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*Love's Labour's Lost.) I have not hitherto difcovered 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 loft.” M. MASON.
Love's Labour's loft I conjecture to have been written in 1594. See An Attempt to ascertain the order of Shakspeare's plays, Vol. 1.
Ferdinand, King of Navarre.
Princess of France.
* This enumeration of the persons was made by Mr. Rowe.
LOVE'S LABOUR’S LOST.
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, 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 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, Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
1- your deep oath,] The old copies have caths. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.