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LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
ACT I. SCENEI.-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, I ive register'd upon our brazen tombs, A ad then grace us in the disgrace of death; When, spite of cormorant devouring time, The endeavour of this present 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 desires, (Our late edict shall strongly stand in force ; Navarre shall be the wonder of the world ; Our court shall be a little Académe, Suill and contemplative in living art. You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville, lave sworn for three years' term to live with me, My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes, That are recorded in this schedule here : Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names; That his own hand may strike his honour down, That violates the smallest branch herein : If you are arm’d to do, as sworn to do, Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
Long. I am resolved : 'tis but a three years' fast ;
Dun. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ;
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ;
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
these. Biron. Let me say 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.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
common sense? King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompence.
Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so,
When I to feast expressly am forbid ;
When mistresses from common sense are hid :
King. These be the stops that hinder study quite,
vain, Which, with pain purshased, doth inherit pain : As, painfully to pore upon a book,
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look :
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile :
By fixing it upon a fairer eye ;
And give him light that was it blinded by.
That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books.
That give a name to every fixed star,
Than those that walk, and wot not what they are.
reading! Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding! Long. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the
weeding. Biron. The spring is near, when green geese
are a breeding. Dum. How follows that ? Biron. Fit in his place and time. Dum. In reason nothing. Biron. Something then in rhyme. Long. Biron is like an envious sneaping* frost, That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well, say I am ; why should proud sum.
mer boast, Before the birds have any cause to sing ? Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? At Christmas I no more desire a rose, Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows t; 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. King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron; adieu. Biron. 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. • Nipping.
+ Games, sports.
Give me the paper, let me read the same ;
shame! Biron. [Reads.) Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court. And hath this been proclaim'd ?
Long. Four days ago.
Biron. Let's see the penalty.
Long. Marry, that did I.
be seen to talk wilh a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court cun 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 maid of grace, and complete majesty, About surrender-up of Aquitain
To her decripit, sick, and bed-rid father : Therefore this article is made in vain,
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. King hat say you, lords? Why, this was quite
forgot. Biron. So study evermore is overshot; 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. King. We must, of force, dispensé with this de.
cree; She must lie* here on mere necessity. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Tbree thousand 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 :
And he, that breaks them in the least degree, Stands in attainder of eternal shame :
Suggestions* are to others, as to me; But, I believe, although I seem so loth, I am the last that will last keep his oath. But is there no quick + recreation granted ? King. 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:
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony ;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny ;
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.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight, Long. 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. Dull. Which is the duke's own person?
Biron. This, fellow; what wouldst? * Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharboroughs: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
Biron. This is he. Dull. Signior Arme--Arme-commends you. There's villainy abroad ; this letter will tell you more.
Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.
King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having : God grant 8 patience! Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing?
Temptations. + Lively. I Called. Si. e. Third-borough, a peace-officer.