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If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Long. I am resolv’d; 'tis but a three years fast:
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortify'd :
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
(When I was wont to think no harm all night,
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,
When I to feast exprelly am forbid;
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; 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;
By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
And give him light, that it was blinded by.
That will not be deep search'd with faucy looks ; Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books.
That give a name to every fixed ftar,
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!
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
King. Well, fit you out-Go home, Biron: Adieu !
Than for that angel knowledge you can say;
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.
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.
[reading Who devis'd this penalty?
Long. Marry, that did I.
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
A maid of grace and complete majesty,
To her decripit, sick, and bed-rid father:
Or vainly comes th' admired Princess hither.
King. We must, of force, dispense with this decreer She must lie here on mere necessity.
Biron. Necessity will make us all forfworn
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,
That hath a mint of phrafes in his brain :
Doth ravith, like inchanting harmony:
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.
For interim to our Studies, shall relate
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
Biron. Armado is a moit illuftrious wight,
Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our sport; And, fo to study, three years are but short.