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What is the end of study? let me know. King. Why, that to know, which else we should not know.
King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense. Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so, To know the thing I am forbid to know: As thus,-To study where I well may dine, When I to feast expressly am forbid; Or, study where to meet some mistress fine,
Biron. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?
When mistresses from common sense are hid:
King. These be the stops 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:
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:
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
while truth the while
Doth falsely blind-] Falsely is here, and in many other places, the same as dishonestly or treacherously.
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that was it blinded by.] This passage is unnecessarily obscure; the meaning is, that when he dazzles, that
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.
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?
Fit in his place and time.
Dum. In reason nothing.
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
is, has his eye made weak, by fixing his eye upon a fairer eye, that fairer eye shall be his heed, his direction or lode-star, and give him light that was blinded by it. JOHNSON.
sneaping frost,] To sncap is to check, to rebuke.
May's new fangled shows;] By these shows the poet means Maygames, at which a snow would be very unwelcome and unexpected. It is only a periphrasis for May.
So you, to study now it is too late,
And, though I have for barbarism spoke more,
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court.And hath this been proclaim'd?
Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.]-On pain of losing her
Four days ago.
Who devis'd this?
Long. Marry, that did I.
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 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
A maid of grace, and cómplete majesty,
sit you out:] To sit out, is a term from the card-table. "A dangerous law against gentility.] or urbanity.
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 over-shot; 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 de
She must lie here on mere necessity.
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:
lie here] Means reside here, in the same sense as an ambassador is said to lie leiger.
9 Not by might master'd, but by special grace:] Biron, amidst his extravagancies, speaks with great justness against the folly of vows. They are made without sufficient regard to the variations of life, and are therefore broken by some unforeseen necessity. They proceed commonly from a presumptuous confidence, and a false estimate of human power. JOHNSON.
1 Suggestions] Temptations.
But is there no quick recreation2 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,
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD. Dull. Which is the duke's own person?
2-quick recreation -] Lively sport, spritely diversion.
A man of complements,] Compliment, in Shakspeare's time, did not signify, at least did not only signify verbal civility, or phrases of courtesy, but, according to its original meaning, the trappings, or ornamental appendages of a character, in the same manner, and on the same principles of speech with accomplishment. * This child of fancy,] This fantastick.
That Armado hight,] Who is called Armado.
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.] i. e. I will make a minstrel of him, whose occupation was to relate fabulous stories. fire-new words,] i. e. words newly coined, new from the forge. Fire-new, new off the irons, and the Scottish expression bren-new, have all the same origin.