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Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us em
brace! As true we are, as flesh and blood can be: The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood will not obey an old decree: We cannot cross the cause why we were born ; Therefore, of all hands must we be forsworn. King. What, did these rent lines show some love
of thine ? Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the hea
venly Rosaline, That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east, Bows not his vassal head; and, strucken blind,
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, That is not blinded by her majesty? King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir’d thee
now? My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon; She, an attending star, scarce seen a light.
Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Birón:
O, but for my love, day would turn to night! Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty
Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek ; Where several worthies make one dignity;
Where nothing wants, that want itself doth seek. Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,
Fye, painted rhetorick! O, she needs it not : To things of sale a seller's praise belongs; She passes praise; then praise too short doth
blot. A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye: Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy.
O, 'tis the sun, that maketh all things shine!
King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
A wife of such wood were felicity.
That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack,
No face is fair, that is not full so black. King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night; And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.3 Biron. Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits
of light. O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt,
It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair, Should ravish doters with a false aspéct;
And therefore is she born to make black fair. Her favour turns the fashion of the days;
For native blood is counted painting now; And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. Dum. To look like her, are chimney-sweepers
black. Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted
bright. King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion
crack. Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light. Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
For fear their colours should be wash'd away. King. 'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell
s And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.] i, e. the very top, the height of beauty, or the utmost degree of fairness, becomes the heavens.
* - and usurping hair,] i. e. false hair.
Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day
here. King. No devil will fright thee then so much as
she. Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. Long. Look, here's thy love: my foot and her face see.
[Showing his shoe. Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine
eyes, Her feet were much too dainty for such tread ! Dum. O vile! then as she goes, what upward lies
The street should see as she walk'd over head. King. But what of this? Are we not all in love? Biron. O, nothing so sure; and thereby all for
sworn. King. Then leave this chat; and, good Birón,
now prove Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. Dum. Ay, marry, there;—some flattery for this
evil. Long. O, some authority how to proceed; Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
Dum. Some salve for perjury.
O, 'tis more than need!
some quillets,] Quillet is the peculiar word applied to law-chicane.
6 - affection's men at arms:] i. e. Ye soldiers of affection.
Have found the ground of study's excellence,
? The nimble spirits in the arteries ;] In the old system of physic they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves.
8 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ;] As we say, keep the house, or keep their bed. M. Mason.
Above their functions and their offices.
9 — the suspicious head of theft is stoppid;] i. e. a lover in pursuit of his mistress has his sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every sound he hears) in pursuit of his prey. Or, T'he suspicious head of thefi may mean the head suspicious of theft.
i- cockled-] i. e, inshelled, like the fish called a cockle.
? Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?] Our author seems to have thought that the latter word was the name of the garden in which the golden apples were kept: and some of his contemporaries are chargeable with the same inaccuracy. s a word that loves all men;] i. e. that is pleasing to all men.