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FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
Princess of France.
Oficers and others, Attendants on the King and Princess.
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LOVE'S LA BOR’S LOST.
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 registered upon our brazen tombs, And then grace us in the disgrace of death; When, spite of cormorant, devouring time, The endeavor of this present breath may buy That honor, 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 edíct 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, That are recorded in this schedule here. Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names; That his own hand may strike his honor down, That violates the smallest branch herein. If you are armed to do, as sworn to do, Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
Long. I am resolved. '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 loving lord, Dumain is mortified ; 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;
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
King. Your oath is passed 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, 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 barred, you mean, from common
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,
Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that most rain, Which, with pain purchased, 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 it was blinded by.
That will not be deep-searched 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.
King. How well he's read, to reason against reading !
Fit in his place and time. Dum. In reason nothing. Biron.
Something then in rhyme. Long. Birón is like an envious sneaping frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
Before the birds have any cause to sing ?
King. Well, sit you out. Go home, Birón, adieu !
Biron. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you: And, though I have for barbarism spoke more,
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
VOL. I. --29