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FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
three Lords, attending upon the King in his Longaville,
, . Don Adriano de Armado, a fantaftical Spaniard. Nathaniel, a Curate. Dull, a Constable. Holofernes, a Schoolmaster. Costard, a Clown. Moth, Page to Don Adriano de Armado. A Forefter.
Princess of France.
Oficers, and others, Attendants upon the King and
SCENE, the King of Navarre's Palace,
and the Country near it.
Enter the King, Biron, Longaville and Dumain.
And then grace us in the disgrace of death :
That his own hand may ítrike his honour down,
Long. I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years fast :
Dum. My loving Lord, Dumain is mortify'd :
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
King. Your oath is pafs'd to pass away from these.
Biron. Let me fay, no, my Liege, an if you please ; I only swore to study with your Grace, And stay here in your court for three years space.
Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest. Biron. By yea and nay, Sir, then I swore in jest. (1) Ibn I was wont to think no barm all night,] i. e. When I was used to seep all night long, without once waking. The Latines have a proverbial expression very nigh to the sense of our author's thought here: Qui bene dormir, nibil mali cogitat.
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 com
Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so,
When I to fealt exprefly am forbid ; (2)
When mistresses from common sense are hid:
King. These be the stops, that hinder study quite ;
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
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile;
By fixing it upon a fairer eye ;
And give him light, that it was blinded by.
That will not be deep fearch'd with saucy looks ;
(2) Wben 1 100 fast exprefly am forbid.) This is the reading of all the copies in general ; but I would fain ask our aci urate editors, if Biron studied where to get a good dinner, at a time when he was forbid to faft, how was this studying to know what he was forbid to know? common sense, and the whole tenor of the context require us to read, either as I have restor'd; or, to make a change in the last word of the verse, which will bring us to the same meaning ;
When I to fast exprefly am fore-bid ; i. e, when I am enjoin'd before-hand to falt.