תמונות בעמוד

Love's Labour's Loft.

A c T 1.
SCE N E, The Palace.

Enter the King, Biron, Longaville and Dumain.


ET Fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live registred upon our brazen tombs ;

And then grace us in the disgrace of death:
When, spight of cormorant devouring time,
Th’ endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour, which shall bate his fythe'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 academy,
Stiil and contemplative in living arts.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaviile,
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:


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years fast:

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 oaths, and keep them too.

Long: I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three
The mind fall banquet, tho' the body pine;
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankerout the wits.

Dum. My loving Lord, Dumain is mortify’d:
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's bafer flaves :
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, (1)
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 pass’d to pass away from these.

Biron. Let me fay, 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 jeft.

(1) When I was wont to think no harm all night,] i. e. When I was
vsed to Neep all night long, without once waking. The Latines have
a proverbial expreffion very nigh to the sense of our author's thought
Qui bene dormit, nibil mali cogitat,


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What is the end of study ? let me know?

King. Why, thattoknow, which elsewe should not know.
Biron. Things hid and barr’d (you mean) from com-

mon sense.
King. Ay, that is ftudy's god-like recompence.

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

When I to feast expresly am forbid ; (2)
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 this, 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.

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 fallly blind the eye-sight 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 ;
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,

And give him light, that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious fun,

That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks; (2) When I 10 fast exprefly am forbid.] This is the reading of all the copies in general; but I would fain ask our accurate editors, if Biron ftudied where to get a good dinner, at a time when he was forbid to fas, how was this studying to know what he was forbid to know? common sense, and the whole tenour of the context require us to read, either as I have restor’d; or, to make a change in the last word of the verse, which will bring us to the same meaning;

Wben I to fast exprefly am for-bid; i. e. when I am enjoin'd before- hand to fast. H4


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Small have continual plodders ever won,

Save basė authority from others books. These earthly godfathers of heaven'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 know 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 thecorn, and still lets grow the weeding.
Bir. The spring is near,when green geese are abreeding.
Dum. How follows that?
Biron. Fit in his place and time.
Dum. In reason nothing,
Biron. Something then in rhime.
Long. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost

, That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well; say,Iam; why should proud summer boast,

Before the birds have any cause to fing?
Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? (3)
At Christmas I no more defire a rose,
Than with a fnow in May's new-fangled earth :
But like of each thing, that in season grows.
(3) Why should I joy in an abortive birth ?

Ai Christmas I no more desire a role,

Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows :

But like of each thing, ibat in seafon grows.] As the greatest part of this scene (both what precedes, and follows ;) is strictly in. rhymes, either successive, alternate, or triple; I am persuaded, the copyists have made a nip here. For by making a triplet of the three Jalt lines quoted, birth in the close of the first line is quite deftitute of any rhyme to it. Besides, what a displeasing identity of sound recurs in the middle and close of this verse? Tban wish a snow in May's new

w-fangled shows. Again; new-fangled fows seems to have very little propriety. The flowers are not new-fangled; but the earth is new.fangled by the profufion and variety of the flowers, that spring on its bosom in May.. I have therefore ventur’d to substitute, earth, in the close of the third line, which restores the alternate measure. It was very easy for a negligent transcriber to be deceiv’d by the rhyme immediately preceding; fo, mistake the concluding word in the sequent line, and corrupt it into one that would chiide with the other.


So you, to study now it is too late,
Climb o'er the house t’unlock the little gate.

King. Well, sit you out.-Go home, Biron : adieu !

Biron. No, my good Lord, I've sworn to stay with you. And though I have for barbarism spoke more,

Than for that angel knowledge you can say ;
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,

And bide the penance of each three years day.
Give me the paper, let me read the same;
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.

King. How well this yielding rescuesthee from shame!

Biron. Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court,

[reading. Hath this been proclaimed ?

Long. Four days ago.

Biron. Let's see the penalty. On pain of losing her tongue:

[reading Who devis'd this penalty ?

Long. Marry, that did I.
Biron. S:eet Lord, and why ?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
Biron. A dangerous law against gentility! (4)

Item, [reading] If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of ihree years, he shall endure such publick shame as the rest of the court can posibly. devise.

This article, my liege, yourself muft break;

For, well you know, here comes in embally. (4) A dangerous law against gentility.] I have ventur’d to prefix the name of Biron to this line, it being evident, for two reasons, ihat it, by some accident or other, nipt out of the printed books. In the first place, Longaville confesses, he had devis’d the penalty: and why he should immediately arraign it as a dangerous law, seems to be very inconflent. In the next place it is much more natural for Biren to make ihis reflexion, who is cavilling at every thing; and then for him to pursue his reading over the remaining articles. gentility, here, it does not fignify that rank of people call’d, gentry; but what the French express by, gentilles, i. e elegancia, urbanitus. And then the meaning is this. Such a law, for baniihing women from the court, is dangerous, or injurious, to politeness, urbanity, and the more refin'd pleasures of life. For men without women would iurn brutal and lavage, is their batures and bchaviour,


As to the word

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