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


fast: The mind shall banquet tho' the body pine ; Pat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Make rich the ribs, but bankerout the wits.

Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortify'd :
The groffer manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's balèr ñáves :
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy!:

Biron. I can but faỹ thèir 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 fay, no, liege, an' if you please; I only swore to study with your Grace, And stay here in your Court for three years' space.


* With all these living in phi- not certainly to what all these is lofophy.] The stile of the rhym- to be referred; I suppose he ing scenes in this play is often means that he finds love, pomp, entangled and obscure. I know and wealth in philosophy.


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

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 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? ;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,

When miftreffes 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 say, no.

King. T'hese 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 3 Doth fally blind the eye-light of his look :

Light, seeing light, doth light of light beguile ;

The copies all have, When is e. when I am enjoin'd beforeI to fast exprefly am forbid.) But hand to faft. THEOBALD. if Biron studied where to get a

3. While truth the while good Dinner, at a time when he Doth falfly blind --.] Falsly

- was forbid to fast, how was This is here, and in many other places, ftudying to know what he was the same as dishonestly or treacherforbid to know ? Common Sense, .ously. The whole sense of this and the whole tenour of the gingling declamation is only this, Context, requires us to read feast, that a man by too close study or to make a Change in the lat may read himself blind, which Word of the Verse.

might have been told with less When I to falt expresly am fore- obscurity in fewer words.

bid ;


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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 4,

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; Shall have continual plodders ever won,

Save base authority from other's books. These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,

That give a name to every fixed ftar, Have no more profit of their shining nights,

Than those that walk and wot not what they are. sToo much to know, is to know nought: but fames And every godfather can give a name.



4 Who dazzling so, that eye ludes to Adam's Fall, which came shall be his beed,

from the inordinate paffion of And give him light, that it was knowing too much. The other

blinded by.] This is an- way is to read, and point it thus, other passage unnecessarily ob- Too much to know, is to know scure: the meaning is, that when nought: but FEIGN, i. e. to he dazzles, that is, has his eye feign. As much as to say, the made weak, by fixing his eye upon affecting to know too much is the a fairer eye, that fairer eye mall way to know nothing. Thefense, be his heed, his direction or lode- in both these readings, is equally ftar, (see Midsummer Night's good: but with this difference ; Dream) and give him light that If we read the first way, the folo was blinded by it.

lowing line is impertinent; and 5 Too much to know, is to know to save the correction, we must

nought but FAME. judge it fpurious. If we read it And every godfather can give a the second way, then the follow

name.) The first line in ing line compleats the sense. this reading is absurd and imper- Consequently the correction of tinent. There are two ways of feign is to be preferred. To know setting it right. The first is to 100 much (says the speaker) is to

too read it thus,

know nothing ; it is only feigning Too much to know, is to know to know what we do not: giving

nought but SHAME; names for things without knowThis makes a fine sense, and al. ing their natures ; which is false

krowledge :


King. How well he's read, to reason againft reading!
Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceedingo.
Long. He weeds the corn, and still let's grow the

Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are a

Dum. How follows that?
Biron. Fit in his place and time.
Dum. In reason nothing.
Biron, Something then in rhime.
Long. 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 an abortive birth ??



knowledge: And this was the pe. 6 Proceeded well, to pop all culiar defect of the Peripatetic good proceeding.) To proceed is Philosophy then in vogue. These an academical term, meaning to philosophers, the poet, with the take a degree, as be proceeded ban higeft humour and good sense, chelor in physick. The sense is, calls the Godfathers of Nature, he has taken his degrees on the art who could only give things a of hindering the degrees of others. name, but had no manner of ac- Why should I joy in an abortquaintance with their effences. ive Birth?

WARBURTON. At Christmas I no more desire a That there are two ways of Roje, Setting a paffage right gives rea- Than wish a Snow in May's son to suspect that there may be new-fangled Shows; a third way better than either. But like of each Thing, that in The first of these emendations

Seafon grows ] As the makes a fine senfe, but will not greatest part of this Scene (both unite with the next line ; the o- what precedes and follows) is ther makes a sense less fine, and ftrictly in Rhimes, either fuccefwill not rhime to the corre- five, alternate, or triple; I am fpondent word. I cannot see why persuaded, the Copyists have the passage may not ftand with made a llip here. For by mak. out disturbance. The consequence, ing a Triplet of the three last says Biron, of 100 much knowledge, Lines quoted, Birth in the Close is not the real solution of doubts, of the first Line is quite destitute but mere empty reputation. of any Rhyme to it. Besides,

I 2




At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
Than with a snow in May's new-fangled shows :
But like of each thing that in season grows.
So you, to study, now it is too late,
That were to climb o'er th' house t’unlock the gate.

King. Well, sit 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: Give me the paper, let me read the same; And to the striēt'st decrees I'll write my name. King. How well this yielding rescues thee from

shame! Biron. Item. That no woman fall 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 ber 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 8 !

Item, what a displeasing Identity of the Close of the 3d Line, which Sound recurs in the Middle and restores the alternate Measure. It Close of this Verse ?

was very easy for a negligent Than wild a Snow in May's Tranfcriber to be deceived by the new.fangled Shows.

Rhime immediately preceding ; Again ; new-fangled Shows seems so mistake the concluding Word to have very little Propriety. in the sequent Line, and corrupt The Flowers are not new.fangled; itinto one that would chime with but the earth is new fangled by the other. THEOBALD, the Profusion and Variety of the 8 A dangerous Law against Flowers, that spring on its Bo- Gentility !) I have ventured to som in May.; I have therefore prefix the Name of Biron to this ventured to substitute, Earth, in


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