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Long. I am resolved: 't is but a three years' fast; The mind shall banquet, though 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 mortified. The grosser manner of these world's delights He throws upon
world's baser slaves. 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 enrolléd there : And one day in a week to touch no food; And but one meal on every day beside ; The which I hope is not enrolléd there : And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, And not 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 enrolléd there : 0, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep; Not to see ladies,—study,-fast,—not sleep. King. Your oath is passed to pass away from
Long. You swore to that, Birón, and to the rest.
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 barred, you mean, from
common sense? King. Ay, that is study's godlike 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 :
King. These be the stops that hinder study quite, And train our intellects to vain delight. Biron. Why, all delights are vain ; and that
most vain, Which, with pain purchased, 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 : 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;
And give him light that was it blinded by.
That will not be deep-searched with saucy 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 fixéd 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 pro
ceeding! 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 ? Biron. Fit in his place and time. Dum. In reason nothing. Biron. Something, then, in rhyme. King. Birón is like an envious sneaping frost, That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud
summer boast, Before the birds have any cause to sing ? Why should I joy in any abortive birth ? At Christmas I no more desire a rose, Than wish 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 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 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
Biron reads. “ Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court,”— Hath this been proclaimed ?
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 use him for my minstrelsy.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, 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 wouldst?
Dull. 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
Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching
Long. Four days ago.
Long. Marry, that did I.
Reads. “ Item, 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 shall 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 decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father :
Or vainly comes the admiréd princess hither.
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
Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Not by might mastered, 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 :
[Subscribes 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 haunted With a refinéd 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 music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
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.
Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.
Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
Biron. In what manner?
Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manorhouse, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner,-it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,-in some form.
Biron. For the following, sir.
Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!
King. Will you hear this letter with attention? Biron. As we would hear an oracle.
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.
King reads. "Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole
air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to
Cost. Still me.
King reads. which, as I remember, hight Costard,”— Cost. O me!
King reads. -"sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, withwith-0 with—but with this I passion to say wherewith,"—
Cost. With a wench.
Arm. Why, sadness is one and the self-same “ For Jaquenetta (so is the weaker vessel thing, dear imp. called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid Moth. No, no; O lord, sir, no! swain), I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury ; Arm. How canst thou part sadness and melanand shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her choly, my tender juvenal ? to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the workheart-burning heat of duty,
ing, my tough senior. “Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO.”
Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior ? Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, but
Moth.Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal? the best that ever I heard.
Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent King. Ay, the best for the worst.—But, sirrah,
epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which what say you to this?
we may nominate tender.
Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent Cost. Sir, I confess the wench. King. Did you hear the proclamation ?
title to your old time, which we may name tough. Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but
Arm. Pretty and apt. little of the marking of it.
Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my King. It was proclaimed a year's imprison- saying apt? or, I apt, and my saying pretty ? ment to be taken with a wench.
Arm. Thou pretty, because little. Cost. I was taken with none, sir ; I was taken
Moth. Little pretty, because little. Wherefore with a damosel.
apt? King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel.
Arm. And therefore apt, because quick. Cost. This was no damosel neither, sir; she
Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master? was a virgin.
Arm. In thy condign praise. King. It is so varied too; for it was proclaimed
Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise. virgin.
Arm. What, that an eel is ingenious ? Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity; I was
Moth. That an eel is quick. taken with a maid.
Arm. I do say thou art quick in answers. Thou
heatest King. This maid will not serve your turn, sir.
my Cost. This maid will serve my turn, sir.
Moth. I am answered, sir. King. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you
Arm. I love not to be crossed. shall fast a week with bran and water.
Moth. He speaks the mere contrary; crosses Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton
love not him.
[Aside. and porridge.
Arm. I have promised to study three years with
the duke. King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper. My lord Birón, see him delivered o'er :
Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir. And go we, lords, to put in practice that
Arm. Impossible. Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
Moth. How many is one thrice told ? [Exeunt King, LONGAVILLE, and Dumain.
Arm. I am ill at reckoning; it fits the spirit of Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,
a tapster. These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
Moth. You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir. Sirrah, come on.
Arm. I confess both; they are both the varnish Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir: for true it is,
of a complete man. I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is
Moth. Then I am sure you know how much a true girl: and therefore, Welcome the sour cup
the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
Arm. It doth amount to one more than two. of prosperity! Affliction may one day smile again, and till then, Sit thee down, sorrow!
Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three.
Arm. True. [Exeunt.
Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is three studied ere you 'll thrice wink:
and how easy it is to put "years” to the word Scene II.- Another part of the Park. Armado's three, and study three years in two words, the House.
dancing horse will tell you.
Arm. A most fine figure!
Moth. To prove you a cipher. [Aside. Arm. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of great Arm. I will hereupon confess I am in love : spirit grows melancholy?
and as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad. love with a base wench. If drawing my sword
against the humour of affection would deliver me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, and ransom him to any French courtier for a new-devised courtesy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks I should outswear Cupid. Comfort me, boy: what great men have been in love?
Moth. Hercules, master:
Arm. Most sweet Hercules !—More authority, dear boy, name more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good repute and carriage.
Moth. Sampson, master : he was a man of good carriage, great carriage ; for he carried the town-gates on his back, like a porter : and he was in love.
Arm. O well-knit Sampson! strong-jointed Sampson! I do excel thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me in carrying gates. I am in love too.—Who was Sampson's love, my dear Moth ?
Moth. A woman, master.
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion ?
Moth. As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers : but to have a love of that colour, methinks Sampson had small reason for it.
He surely affected her for her wit.
Moth. It was so sir ; for she had a green wit.
Arm. My love is most immaculate white and red.
Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such colours.
Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.
Moth. My father's wit and my mother's tongue assist me!
Arm. Sweet invocation of a child ; most pretty and pathetical Moth. If she be made of white and red,
Her faults will ne'er be known;
And fears by pale-white shewn:
By this you shall not know;
Which native she doth owe. A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.
Arm. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?
Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages since, but I think now
't is not to be found; or if it were, it would neither serve for the writing nor the tune.
Arm. I will have the subject newly writ o'er, that I may example my digression by some mighty precedent. Boy, I love that country girl that I took in the park with the rational hind Costard; she deserves well.
Moth. To be whipped ; and yet a better love than
[Aside. Arm. Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.
Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
Arm. I say, sing.
Enter Dull, Costard, and JAQUENETTA. Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is that you keep Costard safe : and you must let him take no delight nor no penance; but he must fast three days a-week. For this damsel, I must keep her at the park; she is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well.
Arm. I do betray myself with blushing.-Maid!
[Exeunt Dull and JAQUENETTA. Arm. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences, ere thou be pardoned.
Cost. Well, sir, I hope when I do it, I shall do it on a full stomach.
Arm. Thou shalt be heavily punished.
Cost. I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but lightly rewarded.
Arm. Take away this villain ; shut him up.
Cost. Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast being loose.
Moth. No, sir ; that were fast and loose; thou shalt to prison.
Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I have seen, some shall see
Moth. What shall some see?
Cost. Nay nothing, Master Moth, but what they look upon.
It is not for prisoners to be silent in their words, and therefore I will say nothing. I thank God I have as little patience as another man, and therefore I can be quiet.
[Exeunt Moth and COSTARD.