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* Love's LABOUR'S LOST.] I have not hitherto discovered any novel on which this comedy appears to have been founded; and yet the ftory of it has moft of the features of an ancient romance. STEEVENS.
I fufpect that there is an error in the title of this play, which I believe, fhould be-" Love's Labours Loft." M. MASON.
Love's Labour's Loft, I conjecture to have been written in 1594. See An Attempt to afcertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE.
Ferdinand, King of Navarre.
Longaville,} Lords, attending on the King.
Boyet, } Lords, attending on the Princess of
Don Adriano de Armado, a fantaftical Spaniard.
Holofernes, a Schoolmaster.
Moth, Page to Armado.
Princess of France.
Jaquenetta, a country Wench.
Ladies, attending on the Princess.
Officers and others, Attendants on the King and Princess.
* This enumeration of the perfons was made by Mr. Rowe.
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it.
Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.
KING. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, Live register'd upon our brazen tombs, And then grace us in the difgrace of death; When, fpite of cormorant devouring time, The endeavour of this prefent breath may buy That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge, And make us heirs of all eternity. Therefore, brave conquerors!-for so you are, That war against your own affections, And the huge army of the world's defires,— Our late edict shall strongly stand in force: Navarre fhall be the wonder of the world; Our court fhall be a little Academe, Still and contemplative in living art. You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville, Have fworn for three years' term to live with me, My fellow-fcholars, and to keep thofe ftatutes, That are recorded in this schedule here: Your oaths are past, and now fubfcribe your names; That his own hand may strike his honour down, That violates the fmalleft branch herein :
LONG. I am refolv'd: 'tis but a three years' faft; The mind shall banquet, though the body pine: Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the wits,
DUM. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified; The groffer manner of thefe 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 philofophy.2
BIRON. I can but fay their proteftation over, So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, That is, To live and ftudy here three years. But there are other ftrict obfervances: As, not to fee a woman in that term; Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there: And, one day in a week to touch no food; And but one meal on every day befide; The which, I hope, is not enrolled there: And then, to fleep 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 enrolled there:
your deep oath,] The old copies have oaths. Cor. rected by Mr. Steevens. MALone.
2 With all thefe living in philofophy.] The ftyle of the rhyming scenes in this play is often entangled and obfcure. I know not certainly to what all these is to be referred; I fuppofe he means, that he finds love, pomp, and wealth in philofophy.
By all thefe, Dumain means the King, Biron, &c. to whom he may be fuppofed to point, and with whom he is going to live in philofophical retirement. A. C.