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I only swore, to study with your grace,
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 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; 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 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 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 proceed
ing! 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,
King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron; adieu!
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
shame! Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within a 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 devis'd this?
[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such publick 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 decrepit, sick, and bed-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, dispense with this
decree; She must lie here on mere necessity. 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 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 is there no quick recreation granted ?
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain:
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
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 would'st?
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.