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FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
Princess of France.
Officers and others, attendants on the King and
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 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 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,
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 loying lord, Dumain is mortified; The grosser manner of these world's delights He throws
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, 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;
King. Your oath has pass’d 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,
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 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 3 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. Study me how to please the eye indeed,
By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
shall be his heed, And give him light that was it blinded by. Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
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 beav'n's lights,
That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights,
Than those that walk, and wot not what they are. Too much to know, is, to krow nought but fame; And every godfather can give a name.
King. How well he's read, to reason against 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 rhime.