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Love's LABOUR's Lost.] I have not hitherto disco. vered any novel on which this comedy appears to have been founded ; and yet the story of it has most of the features of an ancient romance.


I suspect that there is an error in the title of this play, which, I believe, should be—“ Love's Labours Lost.

M. Mason.

Love's Labour's Lost, I conjecture to have been written in 1594. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakespeare's Plays, Vol. II.


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FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
LONGAVILLE, lords, attending on the King.

, lords, attending on the Princess of France.
Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard.
Sir Nathaniel, a curate.
HOLOFERNES, a schoolmaster.
Dull, a constable.
COSTARD, a clown.
Moth, page to Armado.
A Forester.

Princess of France.

ladies ; attending on the Princess.
JAQUEnetta, a country wench.

Oficers and others, attendants on the King and Princess.




SCENE I.--Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it. Ena ter 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 disgrace of death ; When, spite of cormorant devouring time, Th' 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 edíct shall strongly stand in force : Navarre shall be the wonder of the world ; Our court shall be a little Academe ; Still and contemplative in living art. You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville, Have swom for three years' term to live with me, My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes, That are recorded in this schedule bere : 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 f you are arm’d to do, as sworn to do, Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.

Long. I am resolv'd : 'tis but a three years' fast 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 grosser manner of these world's delights He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves :

To love, to wealth, to pomp, 1 pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy.'

Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, To live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances :
As, not to see 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 beside ;
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there :
And then, to sleep 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 :
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep;
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

King. Your oath is past to pass away from 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 recompense.

Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know :
As thus,—To study where I well may dine,

When I to feast expressly am forbid ;
Or, study where to meet some mistress fine,

When mistresses from common sense are hid:
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it, and not break my troth.
If study's gain be thus, and this be so,
Study knows that, which yet it doth not know :
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say, no.

King. These be the stops that hinder study quite, And train our intellects to vain delight. [1] By all these the poet seems to mean, all these gentlemen, who have som to


prosecute tbe same studies with me.

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