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Biron. Things hid and barr’d (you mean) from com

mon sense.
King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompence.

Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study fo,
To know the thing I am forbid to know;
As thus ; to study where I .well may dine,

When I to fealt exprefly am forbid ; (1)
Or ftudy where to meet some mistress fine,

When mistresses from common sense are hid :
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it, and not break my troth.
If study's gain be this, 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 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 ; As, painfully to pore upon a book,

To feek the light of truth ; while truth the while
Doth falfly blind the eye-fight 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,

By fixing it upon a fairer eye;.
Who dazling 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 fawcy looks ; (1) When I to fast exprefly am forbid.) This is the Reading of all the Copies in general ; but I would fain ask our accula rate Editors, if Biron ftudied where to get a good Dinner, at a time when he was forbid to fast, how was This studying to know what he was forbid to know ? Common Sense, and the whole Tenour of the Context require us to read, either as I have restor’d; or to make a Change in the last Word of the Verse, which will bring us to the same Meaning;

When I to fast exprefly am fore-bid; i. e, when I am enjoin'd beforehand to faft.


H 3

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 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

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. Biron. Well ; fay, I am ; why should proud fummer


Before the birds have any cause to sing? Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? (2)

At (2). "Why should I joy in an abortive Birth :

At Christmas I no more defire a Rose,
Than wish a Snow in May's new-fangled Shows :

But like of each Thing, that in Season grows.] As the greatest part of this Scene (both what precedes and follows ;) is strictly in Rhymes, either successive, alternate, or triple ; I am perswaded, the Copyists have made a Nip here. For by making a Triplet of the three laft Lines quoted, Birth in the Close of the first Line is quite deftitute of any Rhyme to it. Besides, what a displeasing Identity of Sound recurs in the Middle and Close of this Verse?

Than wish a Snow in May's new-fangled Shows, Again; new-fangled Shows seems to have very little Propriety. The Flowers are not new-fangled; but the Earth is new-fangled by the Profusion and Variety of the Flowers, that spring on its Bosom in May. I have therefore ventur'd to subftitutc,


At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
Than with a snow in May's new-fangled Earth:
But like of each thing, that in season grows.
So you, to study now it is too late,
Climb o'er the house t’unlock the little gate.

King. Well, fit you out — Go home, Biron : Adieu !

Biron. No, my good lord, I've 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 stri&'ft decrees I'll write my name.

King. How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!

Biron. Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my Court,

[reading, Hath this been proclaimed ?

Long. Four days ago.

Biron. Let's see the penalty. On pain of losing her tongue :

[reading Who devis'd this penalty ?

Long. Marry, that did I.
Biron. Sweet lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
Biron. A dangerous law against gentility! (3)


Earth, in the Close of the 3d Line, which reftores the aliera nate Measure. It was very easy for a negligent Transcriber to be deceiv'd by the Rhyme immediately preceding; so mistake the concluding word in the sequent Line, and corrupt it into One that would chime with the other.

(3) A dangerous Law against Gentility.) I have ventur'd to prefix the Name of Biron to this Line, it being evident, for two Reasons, that it, by some Accident or other, lipe out of the printed Books. In the first place, Longaville confesses, he: had devis’d the Penalty: and why he fould immediately ar.. raign it as a dangerous Law, seems to be very inconfiftent. La the next place, it is much more natural for Beton to make this Reflexion, who is cavilling at every thing; and then fos: him to pursue his acading over the remaining Articles..


H. 4

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Item, [reading]. 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, your self must break;

For, well you know, here comes in embassy
The French King's daughter with your self to speak,

A maid of grace and compleat majesty,
About Surrender up of Aquitain

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father : Therefore this article is made in vain,

Or vainly comes th' admired Princess hither. King. What say you, lords ? why, this was quite for,

Biron. So ftudy 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 loft.

King. We must of force, dispense with this decree,
She muít lye here on mere necessity.
Liron. Neceflity 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.
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me :
I am forsworn on meer 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. As to the Word Gentility, here, it does not signify that Rank of People call'd, Gentry; but what the French express by, gentiteses, i. e. elegantia, urbanitas. And then the Meaning is this. Such a Law, for banishing Women from the Court, is dangerous, or injurious, to Politeness, Vrbanity, and the more refin'd Pleasures of Life. For Men without Women would turn brutal, and savage, in their Natures and Behaviour,


But is there no quick recreation granted ?
King. Ay, that there is; our Court, you know, ia


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 musick of his own vain tongue

Doth ravish, like inchanting harmony :
A man of complements, whom right and wrong,

Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

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 ufe him for


minstrelfie. Biron. Armado is a moft illustrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own Knight.

Long. Costard the fwain, and he, shall be our sport; And, fo to study, three years are but short.

Enter Dull and Costard with a letter, Dall. Which is the King's own person ? (4) Biron. This, fellow ; what would'ft?

Dull. I my self 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, Armecommends you. There's villany abroad ; this letter will tell you more.

Coff. Sir, the Contempts thereof are as touching me... King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

(4) Dull, which is the Duke's own person ?] The King of Navarre is in several Passages, thio' all the Copies, call’d the Duke : but as this must have sprung sather from the Inadvertence of the Editors, than a Forgetfulness in the Poet, I have: every where, to avoid Confution, reford K ing to the Text.

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