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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 book, the academes, 640
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?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords;
And in that vow we have forsworn our books:
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 ? 660
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ;
And therefore finding barren practisers,
Scarce shew 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,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
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?
Subtle as sphinx ;

as sweet, and musical, As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair ; 680 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 temper'd 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 shew, contain, and nourish all the world; 690 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, In conflict that you get the sun of them.

Long. Now to plain-dealing ; lay these glozes by: Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France ?

King, And win them too : therefore let us devise Some entertainment for them in their tents. 710

Biron. First, from the park let us conduct them

thither ;

Then, homeward, every man attach the hand
Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon
We will with some strange pastime solace them.
Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours,
Fore-run fair love, strewing her way with flowers,

King. Away, away! no time shall be omitted,
That will be time, and may by us be fitted.
Biron. Allons ! allons !--Sow'd cockle reap'd no

20 And

And justice always whirls in equal measure: Light wenches may prove plagues to men forswern; If so, our copper buys no better treasure.



The Street. Enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, and


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Hol. Satis quod sufficit.

Nath. I praise God for you, sir : your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy I did converse this quondam day with a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nominated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were ; too peregrinate, as I may call it.

14 Nath. A most singular and choice epithet.

[Draws out his Table-Book. Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such


phanatical phantasms, such insociable and point-devise companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak, dout, fine, when he should say, doubt; det, when he should pronounce, debt; d, e, b, t; not, d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbour, vocatur, nebour ; neigh, abbreviated, ne: This is abhominable (which he would call abominable), it insinuateth me of insanie; Ne intelligis, domine ? to make frantick, lunatick?

26 Nath. Laus deo, bone; intelligo.

Hol. Bone? -bone, for benè: Priscian a little scratch'd ; 'twill serve.

Nath. Videsne quis venit ?
Hol. Video, 83 gaudeo.
Arm. Chirra !
Hol. Quare Chirra, not sirrah ?
Arm. Men of peace, well encounter'd.
Hol. Most military sir, salutation.

Moth. They have been at a great feast of languages, and stol'n the scraps.

[To COSTARD aside. Cost. O, they have liv'd long on the alms-basket of words! I marvel, thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus : thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.

Moth. Peace; the peal begins.
Arm. Monsieur, are you not letter'd ?
Moth. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the horn-book :



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