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LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. SHLAKSPEARE'S first draught of this trifling play, (which all the editors have concurred in censuring, and som
have rejected as unworthy of its author) was written in or before 1694, and some additions were probably made so it between that year and 1597, when it was exhibited before Queen Elizabeth. Like the Taming of the Shrew, it was undoubtedly one of his earliest essays to dramatic writing: as the frequent rhymes, the imperfect versification, the artless and desultory dialogue, and the irregularity of the composition, snfficiently prove. The fable does not seem to be a work entirely of invention ; and perhaps owes its birth to some novel which has yet to be discovered. The character of Armado bears some resemblance to Don Qu otte, but the play is older than the work of Cervantes; of Holofernes, another singular character, there are some traces in a masque of Sir Philip Sidney, presented before Queen Elizabeth at Wansted. Dr. Jobnson says, that in this play "there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar; and some which ought not to have been exbibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden Queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius ; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare."
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. FERDINAND, King of Nararre.
MOTH, Page to Armado.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE.
Lords, attending on the Princess
ROSALINE, of France.
Ladies, attending thc
MARIA, Dox ADRIANDO DE ARMADO, a fantastical
JAQUENETTA, a Country Wench.
Officers, and others, Attendants on the King COSTARD, a Clown.
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your
names: SCENEI.-Navarro.-A Park, with a Palace That his own hand may strike his honour downl, in it.
That violates the smallest branch berein :
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do, Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it 100. DI MAIN.
Long. I am resolv'd : 'tis but a three years' King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine : Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
Fat paunches have lean pates ; and dainty bits And then grace us in the disgrace of death; Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
wits. The endeavour of this present breath may buy Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ; That bonour, which shall bate bis scythe's keen The grosser manner of these world's delights edge,
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves : And make us heirs of all eternity.
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ; Therefore, brave conquerors !--for so you are, With all these living in philosophy. Tbat war agaiust your own affrctions,
Biron. I can but say their protestation over, And the buye army of the world's desires,- So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, Our late edict shall strongly stand in force : Tbat is, to live and study here three years, Navarre shall be the wonder of the world ; But there are other strict observances : Our court shall be a little Academe,
As, not to see a woman in that term ; Still and coutemplative in living art.
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : You three, Birou, Dumain, and Longaville, And, one day in a week to touch yo food ; Have sworn for tbree years' term to live with And but one meal on every day beside ; me,
The which, I hope, is not eurolied ibere : My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, That are recorded in this schedule here: Aud not be seen io wink of all the day;
(Wben I was wont to think no harm all night, Why should I joy in an abortive birth ?
shows; Not to see iadies, study, fast, nor sleep.
But like of each thing, that in season grows.
S King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from So you, to study now it is too late, these.
Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate. Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron ; please ;
adieu i I only swore, to study with your grace,
Biron. No, my good lord ; I bave sworn to And stay here in your court for three years' space.
stay with you : Long. You swore to that, Biron, and to the And, though I bave for barbarism spoke more, rest
Than for that angel knowledge you can say, Biron. By yea and nay, Sir, then I swore in Yet coufident I'll keep what I have swore, jest.
And bide the penance of each three years' day. What is the end of study ? let me know,
Give me the paper, let me read the same ; King. Why, that to know, which else we And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my should not know.
name. Biron. Things hid and barr’d, you mean, King. How well this yielding rescues thee from common sense ?
from shame! King. Ay, that is study's god-like recom- Biron. (Reads.) Item, That no uoman shall pense.
come within a mile of my court.Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so And hath this been proclaim'd ? To know the thing I am forbid to know :
Long. Four days ago. As thus-To study where I well may diue,
Biront. Let's see the penalty. When I to feast expressly am forbid ;
(Reads.)-On pain of losing her tongue.-Or, study where to meet some mistress fine,
Who devis'd this?
Biron. Sweet lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread If study's gain be thus, and this be so,
penalty. Study knows that, which yet it doth not know : Biron. A dangerous law against gentility. Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say, no. (Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to talk King. These be the stops that hinder study with a woman within the term of three years. quite,
he shall endure such public shame as the res. And train our intellects to vain delight.
of the court can possibly devise.-Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that This article, my liege, yourself must break; most vain,
For well you know, bere comes in embassy Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain : The French king's daughter, with your self to As, painfully to pore upon a book,
speak,To seek the light of truth; while truth the A maid of grace, and complete majesty.while
About surrender-up of Aquitain Doth falsely • blind the eyesight of his look : Tu ber decrepit, sick, and bed rid father ; Light, seeking light, doth light of light be. Therefore this article is made in vain, guile :
Or vainly comes the admired princess bitber. So, ere you and where light in darkness lies, King. What say you, lords why, this was Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
quite forgot Study me how to please the eye indeed,
Biron. So study evermore is overshot ; By tixing it upon a fairer eye ;
While it doth study to bave what it would, Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed, It doth forget to do the thing it should :
And give him light that was it blinded by. And when it bath the thing it buuteth most, Study is like the beaven's glorious sun,
'Tis won, as towns with fire ; so won, so lost. That will not be deep-search'd with saucy King. We must of force, dispense with this looks ;
decree; Small have continual plodders ever won,
She must lie + bere on mere necessity. Save base authority from others' books.
Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn These earthly godfathers of beaven's lights,
Three thousand times within this three Tbat give a name to every fixed star,
years' space : Have no more profit of their shining nights, For every man with his affects is born ; Than those that walk, and wot not what they Not by might master'd, bnt by special are.
grace: Too much to know, ‘is, to know nought but !f I break faith, this word shall speak for me,
I am forsworn on meie necessity And every godfather cau give a name.
So to the laws at large I write my name : King. How well be's read, to reason against
And be, that breaks them in the least degree, Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good pro- Stands in aitainder of eternal shame: ceeding!
