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King. Biron, read it over. Giving him the letter. Where hadst thou it?

Jaq. Of Costard.
King. Where hadst thou it?
Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Vun Aaram aio
King. How now! what is in you ? why dost thou tear it?
Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy ; your grace needs not

fear it. Long. It did move him to passion, and therefore let's

hear it. Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.

[Picks up the pieces. Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerbead, you were born to do me shame.

[To CoSTARD Guilty, my lord, guilty ; I confess, I confess.

King. What?
Biron. That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up

the mess :
He, he, and you, my liege, and I,
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
Dum. Now the number is even.

Biron. True, true ; we are four :-
Will these turtles be gone

? King. Hence, sirs; away. Cost. Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.

(Ereunt Costard and JaQ. Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us embrace !

As true we are, as flesh and blood can be : The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show bis face,

Young blood will not obey an old decree : We cannot cross the cause why we were born ; Therefore, of all hands, must we be forsworn.

King. What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly

That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,

At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
Bows not his vassal head; and, strucken blind,

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast !
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
That is not blinded by her majesty ?
Vol. 111.


King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee now! My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon ;

She, an attending star, scarce seen a light.” Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor i Birón :

0, but for my love, day would turn to night! Of all complexions the cull’d sovereignty

Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek; Where several worthies make one dignity;

Where nothing wants, that want itself doth seek. Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,

Fye, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not : To things of sale a seller's praise belongs ;

She passes praise ; then praise too short doth blot. A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,

Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye : Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,

And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy. 0, 'tis the sun, that maketh all things shine!

King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
Biron. Is ebony like her ? O wood divine !

A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?

That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack,
If that sbe learn not of her eye to look :

No face is fair, that is not full so black.
King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night;
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.?

Biron. Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light 0, if in black my lady's brows be deckt,

It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair, Should ravish doters with a false aspect;

And therefore is she born to make black fair. Her favour turns the fashion of the days;

For native blood is counted painting now; [6] Semething like this is a stanza of sir Henry Wotton, of which the poetical reader will forgive the insertion :

“ You meaner beauties of the night,

" That poorly satisfy our eyes
“More by your number than your light,

“ You common people of the skies,

" What are you when the sun shall rise ?" JOHNSON 17] lo beraldry, a crest is a device placed above a coat of arms. Shakespeare therefore assumes the liberty to use it in a sense equivalent to top or almost height, as he bas used spire in Coriolanus. TOLLET.

(8) Usurping hair alludes to the fashion, which prevailed among ladies in our author's time, of wearing false bair or periwigs, as they were then called, before that kind of covering for the bead was worn by men.



And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,

Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. Dum. To look like her, are chimney-sweepers black. Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted bright. King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack. Duin. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light. Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain,

For fear their colours should be wash'd away. King. "Twere good, your's did; for, sir, to tell you

plain, I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day. Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day here. King. No devil will fright thee then so much as she. Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. Long. Look, here's thy love : my foot and her face

[Showing his shoe. Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,

Her feet were much too dainty for such tread! Dum. O vile! then as she goes, what upward lies

The street should see as she walk'd overhead. King. But what of this ? Are we not all in love? Biron. O, nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn. King. Then leave this chat; and, good Birón, now

prove Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. Dum. Ay, marry, there ;-some flattery for this evil.

Long. O, some authority how to proceed;
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.

Dum. Some salve for perjury.

Biron. 0, 'tis more than need !
Have at you then, affection's men at arms :'
Consider, what you first did swear unto ;-
To fast,—to study,--and to see no woman ;-
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast ? your stomachs are too young ;
And abstinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
In that each of you hath forsworn his book :
Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look ?

(9) Quillet is the peculiar word applies to law-chicane. I imagine the original to he this, in the French pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distioct plea in the defendan!'s answer, began with the words qui'il est :~from whence was formed the word quillel, to signify a false cbarge or .111 A man at arms, is a soldier armed at all points both ofensively and defenrively. It is no more than, Ye soldiers of affeclion.

an evasive answer.



For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of study's excellence,
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive ;
They are the ground, the books, the academes,
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire.
Why, universal plodding prisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries ;'
As motion, and long-during action, tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes;
And study too, the causer of your vow:
For where is any author in the world,
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye ?*
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself,
And where we are, our learning likewise is.
Then, when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
Do we not likewise see our learning there?
0, we have made a vow to study, lords ;
And in that vow we have forsworn our books ;8
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation, have found out
Such fiery numbers, as the prompting eyes
Of beauteous tutors have enrich'd you with ?*
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain
And therefore finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil :
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain ;
But with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power ;
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye ;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind ;
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,

[1] In the old system of physic they gave the same office to the arteries as 18 dow given to the serves WÁRBURTON

(2) i. e a lady's eyes give a fuller notion of beauty than any author. JONN

13j i. e. our true books from which we derive most information ;-the eyes of womeo. MALONE.

(9) Numbo s are, in this passage, nothing more than portical measures. Coulu you,' says Biron..by solitary contemplation, have attained such poetical fire, sur spritely numbers, as have been prompted by the eyes of beauty ?' JOHNSON

(5) As we say. keep the house, or keep their bed. M. MASON.

When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd ;6
Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible,
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails ;
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste :
For valour, is not love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subile as sphinx ; as sweet, and musical,
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair ;?
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write,
Until his ink were tempered with love's sighs ;
0, then his lines would ravish savage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive :
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire ;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world ;
Else, none at all in aught proves excellent :
Then fools you were these women to forswear;
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom's sake, a word, that all men love ;
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men ;
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women;
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men;
Let us once lose our oaths, to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths :
It is religion to be thus forsworn:
For charity itself fulfils the law ;
And who can sever love from charity ?

King. Saint Cupid, then ! and, soldiers, to the field !

Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them, lords ; Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis’d,

[6] 1. e A lover in pursuit of bis mistress has his sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every sound he hears) in pursuit of bis prey. WARB. [7) This expression, like that other in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, of

Orpheus' harp was strung with poets' sinews, is extremely beautiful, and highly figuratire. A pollo, as the sun, is represented with golden hair ; so that a lute strung with his hair, means no more than strung witb gilded wire. VARBURTON.

(8! The meaning is, whenever lore speaks all the gods join their voices with his in harmonious concert. HEATH.For makes, read moke. See the sacred writings : “ The number of the names together were about an bundred and twenty." Acts i. 15. MALONE.

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