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FERDINAND King of Navarre.
LONGAVILLE, { Lords attending on the King.
BoYET, Lords attending on the Princess of

Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard.
Sir NATHANIEL, a Curate.
HOLOFERNES, a Schoolmaster.
Dull, a Constable.
COSTARD, a Clown.
Moth, Page to Armado.
A Forester.
Princess of France.
MARIA, Ladies attending on the Princess.
JAQUENETTA, a country Wench.
Officers and others, attendants on the King and





SCENE I.-Navarre, A Park, with a Palace in it.

Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and


Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in thu disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy,
That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen

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 Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Birón, Dumain, and

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 you 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,
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.

Long. I am resolvid: '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; 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 to be seen to wink of all the day; (When I was wont to think no harm all night, 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 say no, my liege, an if you please;


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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 barr'd, you mean, from

common sense? King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.

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

When. I to feast expressly am forbid;
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 thus, 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 falsely 1 blind the eyesight 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.

1 Dishonestly, treacherously,



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