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Enter Jaquenetta, and Coftard.
Jaq. God bless the king!
King. What present haft thou there?
Coft. Some certain treafon.
King. What makes treason here ?
Coft. Nay, it makes nothing, fir.
King. If it mar nothing neither,
The treafon and you go in peace away together.
Jac. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read;
Our parfon misdoubts it: it was treason, he said.
King. Biron, read it over.
Where hadft thou it?
Jaq. Of Coftard.
King. Where hadft thou it?
Coft. Of dun Adramadio, dun Adramadio.
King. How now! what is in you? why doft thou tear it? Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy: your grace needs not fear it. Long. It did move him to paffion, and therefore let's hear it. Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.
Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do me shame.
Guilty, my lord, guilty: I confefs, I confefs.
Biron. That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up the mess. He, he, and you: and you, my liege, and I
Are pickpurses in love, and we deserve to die.
O, dismiss this audience, and I fhall tell you more.
Dum. Now the number is even.
Biron. True, true; we are four :
Will these turtles be gone?
King. Hence, firs, hence, away!
Coft. Walk afide the true folk, and let the traitors ftay.
Biron. Sweet lords, fweet lovers, o, let us embrace!
As true we are as flesh and blood can be.
The fea will ebb and flow, heav'n will fhow his face:
Young blood doth not obey an old decree.
We cannot cross the cause why we were born:
Therefore, of all hands must we be forfworn.
King. What, did these rent lines fhow fome love of thine? Biron. Did they, quoth you? who fees the heavenly Rosaline, That, like a rude and favage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous cast, Bows not his vaffal head, and, ftrucken blind, Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? What peremptory eagle-fighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, That is not blinded by her majesty?
King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee now?
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon,
She, an attending ftar, scarce seen a light.
Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron.
O, but for my love, day would turn to night.
Of all complexions the cull'd fovereignty
Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek; Where several worthies make one dignity;
Where nothing wants that want itself doth feek. Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues;
Fie, painted rhetorick! o, fhe needs it not: To things of fale a feller's praise belongs:
She paffes praife, then praise too fhort doth blot. A wither'd hermit, fivefcore winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy :
O, 'tis the fun, that maketh all things fhine.
King. By heav'n, thy love is black as ebony.
Biron. Is ebony like her? o wood divine!
A wife of fuch wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
That I may fwear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that fhe learn not of her eye to look :
No face is fair that is not full fo black.
King. O paradox! black is the badge of hell;
The hue of dungeons, and the ftole of night.
Biron. And beauty's drefs becomes the heaven's well.
Devils fooneft tempt, resembling spirits of light:
O, if in black my lady's brow be deckt,
It mourns, that painting, and ufurped hair
Should ravish doters with a false aspect:
And therefore is the born to make black fair.
Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
For native blood is counted painting now;
And therefore red, that would avoid difpraife,
Paints itself black to imitate her brow.
Dum. To look like her are chimneysweepers black?
Long. And, fince her time, are colliers counted bright?
King. And Ethiops of their fweet complexion crack ?
Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
Biron. Your miftreffes dare never come in rain,
For fear their colours fhould be wash'd away.
King. 'Twere good yours did: for, fir, to tell you plain,
I'll find a fairer face not wafh'd to-day.
Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.
King. No devil will fright thee then so much as fhe.
Dum. I never knew man hold vile ftuff fo dear.
Long. Look, here's thy love; my foot and her face fee.
Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.
Dum. O vile! then, as the goes, what upward lies
The street should fee as the walk'd over head.
King. But what of this? are we not all in love?
Biron. Nothing fo fure; and thereby all forfworn.
King. Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now prove
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
Dum. Ay, marry, there, fome flattery for this evil. Long. O, fome authority how to proceed, Some tricks, fome quillets, how to cheat the devil? Dum. Some falve for perjury!
Biron. O, 'tis more than need.
Have at you then, affection's men at arms;
Confider what you firft did fwear unto :
To fast, to study, and to fee no woman;
Flat treafon 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you faft? your ftomachs are too young:
And abftinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to ftudy, lords,
In that each of you hath forfworn his book;
Can you still dream and pore, and thereon look?
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of ftudy's excellence,
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
From womens eyes this doctrine I derive;
They are the ground, the books, the academes,
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire:
Why, univerfal plodding poifons up
The nimble fpirits in the arteries;
As motion, and long-during action, tires
The finewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in that forfworn the use of eyes,
And study too, the caufer of your vow :
For where is any author in the world,
Teaches fuch beauty as a woman's eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself,
And where we are, our learning likewife is.
Then when ourselves we see in ladies eyes,
Do we not likewife fee our learning there?
O, we have made a vow to ftudy, lords,
And in that vow we have forfworn our books:
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery notions as the prompting eyes
Of beauteous tutors have enrich'd you with?
Other flow arts entirely keep the brain;
And therefore finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil.
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain :
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious feeing to the eye:
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind:
A lover's ear will hear the lowest found,
When the fufpicious head of theft is stopp'd.
Love's feeling is more foft, and fenfible,
Than are the tender horns of cockled fnails.
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste;
For valour, is not love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hefperides?
Subtle as Sphinx, as fweet and mufical
As bright Apollo's lute, ftrung with his hair?
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durft poet touch a pen to write,
Until his ink were temper'd with love's fighs;
O, then his lines would ravish favage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From womens eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire,
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world;
Else, none at all in ought proves excellent.
Then fools you were, these women to forfwear:
Or, keeping what is fworn, you will prove fools.