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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 study so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know ;
As thus; to study where I well may dine,

When I to feast exprefly am forbid ; (1)
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 this, and this be so,
Study knows that, which yet it doth not know :
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er fay, 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
Doch fally blind the eye-sight 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 dazling so, 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 fawcy looks ;

(1) When I to fast exprefly am forbid.] This is the Reading of all the Copies in general ; but I would fain ask our accurate Editors, if Biron studied where to get a good Dinner, at a time when he was forbid to fast, how was this studying to know what he was forbid to know? Common Sense, and the whole Tenour of the context require us to read, either as I have re. ftor'd; or to make a Change in the last Word of the Verse, which will bring us to the same Meaning ;

When I to fast exprefly am fore-bid ; i. e. when I am enjoin'd beforehand to fast,

H 3


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! Dim. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding. Long. He weeds the corn, and ftill lets 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 reafon nothing.
Biron. Something then in rhime.
Ling. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost,

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

boast, Before the birds have any cause to fing? Why Ahould I joy in an che awuruve biru:

A: (2) Wby pould I joy in an abortive Birth ?

At Christmas I no more defire a Rose,
Than wiss a Snow in May's new.fangled Shows :

But like of each thing, that in Season grows.] As the greatest part of this Scene (both what proceeds and follows;) is ftri&ly in Rhymes, either successive, alternate, or triple; I am persuaded, the Copyists have made a flip here. For by making a Triplet of the three last Lines quoted, Birth in the Close of the first Line is quite deftitute of any Rhyme to it. Besides, what a displeasing Identity of Sound recurs in the Middle and Close of this Verse ?

Tban wiss a Snow in May's new-fangled Shows, Again ; new-fangled Shows seems to have very little Propriety. The Flowers are not new.

w-fangled; but the Earth is new.fargled by the Profufion and Variety of the Flowers, that spring on its Bosom in May. I have therefore ventur’d to fubftitute,


1 : 44 : (2)

Give me

At Christmas I no more defire a rose,
Than wish a snow in May's new fangled Earth :
But like of each thing, that in season grows.
So 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 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.


paper, let me read the same; And to the strict't 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 :

[reading: 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! (3)


Earth, in the close of the 3d Line, which restores the alternate Measure. It was very easy for a negligent Transcriber to be deceiv’d by the Rhyme immediately preceding ; so mistake the concluding Word in the sequent Line, and corrupt it into One that would chime with the other.

(3) A dangerous Law against Gentility.]. I have ventur'd to prefix the name of Biron to this Line, it being evident, for two Reasons, that it, by some Accident or other, nipt out of the printed Books. In the first place, Longaville confeffes, he had devis'd the Penalty: and why he should immediately arraign it as a dangerous Law, seems to be very inconsistent. In the next place, it is much more natural for Biron to make this Reflexion, who is cavilling at every thing; and then for him to pursue his reading over the remaining Articles.

Item, [reading.) 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 poslibly devise.

This article, my liege, yourself must break;

For, well you know, here comes in embassy The French King's daughter with yourse!f to speak,

A maid 'of grace and compleat majesty, About surrender

up of Aquitain To her decrepit, fick, 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 for

got. Biron. So study evermore is overshot ; While it doth stady to have what it would, It doth forget to do the thing it should : And when it hach the thing it hunteth most, 'Tis won, as towns with Fire ; so won, so loft.

King. We must of force, dispense with this decree, She-muft lye 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 meer 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 seem so loth, I am the last that will last keep his oath: As to the Word Gentility, here, it does not signify that Rank of People call’d, Gentry; but what the French express by, gentie leffes, i. e. elegantia, urbanitas. And then the Meaning is this. Such a Law for banishing Women from the Court, is dangerous, or injurious, to Politeness, Urbanity, and the more refinid Pleasures of Life. For Men without Women would turn brutal, and savage, in their Natures and Behaviour,


But is there no quick recreation granted ?
King. Ay, that there is; our Court, you know, is

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 inchanting 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, loft 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


minftrelfie. Biron. Armado is a moft 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 are but hort.

Enter Dull and Coftard with a letter. Dull. Which is the King's own person? (4) Biron. This, fellow; what would'A? 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.

Coff. Sir, the Contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.


(4) Dull. Wbicb is tbe Duke's own Person?] The King of Nam varre is in several Pafsages, thro' all the Copies, call’d the Duke : but as this must have sprung rather from the Inadvertence of the Editors, than a Forgetfulness in the Poet, I have every where, to avoid Confusion, restor'd King to the Text.

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