Графични страници
PDF файл

Birox. Let me fay, 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. Birori, 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 com

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

Biron. Come on then, I will swear to ludy fo,
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 mistrefits from cominou fenfe are hid;
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it, and not break my truth.
If study's gain be this, 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 linder study quite,
And train our intellects to vain delight.

Biron. Why, all delights are vai; 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-light 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 fo, that eye shall be his heed,

And give him light, that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven'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. Thele earthly godfathers of heaven's lights That give a name to every fixed itar,


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 feign; “ 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.

1.ong. He weeds the corn, and still let's grow the weeding. Biron. The spring is near when green geese are a

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 freaping frost,

That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
Biron. Well; say, I am; why should proud summer

Before the birds have any cause to fing?
Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more defire a rose,
Than with a snow in May's new-fangled shows:
But like of each thing that in season grows.

you, to study now it is too late,
Climb o'er the house t’unlock the little gate.

King. Well, fit you out-Go home, Biron: adieu! Biron. No, my good Lord, I've sworn to stay with

you. And though I have for barbarisın 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 fame; And to the stricteft 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. On pain of losing her tongue.



[ocr errors]

Who devis'd this penalty?

Long. Marry, that did I.
Biron. Sweet Lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
Biron. A dangerous law against gentility!

Item. [reading. ] If any man be feen 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
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 th' admired Princess hither.
King. What say you, Lords? why, this was quite

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; fo won, fo loft.

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

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 neceffity.
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 feem fo loath,
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



every man

With a refined traveller of Spain,
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,

That hath a mínt of phrases in his brain:
“ One, whom the mufic of his own vain tongue

“ Doth ravish, like inchanting harmony: " A man of compliments, whom right and wrong

“ Have chofe 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 proteft, I love to hear hiin lie;
And I will use him for my minstrelfy.

Biron. Armado is a moft illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.

Long. Coftard the fwain, and he, shall be our sport; And, fo to study, three years are but short.

SCENE II, Enter Dull and Coftard with a letter.

Dull. Which is the King's own person?
Biron. This, fellow; what would's?

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 more.

Coft. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

Biron. How low foever 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, to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.

Biron. Well, Sir, be it as the Atyle shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.


Coft. The matter is to me, Sir, as concerning Jaque-
The manner of it is, I was taken in the manner.
Biron. - In what manner!

Coft. In manner and form, following, Sir; all those three. I was seen with her in the manor-house, fitting 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?

Cot. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!

King. Will you hear the letter with attention!
Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Coff. Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King. [reads ] Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and fole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron

Cof. Not a word of Coftard yet.
King. So it is

Cof. It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but fo, fo.

King. Peace
Cof. Be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
King. No words
Col. Of other mens secrets, I beseech you.

King. So it is, besieged with fable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black oppreffing humour to the most wheleSome phyfic of the health giving air; and as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time, when? about the fixth hour, when beasts molt graze, birds best peck, and men fit down to that nourishment which is calld supper : so much for the time, when. Now for the ground, which? which, I mean, I walk'd upon; it is ycleped, thy park.

Then for the place, where? where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-colour'd ink, which here thou viewet, beholdef, surveyejl, or feeft. But to the place, N 2


[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »