Obrázky na stránke

Biror. Things hid and barr'd (you mean) from com

mon fenfe.
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 feast exprefly am forbid; (1)
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,

When mistresses from common senfe 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.

Biror. Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which, with pain purchasd, doch inherit pain;
As, painfully to pore upon a book,

To seek the light of truch ; while truth the while
Doth fallly blind the eye-light 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 fo, that eye shall be his heed,

And give him light, that it was blinded by.


[ocr errors]

(1) When I to fast exprefly am forbid.) This is the Reading of all the Copies in general ; but I would fain ask our accurate Editors, if Biron studied 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 re. quire us to read, either as I have restored ; or to make a Change in the last Word of the Verse, which will bring us to the same Meaning;

[ocr errors]

When I to fast exprefly am fore-bid;

i, e. when I am enjoined beforehand to fast.

H 3


Study is like the Heaven's glorious Sun,

That will not be deep search'd with fawcy looks Small have continval plodders ever won,

Save.bafe autiority from others' books.
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,

That give a name to every fixed star,
Have no more profit of their fhining 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 à rame.

King. How well he's read, to reason against reading!
Duin. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding.
Long. He weeds the corn, and fill let's grow the weeding
Biron. The spring is near, when greengeefe are a breeding.
Dum. How follows that?
Biron. Fit in his place and time.
Dumn. 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; say, I am; why should proud fummer boaft,

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


(2) Wby should I joy in an abortive Birth?

At Christmas I no more desire a Rose,
Thou wish a Snow in May's nerv-fangled Shows :

But like of each Thing, that in Season grows.]. As the greatest part of this Scene (both what precedes and follows ;) is Ari&tly in Rhimes, either successive, alternate, or triple; I am perswaded, the Copyifts have made a fip here. For by making a Triplet of the three last Lines quoted, Birth in the Close of the first Line is quite destitute of any Rhime to it. Besides, what a difplealing Identity of Sound recurs in the Middle and Close of this Verfe?

[ocr errors]

Tban wild a Snow in May's new-fangled Shows :: Again ; new-fangled Shorus seems to have very little Propriety. The Flowers are not new fangled; but the Earth is new-fangled by the Profufion and Variety of the Flowers, that spring on its Borom in May, I have therefore ventured to substitute, Earıb, in the


At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
Than wish 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'd keep what I have swore,

And 'bide the penance of each three years' day. }
Give me


paper, let me read the same;
And to the strick'it decrees I'll write my name.

King. How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!

Biron. Item, That no woman fball 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 :

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)

[ocr errors]


Close of the 3d Line, which referes the alternate Measure. It was very easy for a negligent Transcriber to be deceived by the Rhime immediately preceding ; fo miftake the concluding Word in the fequent Line, and corrupt it into one that would chime with the other.

(3) A dangerous Law agains. Gentility. I have ventured to prefix the Name of Biron to this Line, it being evident, 'for two Reasons, that it, by some Accident or other, fipt out of the printed Books. In the first Place, Longaville confesses, he had devis’d the Penalty : and why he fould immediately arraign it as a dangerous Law, seems to be very inconfiftent, In the next place, it is much more natural for Biron to make this Reflexion, who is cavilling at every thing; and then for him to pursue his reading over the remaining Articles. As to the H4


[ocr errors]

Item, (reading] If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such publicķ shame as the rest of the Court can pofliby devise.

This article, my liege, yourself must break;

For, well you know, here comes in embaffy The French King's daughter with yourself to speak,

A maid of grace and compleat majesty, About surrender ap of Aquitain

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

Or vainly comes th' adnired Princess hither.
King. What fay you, lords ? why, this was quite forgot

Biron. So ftudy evermore is overlot;
While it doth study to have what it would:
It doth forget to do the thing it hould :
And when it hath the thing it huntech moft,
'Tis won, as towns with fire ; fo won, fo loft.

King. We muft of force dispense with this decree,
She mult lie here on mere neceffity.
Biron. Necessity 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 mere necesity.
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.

Word Gentility, here, it does not fignify that Rank of People called Gentry; but what the French express by, gentil de, i.e. elé gantia urbanitas. And then the Meaning is this. Such a law, for banishing Women from the Court, is dangerous, or injurious, to Politeness, Urbanity, and the more refined Pleasures of Life. For Men without Women would turn brutal, and favage, in their Natures and Behaviour.


But is there no quick recreation 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,

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 compliments, 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 lye ;
And I will ufe him for my minstrelfy.

Biron. Armado is a moft illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, falhion's own knight.

Long. Coftard the swain, and he, fhall be our sport; And, so to study, three years are but short.


Enter Dull and Coftard with a letter.

Dull. Which is the King's own person? (4)
Biron. This, fellow; what would'ft?

. 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 more.

Coft. 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 Nas varre is in several Passages, thro' all the Copies, called the Duke: but as this must have sprung rather from the Inadvertence of the Editors, than a Forgetfulness in the Poet, 1 have every where, to avoid Confusion, restored King to the Text.

[blocks in formation]
« PredošláPokračovať »