Suggestions are to others, as to me; Long. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow But, I believe, although I seem so loath, the weeding.
I am the last that will last keep bis oath. Biron. The spring is near when green geese But is there no quick $ recreation granted ? are a breeding.
King. Ay, thai there is : our court, you know, Dum. How follows that 1
is baunted Biron. Fit in his place and time.
With a refined traveller of Spain ; Dum. In reason nothing.
A man in all the world's new fashion planted, Biron. Something then in rhyme.
That bath a mint of phrases in his brain : Long. Biron is like an cuvious sneaping + One, whoin the music of his own vain tougue frost,
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony ; That bites the first-born infants of the spring. A man of compliments, wbom right and wrong Biron. Well, say I am ; why should proud
Have chose as ou pire of their mutiny: summer boast,
This child of faucy, that Armado hight, # Before the birds bave any cause to sing?
For interim to our studies, shall relate, • Dishonestly, treacherously.
+ Reside. 1 Temptations, Nipplug
In bigh-born words, the worth of many a knigbt curious-knotted garden: There did I see From tawny Spain, lost in the world's de- that low spirited swain, that base minnow of bate.
thy mirth. How you delight, my lords, I know not, 1 ;
Cost. Me. But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,
King.--that unletter'd small knowing soul, And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our King. -which, as I remember, hight, Cos. And, so to study, three years is but short. (sport; tard.
Cost. O me! Enter Dull, with a letter, and COSTARD.
King.-sorted and consorted, contrary to Dull. Which is the duke's own person? thy established proclaimed edict and conti. Biron. This, fellow; What would'st ?
nent canon, with--with-with--but with Dull. I myself reprehend bis own person, this I passion to say wherewith, for I am bis grace's tbarborough : . But I would Cost. Witb a wench. see his own person in flesh and blood.
King. -with a child of our grandmother Biron. This is be.
kve, a female ; or, for thy more sweet under. Dull. Signior Arme-Arme-commeuds you. standing, a woman. Him I (as my everThere's villany abroad ; this letter will tellisteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, you more.
to receive the meed of punishment, by thy Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touch-sweet grace's officer, Antony Dull; a man of ing me.
good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. Dull, Me, an't shall please you ; I am Antony
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope Dull. in God for high words.
King. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker Long. A high bope for a low having: God vessel" called, which I apprehend with the grant us patience !
aforesaid swain.) I keep her as a vessel of Biron. To bear or forbear bearing ?
ihy law's fury: and shall at the least of thy Long. To hear meekly, Sir, and tu laugh mo- sweet notice bring her to trial. Thine, in all derately ; or to forbear both.
compliments of devoted and heart-burning Biron. Well, Sir, be it as the style shall give heat of duty. us cause to climb to the merriness.
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO. Cost. The matter is to ine, Sir, as concerning Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken but the best that ever I heard. with the manner.
King. Ay, the best for the worst. But, siirab, Biron. In what manner ?
what say you to this Cost. In manner and form following, Sir; all Cost. Sir, I confess the wench. those three : I was seen with her in the manor King. Did you hear the proclamation ? house, sitting with ber upon the form, and taken Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, following her into the paik; which, put toge but little of the marking of it. ther, is, in manner and form following. Now, King. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonSir, for the manner,-it is the manner of a man ment, to be taken with a weuch. to speak to a woman ; for the form,-ju some Cost. I was taken with none, Sir, I was taken form.
with a damosel. Biron. For the following, Sir ;
King. Well it was proclaimed damosel. Cost. As it sball follow in my correction ; Aud Cost. This was no damosel peither, Sir ; she God defend the right!
was a virgin. King. Will you hear this letter with attention ?
King. It is so varied too ; for it was proBiron. As we would bear an oracle.
claimed, virgin. Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity ; I was after the flesh.
taken with a maid. King. (Reads.) Great deputy, the relkin's King. This maid will act serve your turn, Sir. vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, Cost. This maid will serve my turn, Sir. my soul's carth's God, and body's fostering King. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence; patron,
You shall fast a week with bran and water. Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
Cost. 'I had rather pray a month with niutton King. So it is,
and porridge. (ost, it may be so : but if he say it is so, he King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper. is, in telling true, but 80, 80.
-My lord Biron see him deliver'd o'er.King. Peace.
And go we, lords, to put in practice that (ost. -be to me, and every man that dares Which each to other hath 60 strongly not tight!
Sworn. King. No words.
(Exeunt KING, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN. Cost.-of other men's secrets, I beseech you. Biron. I'll lay my bead to any good nian's King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured
(scorn. melancholy, I did commend the black-oppress- These oaths and laws will prove au idle ing humour to the most wholesome physic of Sirrali, come on. thy health-giving air ; and, as I am a gentle- Cost. I suffer for the truth, Sir : for true it is, man, betook myself to walk. The time when I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta About the sixth hour ; when beasts most is a true girl; and therefore, Welcome the sour graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to cup of prosperity! Afiction may one day smile that nourishment which is called supper. again, and till iben, Sit thee down, sorrow ! So much for the time when : Now for the
(Exeunt. ground which ; which, I mean, I walked upon : is ycleped thy park. Then SCENE II.-Another part of the same.--AR. for the place where ; where, I mean, I did
MADO's House. encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow white pen
Enter ARMADO and MOTH. the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou view- Arm. Boy what sign is it, wben a man of est, beholdest, surveyest, or seest : But, to the great spirit grows melancholy? place where,-1t standeth north-north-east Moth. A great sign, Sir, that he will look ead. and by east from the west corner of thy Arm. Why, sadness is one and the self-sanie
thing, dear imp. I. e. Third-Borough, a peace-officer. t In the fact Moth. No, no; o lord, Sir, no.