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That his own hand may strike his honour down,
That violates the smallest branch herein:
If yoti are 'arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years'

The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bids
Make rich the ribs, but bauk'rout quite the wits.

Dum. My loving Lord, Dumain is mortified; The grosser manner of these world's delights He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves : To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die; With all these living in philosophy.

Biron. I can but, say their protestation over, So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, That is, to live and study here three years. But there are other strict observances : As, not to see a woman in that term; Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : And, one day in a week to touch no food; And but one meal on every day beside ; The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, And not be seen to wink of all the day; (When I was wont to think no harm all night, And make a dark night too of half the day ;) Which , I hope well, is not enrolled there. O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep; 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, so study with your Grace, And stay here in your court for three years' space.

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Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the

Test. Biron. 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

common sense? King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.

Biron. Coine 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 hovy to please the eye indeed,

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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.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
That will not be deep search'd with saucy

looks ; Small have continual plodders ever won,

Savę 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 shiniog 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 pro.

ceeding! Long. He weeds the com, 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 rhime. Long. Biron is like 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 sing? Why should I joy in an abortive birth?

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At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
Than wish a snow in '

Max's new - fangled shows;
But like of each thing, that in season grows.
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 strick'st degrees 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

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, 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 overshot; While it doth study to have what it would, It doth forget to do the thing it should : And wben it hath the thing it hurteth most, 'Tis won, as towns, with fire; so won, so lost. 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 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 degree, Stands in attainder of eternal shame :

Suggestions are to others, as to'me; But, I believe, although I am so loth, I am the last that will last keep his oath. "Bnt 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,

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