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I HAVE not hitherto discovered any novel on which this comedy appears to have been founded ; and yet the story of it has most of the features of an ancient romance. STEEVENS.
I suspect that there is an error in the title of this play, which I believe, should be—“ Love's Labours Lost.” M. Mason.
Love's Labour's Lost, I conjecture to have been written in 1594. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays.
MALONE. The first edition was published in 4to. in 1598, W. W. for Cuthbert Burby. BOSWELL.
FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
Princess of France.
Officers and others, attendants on the King and
· This enumeration of the persons was made by Mr. Rowe.
Johnson. ? Berowne in the old editions throughout. Boswell.
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
ACT I. 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 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 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 honour down, That violates the smallest branch herein:
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
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,
* Folio, bankerout, omitting quite.
4 With ALL THESE living in PhiLOSOPHY.] The style of the rhyming scenes in this play is often entangled and obscure. I know not certainly to what all these is to be referred; I suppose he means, that he finds love, pomp, and wealth in philosophy.
JOHNSON. By all these, Dumain means the King, Biron, &c. to whom he may be supposed to point, and with whom he is going to live in philosophical retirement. A. C.