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Study me how to please the eye indeed,
By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
And give him light that it was blinded by.
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 read
ing! 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
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 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 any abortive birth 8?
6 Proceeded well,] To“ proceed,” as Johnson observes, “is an academical term, and means to take a degree, as he proceeded bachelor in physic."
7 — an envious SNEAPING frost,] “Sneaping” is snipping, or as we now say, “nipping,”-vide“ Winter's Tale,” A. i. sc. 2. In Malone’s Shakespeare, by Boswell, this speech is given, without warrant, to Longaville.
8 Why should I joy in any abortive birth ?] Such was the authentic reading until the time of Pope, who changed "any” to an. Any"
” is to be pronounced in the time of an, and the measure is perfect.
At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
King. Well, sit you out': go home, Biron : adieu !
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 sworne",
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.”—Hath this been proclaim'd ?
Long. Four days ago.
Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.]
Long. Marry, that did I.
Sweet lord, and why?
[Reads.] Item, “If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure
“ On pain such public shame as the rest of the court can possibly deviset.”— This article, my liege, yourself must break;
9 Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.] The folio, 1623, spoils the line and injures the sense by reading,
“ That were to climb o'er the house to unlock the gate.” 1 Well, sit you out :) The folio has “ fit you out,” which may be right. Malone suggests that “ set you out” may be the true reading.
? I'll keep what I have swORNE,] So the old 4to, 1598, and the folio, 1623. The folio, 1632, substitutes suore for the sake of the rhyme, which may have been intended.
3 A dangerous law against gentility !] In the old editions this line, and the “ Item ” immediately following it, are given to Longaville, whereas they seem to belong, as Theobald suggested, to Biron, who was reading the articles. The 4to, 1598, has gentletie for “ gentility,” the lection of the first folio.
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 :
Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither.
Biron. So study evermore is overshot:
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 seem so loth, I am the last that will last keep his oath. But is there no quick recreation granted? King. Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is
as the rest of the court can possibly devise.] This is the preferable reading of the 4to, 1598 : the folio substitutes shall for “ can.”
shall speak for me,] Shall break for me, folio, 1623. 6 SUGGESTIONS] i. e. temptations, repeatedly so used by Shakespeare.
With a refined traveller of Spain;
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
For interim to our studies, shall relate
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
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. 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 Arm-Arm—commends you. There's villainy abroad : this letter will tell you more.
Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
that Armado night,] i. e. That is called Armado. See also p. 291. 7 And I will use him for my MINSTRELSY.] i. e. “I will make a minstrel of him, whose occupation,” says Douce, " was to relate fabulous stories."
& Enter Dull,] In the old copies Dull is not named here, but called a “ Constable :” “ with a letter," is added after Costard, in the old stage-direction.
9 – I am his grace's THARBOROUGH.] i. e. Thirdborough, or constable : far. borough in the 4to, 1598. VOL. II.
Long. A high hope for a low having': God grant us patience!
Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing ?
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.
Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness 11.
Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner,
Biron. In what manner?
Cost. In manner and form following, sir ; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner, it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman; for the form,-in some form.
Biron. For the following, sir?
Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!
King. Will you hear this letter with attention?
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.
King. [Reads.] “Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron,”
Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
10 A high hope for a low havING :) Theobald substituted “having” for heaven, the reading of the 4to. and folios. He was, probably, right.
11 – to climb in the merriness.) Steevens supposes a play upon words between “style ” and “climb” to have been intended. The Rev. Mr. Barry suggests, that as the word “climb” in the old copies, 4to. and folio, is spelt clime, there may have been a slight misprint, and that possibly we ought to read chime. I am inclined to agree with Steevens. The word “style” is played upon again in p. 321, after the reading of Armado's letter.
– taken with the manner.] i. e. In the fact.