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Ferdinand, King of Navarre,
Princess of France.
Officers and others, attendants on the King and Princess.
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
SCENE I. Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it,
Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and
King. Ler 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, 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 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 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;
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
the gross world's baser slaves : To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die; With all these living in philosophy.
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these,
I only swore, to study with your grace,
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
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, And train our intellects to vain delight.
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 Doth falsely' blind the eyesight of his look:
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile: So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
! Dishonestly, treacherously:
Study me how to please the eye indeed,
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, These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
That give a name to every fixed star,
Than those that walk, and wot not what they are.
weeding Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are a
Fit in his place and time.
Something then in rhyme.
That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud summer
boast, Before the birds have any cause to sing? Why should I joy in an abortive birth?