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existing work. Its incidents, however, are so simple, and in such entire conformity with the chivalric and romantic feeling of the sixteenth century, that they would readily present themselves to any mind imbued with the fashionable literature of the day." Stevens, and one or two others, are not so ready to relinquish the idea of some possible original. Mr. Collier has stated the substance of their conjectures, on the probability of which the reader will judge for himself. After stating Coleridge's conviction that "the internal evidence was indisputable that this was one of Shakespeare's earliest dramas," and that the characters were such as he might have impersonated from his own mind and schoolboy observation, Mr. Collier adds:

"The only objection to this theory is, that at the time LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST was composed, the author seems to have been acquainted in some degree with the nature of the Italian comic performances; but this acquaintance he might have acquired comparatively early in life. The character of Armado is that of a Spanish braggart, very much such a personage as was common on the Italian stage, and figures in 'Gl' Ingannati,' (which, as the Rev. Joseph Hunter was the first to point out, Shakespeare saw before he wrote his TWELFTH NIGHT,) under the name of Giglio. In the same comedy we have M. Piero Pedante, a not unusual character in pieces of that description. Holofernes is repeatedly called the 'Pedant' in the old copies of LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, while Armado is more frequently introduced as the 'Braggart' than by his name. Stevens, after stating that he had not been able to discover any novel from which this comedy had been derived, adds that 'the story has most of the features of an ancient romance;' but it is not at all impossible that Shakespeare found some corresponding incidents in an Italian play. However, after a long search, I have not met with any such production; although, if used by Shakespeare, it most likely came into England in a printed form."

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


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

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, Biron, Dumaine, 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,
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.

Long. I am resolv'd; '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 bankrupt quite the wits.

Dum. My loving lord, Dumaine 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. I only swore to study with your grace,

And stay here in your court for three years' space. Long. You swore to that, Biron, 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


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

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. So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes. Study me how to please the eye indeed,

By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,

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.

Dum. How follows that?
Fit in his place and time.
Dum. In reason nothing.
Something, then, in rhyme.
King. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.

Biron. Well, say I am: why should proud sum

mer boast,

Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose,

Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
But like of each thing that in season grows.

So you, to study now it is too late,

Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate. King. Well, sit you out: go home, Biron: 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,
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,

And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper: let me read the same;
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.
King. How well this yielding rescues thee from

Biron. [Reads.] Item, "That no woman shall come within a mile of my court."-Hath this been proclaim'd?

Long. Four days ago.

Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.] "On pain of losing her tongue."-Who devis'd this penalty?

Long. Marry, that did I.

Sweet lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread

Biron. A dangerous law against gentility!

[Reads.] Item, "If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.".

This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For, well you know, here comes in embassy
The French king's daughter with yourself to

A maid of grace, and complete majesty,-
About surrender up of Aquitain

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father: Therefore, this article is made in vain,

Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither. King. What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.

Biron. So study evermore is overshot: While it doth study to have what it would, It doth forget to do the thing it should; And when it hath the thing it hunteth most, 'Tis won, as towns with fire; so won, so lost. King. We must of force dispense with this decree:

She must lie here on mere necessity.

Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn Three thousand times within this three years'

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King. Ay, that there is. Our court, you know,

is haunted

With a refined traveller of Spain;

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain:
One, whom the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

For interim to our studies, shall relate

In high-born words the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I,
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,

A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Long. Costard, the swain, and he shall be our

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Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

Biron. In what manner?

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner, it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman; for the form,-in some form. Biron. For the following, sir?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!

King. Will you hear this letter with attention? Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King. [Reads.] "Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron,-"

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.

King. "So it is,-"

Cost. It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so,

King. Peace!

Cost. -be to me, and every man that dares not fight.

King. No words.

Cost. of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

King. "So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper. So much for the time when. Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walked upon : it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where;

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