Obrázky na stránke

If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep them too.

Long. I am resolv’d; 'tis but a three years fast:
The mind shall banquet tho' the body pine ;
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankerout the wits.

Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortify'd :
The groffer manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's bafer flaves :
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy.

Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
So much (dear liege) I have already sworn,
That is, to live and study here three years :
But there are other strict observances;
As, not to see a woman in that term,
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there.
And one day in a week to touch no food,
And but one meal on every day beside;
The whichi, I hope, is not enrolled there.
And then to sleep but three hours in the night,
* And not to be seen to wink of all the day ;

(When I was wont to think no harm all night,
And make a dark night too of half the day ;)
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there.
0, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep;
Not to fee ladies, study, fast, not fleep.

King. Your Oath is pass”d 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, Biron, and to the rest,

Biron. By yea and nay, Sir, then I swore in jeft. 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 ftudy'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 exprelly am forbid;
Or study 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 fó,
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 seek the light of truth; while truth the while Doth falsely 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 dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,

And give him light, that it was blinded by.
Study is like the Heav'ns glorious Sun,

That will not be deep search'd with faucy looks ; Small have continual plodders ever won,

Save base authority from others' books.
These earthly godfathers heaven's lights,

That give a name to every fixed ftar,
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 feign; And every godfather can give a name. * Too much to know, is to know nought but fame; And every Godfather can give a name.] The first Line in this Read

King. How well he's read, to reason against reading!
Dum. Proceeding well, to stop all good proceeding.
Long. He weeds the corn, and still let's grow the

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; say, I am; why should proud fum-

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 with a snow in May's new-fangled shows :
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 fworn to stay with

And though I have for barbarism spoke more,

Than for that angel knowledge you can say;
ing is absurd and impertinent. There are two Ways of setting it right.
The first is to read it thus,

Too much to know, is to know nought but shame; This makes a fine Sense, and alludes to Adam's Fall, which came from the inordinate Passion of knowing too much. The other Way is to read, and Point it thus,

Too much to know, is to know nought: but feign, i. e, to feign. As much as to say, the Affeding to know too much is thc Way to know nothing. The Sense, in both these Readings, is equally good : But with this Difference ; if we read the first Way, the following Line is impertinent; and to save the Corre&tion we must judge it fpurious. If we read it the second Way, then the following Line completes the Sense. Consequently the Corredion of feign is to be preferred.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,

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


let read the same; And to the stridt'st 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 pe-

Biron A dangerous law against gentility!

Item, [reading.) If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three Years, he shall endure 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 complete majesty,
About Surrender up of Aquitain

To her decripit, 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

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 loft.


N 3

King. We must, of force, dispense with this decreer She must lie here on mere necessity.

Biron. Necessity will make us all forfworn
Three thousand times within this three years'

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 hath a mint of phrafes in his brain :
One, whom the music of his own vain tongue

Doth ravith, 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, 1 proteft, I love to hear him lie;
And I will use him for my minstrelly.

Biron. Armado is a moit illuftrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own Knight.

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

[ocr errors]


« PredošláPokračovať »