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Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ;
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
King. Your oath is passed 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, Birón, 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:
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
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 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.
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,
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 read
ing! Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceed
ing! 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?
* Dishonestly, treacherously.
Fit in his place and time: Dum. In reason nothing. Biron.
Something then in rhyme. Long. Biron is like an envious sneaping * frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well, say I am ; why should proud sum
mer boast, Before the birds have any cause to sing ? Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? At Christmas I no more desire a rose Than wish a snow in May's new fangled showst; 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, Birón; 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 mile of my court.And hath this been proclaimed ? Long
Four days ago Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.]-On pain of losing her tongue.
Who devised this? Long. Marry, that did I. Biron. Sweet lord, and why? Long. To fright them hence with that dread pe
nalty. 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 * Nipping.
t Games, sports.
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 The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak,
A maid of grace and cómplete 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 of mere necessity.
Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three year's space;
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:
And he that breaks them in the least degree, Stands in attainder of eternal shame :
Suggestions are to others as to me; But, I believe, although I seem so loth, I am the last that will last keep his oath. But is there no quick ‡ recreation granted? 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,
That bath a mint of phrases in his brain :
Both ravish, like enchanting harmony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
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.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our
sport; 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 would'st?
Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborought : but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
Biron. This is he.
Dull. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you.There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you
Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching
King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant us patience!
Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing ?
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.
t i. 6. third-borough, a peace-officer.