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Make no stay; Meet me all by break of day
[Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Train. Puck. If we shadows have offended,
Think but this (and all is mended,)
Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spencer's poem had made them great.
PERSONS REPRESENTED. Ferdinand, king of Navarre. Biron, Longaville, lords, attending on the king. Dumain, Boyet, 2 lords, attending on the princess of Mercade, ) 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. Rosaline, Maria, ladies, attending on the princess. Katharine, Jaquenetta, a country wench. Officers and others, attendants on the king and
princess. Scene, Navarre.
LOVE'S LABOUR’S LOST.
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 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 académe, Still and contemplative in living ari.'. 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; 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 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, 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.
Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please;
Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest.
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 barrd, 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 :