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You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your
That his own hand may strike his honour down
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified:
Biron. I can but say their protestation over;
43. of all the day, all day-long.
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep! King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
Biron. Let me say 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
Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
What is the end of study? let me 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;
King. These be the stops that hinder study quite
And train our intellects to vain delight.
Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that
57. common sense, ordinary perception.
62. feast, Theobald's doubted correction for the 'fast' of Qq and Ff.
Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
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
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
Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
King. How well he's read, to reason against
Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!
Long. He weeds the corn and still lets grow the weeding.
upon a fairer eye, that fairer eye shall be his heed, his direction or lodestar, and give him light that was blinded by it.'
95. Proceeded well, etc. A play upon the academic sense of the word, 'take a degree.'
Biron. The spring is near when green geese
Dum. How follows that?
Dum. In reason nothing.
Fit in his place and time.
Something then in rhyme. King. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost That bites the first-born infants of
Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast.
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
So you, to study now it is too late,
Biron. No, my good lord; I have sworn to
And though I have for barbarism spoke more
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper; let me read the same;
Biron [reads]. Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court:' Hath this been 120 proclaimed?
Long. Four days ago.
Biron. Let's see the penalty. pain of losing her tongue.' penalty?
Long. Marry, that did I.
Long. To fright them hence with that dread
Biron. A dangerous law against gentility!
[Reads] Item, If any man be seen to talk 130 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 majestyAbout surrender up of Aquitaine
Who devised this
To her decrepit, sick and bedrid father:
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
129. gentility, good manners.