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FERDINAND, King of Navarre,
lords, attending on the Princess of MERCADE,
France. 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.
Officers and others, attendants on the King and Princess
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
SCENE I.-Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it. Enter the
King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.
Long. I am resolv'd : 'tis but a three years' fast;
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ;
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ;
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
King. Your oath is past to pass away from these.
Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please ;
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 com
mon sense ?
Biron. 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,
 By all these the poet seems to mean, all these gentlemen, who have... sworn to prosecute she same studies with me. STEEVENS.
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 a blind the eye-sight of his look :
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile :
By fixing it upon a fairer eye ;
And give him light that was it blinded by.
That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks ;
That give a name to every fixed star,
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.3
King. How well he's read, to reason against reading!
That bites the first-born infants of the spring. Biron.Well,say I am: why should proud summer boast,
Before the birds have any cause to sing ?
 Falsely is here, and in many other places, the same as dishonestly or treacherously. The whole sense of this jingling declamation is only this, that a man by too close study may read himself blind. JOHNSON.
(3) The consequence, says Biron, of too much kn: wledge, is not any real solution of doubts, but mere empty reputation. That is, too much knowledge gives only fame, a name which every godfather can give likewise. JOHNSON
 So sneaping winds in The Winter's Tale. To sneap is to check, to rebuke. Thus also, Falstaff, " I will not undergo this sneap, without reply." STEE.
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows ;6
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,
And 'bide the penance of each three years' day.
King. How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!
Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my court.-And hath this been pro
claini'd? Long. Four days ago.
Biron. Let's see the penalty.- (Reads.] On pain of losing her tongue.- Who devis'd this?
Lung. Marry, that did I.
[Reads.] Item. If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of ihree 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
A maid of grace, and complete majesty,-
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father :
Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
Biron. So study evermore is overshot ;
King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree ; She must lie here on mere necessity.6
(5) By shows the poet means Maygames, it wich a snow would be very unwelcome and unexpected it is only a periphrasis for May. T.WARTON.
(6) 1:2 here, ine ans reside here, in the same sense as an ambassador is said to lie lieger. REED,