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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,
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 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;
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that was it blinded by:

while truth the while Doth falsely blind -] Falsely is here, and in many other places, the same as dishonestly or treacherously. * Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,

And give him light that was it blinded by.) This passage is unnecessarily obscure; the meaning is, that when he dazzles, that

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.
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;
But like of each thing, that in season grows.

is, has his eye made weak, by fixing his eye upon a fairer eye, that fairer

eye

shall be his heed, his direction or lode-star, and give him light that was blinded by it. Johnson.

sneaping frost,] To sneap is to check, to rebuke.

May's new fangled shows;] By these shows the poet means Maygames, at which a snow would be very unwelcome and unexpected. It is only a periphrasis for May.

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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. 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?
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.”

[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,

6

sit you out :) To sit out, is a term from the card-table. ? A dangerous law against gentility.) or urbanity.

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 over-shot; 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 de

cree; 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 de

gree, 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.

lie here -] Means reside here, in the same sense as an ambassador is said to lie leiger.

. Not by might master'd, but by special grace:] Biron, amidst his extravagancies, speaks with great justness against the folly of vows. They are made without sufficient regard to the variations of life, and are therefore broken by some unforeseen necessity. They proceed commonly from a presumptuous confidence, and a false estimate of human power. Johnson.

Suggestions - Temptations.

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 musick 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,

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?

quick recreation - ] Lively sport, spritely diversion. A man of complements,] Compliment, in Shakspeare's time, did not signify, at least did not only signify verbal civility, or phrases of courtesy, but, according to its original meaning, the trappings, or ornamental appendages of a character, in the same manner, and on the same principles of speech with accomplishment. 4 This child of fancy,] This fantastick.

That Armado hight,] Who is called Armado. 6 And I will use him for my minstrelsy.) i. e. I will make a minstrel of him, whose occupation was to relate fabulous stories.

?-fire-new words,) i. e. words newly coined, new from the forge. Fire-new, new off the irons, and the Scottish expression bren-new, have all the same origin.

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