He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.
The spring is near, when green geese are a-breeding.
How follows that?
Fit in his place and time.
In reason nothing.
Something then in rime.
Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
Well, say I am: why should proud summer boast
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish 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,
Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.
Well, sit out; go home, Berowne; adieu.
No, my good lord; I have 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 strict'st decrees I'll write my name.
How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!
'Item. That no woman shall come within a mile of
my court.'Hath this been proclaimed?
Four days ago.
Let's see the penalty. 'On pain of losing her
tongue.' Who devised this penalty?
Marry, that did I.
Sweet lord, and why?
To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
A dangerous law against gentility!
'Item. If any man be seen to talk with a woman within
the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the
rest of the court can possibly devise.'
This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For well you know here comes in embassy
The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak —
A mild of grace and complete majesty —
About surrender up of Aquitaine
To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father:
Therefore this article is made in vain,
Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither.
What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.
So study evermore is over-shot:
While it doth study to have what it would,
It doth forget to do the thing it should;
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won as towns with fire; so won, so lost.
We must of force dispense with this decree;
She must lie here on mere necessity.
Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years' space;
For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might master'd, but by special grace.
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
I am forsworn 'on mere necessity.'
So to the laws at large I write my name; [Subscribes]
And he that breaks them in the least degree
Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
Suggestions are to other as to me;
But I believe, although I seem so loath,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted?
Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
With a refined traveller of Spain;
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One who the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
For interim to our studies shall relate,
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate.
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
Armado is a most illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;
And so to study three years is but short.
[Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD.]