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LOVE'S LABOUR’S LOST.
PUBLISHED in 1598. Mr. Malone supposes this play to have been written in 1594. The title page in the quarto states it to have been newly corrected and augmented by W. Shakspeare, and perhaps these corrections and augmentations constituted his only share of the production.
FERDINAND, king of Navarre.
Is, attending on the princess of France.
Princess of France.
Officers and others, Attendants on the King and Princess.
a This enumeration of persons was made by Mr. Rowe.—Johnson.
LOVE'S LABOUR’S LOST.
A Park, with a Palace in it.
Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.
King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Long. I am resolv’d: 'tis but a three years' fast;
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified;
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, Birón, 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
Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so,
When I to feast expressly am forbid ;
. a With all these ] i.e. The King, Biron, &c.
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
King. These be the stops that hinder study quite,
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 falsely blind the eyesight of his look :
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile :
By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
And give him light that was it blinded by.
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 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 the corn, and still lets grow the
weeding. Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are a
breeding - If study's gain be thus, and this be so,] Read : If study's gain be this. Ritson. c— that eye thall be his heed,] i. e. His direction or lodestar.-Jonson.
Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!] He has proceeded well, means only, he has gone on well.—MASON.