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For by this ring the Doctor lay with me.

Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano, For that same fcrubbed boy, the Doctor's clerk, In lieu of this, last night did lie with me.

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of high-ways
In summer, where the ways are fair enough:
What! are we cuckolds ere we have deserv'd it?

Por. Speak not so grossly; you are all amaz’d:
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ;
It coines from Padua, from Bellario :
There you shall find, that Portia was the Doctor;
Neriffa, there, her clerk. Lorenzo, here,
Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And even but now return'd: I have not yet
Enter'd my house. Anthonio, you are welcome;
And I have better news in store for you,
Than you expect : unseal this letter foon;
There you shall find, three of your Argofies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.

Ant. I am dumb.
Baff. Were you the Doctor, and I knew you not ?
Gra. Were you the clerk that is to make me cuc-

kold ? Ner. Ay, but the clerk that never means to do it, Unless he live until he be a man.

Bal. Sweet Doctor, you shall be my bedfellow; When I am absent, then lie with my wife.

Ant. Sweet Lady, you have giv'n me life and living;
For here I read for certain, that my ships
Are safely come to road.
Por. How now,

Lorenzo ?
My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.
There do I give to you and Jessica,
From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies possess’d of.

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Of starved people.

Por. It is almost morning,
And yet I'm sure you are not satisfy'd


Of these events at full. Let us go in,
And charge us there upon interr'gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be fo. The first interr’gatory,


Nerissa shall be sworn on, is,
Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
Or go to bed now, being two hours to day?

were the day come, I should wish it dark,
Till I were couching with the Doctor's clerk.
Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing
So fore, as keeping fafe Neriffa's ring. [Exeunt omnes,


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FERDINAND, King of Na-|| Holofernes, a schoolmaster.

Costard, a clown. three Lords at. Moth, page to Don AdriaBiron,

tending upon no de Armado. Longaville,

the King in his | A Forester, Dumain,

retirement, Princess of France.

Lords attending Rofaline, Ladies attend. Boyet, Macard,

upon the Prin- || Maria, ing on the Prina cess of France.

Catharine, Icefs. Don Adriana de Armada, a Jaquenetta, a countrywench.

fantastical Spaniard. Officers, and others, attend. Nathaniel, a curate.

ants upon the King and Dull, a confiable.

Princess. SCENE, the King of Navarre's palace, and the coun

try near it.

А с т I. S CE N E I.

The palace.
Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain.

ET fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live registred upon our brazen tombst;
When, spight of cormorant devouring

Th' endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall 'bate his fcythe's keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors ! for so you are,
That war against your own affections,


* In this play are to be perceived several strokes of Shakespear's pen, but the whole ought by no means to pass før i he work of it. +

brazen combs; And then grace us in the disgrace of death; When, spight of, &c.


And the huge army of the world's desires;
Our latę edict shal] strongly stand in force.
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little academy,
Still and contemplative in living arts.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me,
My fellow-scholars; and to keep those statutes,
That are recorded in this schedule here.
Your oaths are pass’d, and now subscribe your names :
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 years's fast :
The mind shall banquet tho' the body pine ;
Fat 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 grofs world's bafer flaves :
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ;
With all these living in philosophy.

Biron. I can but fay 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 inrolled 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 inrolled 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 inrolled there.
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep ;
Not to fee ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

King. Your oath is pafs’d to pass away from thefe.
Biron. Let me say, No, my Liege, an’ if you please ;

I only


I only swore to study with your Grace,
And stay here in your court for three years' fpace.

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 barrid (you mean) from

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

Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study fo,
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 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. 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 eye-fight 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,

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 ; 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,

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