestions* are to other as to me; *Temptations. But I believe, although I seem so loath, 160 I am the last that will last keep his oath. But is there no quickt recreation granted? Lively. 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 music 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: 170 This child of fancy that Armado hightf

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For interim to our studies shall relate In high-born words the worth of many a knight

From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate. How you delight, my lords, I know not, I; But, I protest, I love to hear him lie And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

*Accomplishments. Called. Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, A of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Long. Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;

180 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 wouldst?

Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough;* but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

Biron. This is he.

Dull. Signior Arme-Arme--commends you. There's villany abroad: this letter will tell you

190 Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching ine.

King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Long. Ă high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!

Biron. To hear? or forbear laughing?

Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.

Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

Biron. In what manner ?

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the


200 220

manner,-it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,-in some form.

Biron. For the following, sir ?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction: and God defend the right!.

King. Will you hear this letter with attention? Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King [reads]. Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god, and body's fostering patron.'

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
King [reads]. "So it is,'-

Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so. King. Peace!

Cost. Be to me and every man that dares not fight!

230 King. No words! Cost. Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

King [reads]. "So it is, besieged with sablecoloured melancholy, I did commend the blackoppressing humour to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when. About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper: so much for the time when. Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walked upon: it is ycleped* thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest: but to the place where; it standeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden: there did I see that low-spirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth,'— *Called.

251 Cost. Me? King [reads]. “that unlettered small-knowing soul,'

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