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LOVE'S LABOUR’S LOST.
SCENE I. Navarre. A Park with a Palace in it. Enter the King, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE,
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names;
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, Dumain is mortified.
Ber. I can but say their protestation over,
King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
Ber. 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, Berowne, and to the rest. Ber. 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
Ber. Things hid and barr’d, you mean, from com
Ber. 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, And train our intellects to vain delight.
Ber. 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 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;
And give him light that it was 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. Ber. The spring is
when green geese are a breeding. Dum. How follows that? Ber.
Fit in his place and time. Dum. In reason nothing. Ber.
Something then in rime. King. Berowne is like an envious sueaping frost, That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Ber. Well, say I am; why should proud summer
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. For you, to study now it is too late ... That were to climb o'er the house to unlock the gate.
King. Well, sit you out. Go home, Berowne; adieu!
Ber. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with And, though I have for Barbarism spoke more,
Than for that angel Knowledge you can say, Yet confident l'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 l'll write my name. King. How well this yielding rescues thee from
shame! Ber. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court.-Hath this been proclaim'd?
Long. Four days ago.
Ber. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.] On pain of losing her tongue.-Who devis'd this penalty ?
Long. Marry, that did I.
Ber. Sweet lord, and why?
[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 cun 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 speak
-A maid of grace, and complete majestyAbout surrender-up of Aquitain
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father.
Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither.
King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree; She must lie here on mere necessity. Ber. Necessity will make us all forsworn Three thousand times within this three years'
space; For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might master'd, but by special grace. If I break faith, this word shall speak for me, I am forsworn on mere necessity.'So to the laws at large I write my name: [Subscribes.
And he, that breaks them in the least degree, Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
Suggestions are to others, as to me;