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ACT I. SCENEI.-Navarre.--A Park, with a Palace in it. Enter the KING, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and


King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, I ive register'd upon our brazen tombs, A ad then grace us in the disgrace of death; When, spite of cormorant devouring time, The endeavour of this present breath may buy That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen

edge, And niake us heirs of all eternity. Therefore, brave conquerors !—for so you are, That war against your own affections, And the huge army of the world's desires, Our late edict shall strongly stand in force; Navarre shall be the wonder of the world; Our court shall be a little Académe, Still and contemplative in living art. You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville, llave sworn for three years' term to live with me, My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes, That are recorded in this schedule here : Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names ; That his own hand may strike his honour down, That violates the smallest branch herein : If you are arm’d to do, as sworn to do, Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.

Long. I am resolved : 'tis but a three years' fast ;
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine :
Pat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the wits.

Dun. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ;
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross 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 enrolled 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 enrolled 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 enrolled there.
0, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep:
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
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 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 barr’d, you mean, from

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

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

When I to feast expressly 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 thus, 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 purshased, 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 ;
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,

And give him light that was it blinded by.
Study is like the heaveu's glorious sun,

That will not be deep search'd 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 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 breeding. Dum. How follows that ? Biron. Fit in his place and time. Dum. In reason nothing. Biron. Something then in rhyme. 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 sum.

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 wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows t; 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, Biron; adieu. Biron. No, my good lord ; I have 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. • Nipping.

+ Games, sports.

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

shame! Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within u mile of my court. And hath this been proclaim'd ?

Long. Four days ago.

Biron. Let's see the penalty.
[Reads.)-On pain of losing her tongue.-
Who devised this !

Long. Marry, that did I.
Biron. Sweet lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread

Biron. A dangerous law against gentility.

(Reeds.] Item, If any man be seen to talk wilh a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court cun 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 hed-rid father : Therefore this article is made in vain,

Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. King. What say you, lords ? Why, this was 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, dispensé with this de

cree; She must lie* here on mere necessity. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn

Three thousand 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 necessity.-So to the laws at large I write my name :



• Reside.

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 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 music of his own vain tongue

Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony ;
A man of complements, whom right and wrong

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

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, A 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 tharboroughs: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

Biron. This is he. Dull. Signior Arme--Arme-commends you. There's villainy abroad ; this letter will tell you more.

Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.

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 8 patience! Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing?

Temptations. + Lively. I Called. Si. e. Third-borough, a peace-officer.

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