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Enter Jaquenetta, and Coftard.
Jaq. God bless the king!
King. What present hast thou there?
Cost. Some certain treason.
King. What makes treason here?
Coff. Nay, it makes nothing, fir.
King. If it mar nothing neither,
The treason and you go in peace away together.
Jac. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read;
Our parson misdoubts it: it was treason, he said.
King. Biron, read it over.
[he reads the letter. Where hadst thou it?
Jaq. Of Coftard.
King. Where hadft thou it?
Cost. Of dun Adramadio, dun Adramadio.
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.
Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do
Guilty, my lord, guilty : I confefs, I confefs.
Biron. That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up the mess.
He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I
Are pickpurses 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, hence, away!
Coft. Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors ftay.
[Exeunt Coft. and faq.
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, heav'n will show his face:
Young blood doth 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 Rosaline,
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
Bows not his yaffal head, and, strucken blind,
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast ?
What peremptory eagle-lighted eye
Dares look upon the
heaven of her brow,
That is not blinded by her majesty ?
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 Biron.
O, but for my love, day would turn to night.
Of all complexions the culld 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 fourish of all gentle tongues ;
Fie, painted rhetorick! o, she needs it not:
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs :
She passes praise, then praise too thort doth blot.
A wither'd hermit, fivescore 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 heav'n, 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 she 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 stole of night.
Biron. And beauty's dress becomes the heaven's well.
Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light: O, if in black my lady's brow be deckt,
It mourns, that painting, and usurped 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;
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black to imitate her brow.
Dum. To look like her are chimneysweepers black?
Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted bright?
King. And Ethiops of their fweet complexion crack ?
Ďum. 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 yours 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 doomsday here.
King. No devil will fright thee then so much as fhe.
Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
Long. Look, here's thy love; my foot and her face see. 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 over head.
King. But what of this ? are we not all in love?
Biron. Nothing so sure ; and thereby all forsworn.
King. Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, 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. O, '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 ftomachs 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;
you still dream and pore, and thereon look ?
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 womens eyes this doctrine I derive ;
They are the ground, the books, the academes,
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire:
Why, universal plodding poisons 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 fee our learning there?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forfworn our books :
For when would' you, my liege; or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery notions 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,
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?
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durft poet touch a pen to write,
Until his ink were temper'd with love's fighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From womens 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 ought proves excellent.
Then fools you were, these women to forswear :
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove