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FERDINAND, King of Navarre
three Lords attending upon the King LONGAVILLE,
in his retirement DUMAINE, ВоYET, Lords attending upon the Princess of MARCADE, France Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard NATHANIEL, a Curate Dull, a Constable HOLOFERNES, a Schoolmaster COSTARD, a Clown Moth, Page to Don Adriano de Armado A Forester PRINCESS OF FRANCE ROSALINE, MARIA, Ladies attending on the Princess KATHARINE, JAQUENETTA, a country Wench Officers and Other Attendants upon the King and
Dramatis Personæ; cf. n.
Love's Labour's Lost
[The King of Navarre's Park] Enter Ferdinand King of Navarre, Berowne,
Longaville, and Dumaine. 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 edict shall strongly stand in force: Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
12 Our court shall be a little academe, Still and contemplative in living art. You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville, Have sworn for three years' term to live with me, 16 My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes That are recorded in this schedule here: Your oaths are pass’d; and now subscribe your names, That his own hand may strike his honour down 20 That violates the smallest branch herein.
Love's Labour's Lost; cf. n. 6 bate: blunt
12 Navarre; cf. n. 14 living art: the art of living; cf. n.
4 cormorant: ravenous 13 academe: academy
19 subscribe: sign 26 pates: heads 27 wits: faculties of the mind 28 mortified: dead so far as pleasures and passions are concerned 32 all these: i.e. love, wealth, pomp
If you are arm’d to do, as sworn to do,
Long. I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years' fast: 24
Dum. My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified: 28 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.
32 Ber. 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;
36 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;
40 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.
48 King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
Ber. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please. I only swore to study with your Grace, 22 arm’d: ready
38 there: i.e. in the schedule 43 wink of: close the eyes during 47 barren: fruitless, futile
50 an if: if 57 common sense: ordinary sight or perception 12 feast; cf. n. 67, 68 Cf.n.
And stay here in your court for three years' space. 52
Long. You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.
Ber. 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.
56 Ber. Things hid and barr’d, you mean, from com
mon sense? King. Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.
Ber. Come on then; I will swear to study so, To know the thing I am forbid to know;
60 As thus: to study where I well may dine,
When I to feast expressly am forbid;
When mistresses from common sense are hid;
troth. If study's gain be thus, and this be so, Study knows that which yet it doth not know. 68 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. Ber. Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain
72 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:
76 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. 54 By yea and nay: j.e. by the most positive oath of affirmation and denial
73 Cf. n. 6 his; its 77 beguile: deprive
79 light; i.e. sight