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Longaville, Lords, attending on the King.
Princess of France.
Mercade, Lords, attending on the Princess of France.
Don Adriano de Armado, a fantastical Spaniard
Sir Nathaniel, a Curate.
Holofernes, a Schoolmaster.
Dull, a Conftable.
Coftard, a Clown.
Moth, Page to Armado.
Ladies, attending on the Princefs.
Jaquenetta, a country Wench.
Officers, and Others, attendants on the King and Princefs.
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 difgrace of death;
When, fpite of cormorant devouring time,
The 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 fo you are,
That war against your own affections,
And the huge army of the world's defires,-
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force :
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court fhall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have fworn for three years' term to live with me,
My fellow-fcholars, and to keep thofe ftatutes,
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names;
That his own hand may ftrike his honour down,
That violates the fmalleft branch herein:
If you are arm'd to do, as fworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
LONG. I am refolv'd: 'tis but a three years' fast;
The mind fhall 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 groffer manner of thefe world's delights
He throws upon the grofs world's bafer flaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philofophy.
BIRON. I can but fay their proteftation over,
So much, dear liege, I have already fworn,
That is, To live and ftudy here three years.
But there are other ftrict obfervances:
As, not to fee 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 befide;
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there:
And then, to fleep but three hours in the night,
And not 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 fee ladies, ftudy, faft, not fleep.
KING. Your oath is pafs'd to pafs away from thefe.
BIRON. Let me fay, no, my liege, an if you please;
I only fwore, to study with your grace,
And stay here in your court for three years' space.