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Claud. I think he thinks upon the savage bull.— Tush, fear not, man; we'll tip thy horns with gold, And all Europa shall rejoice at thee; As once Europa did at lusty Jove, When he would play the noble beast in love.

Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. Which is the lady I must seize upon?

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her."9 Claud. Why, then she's mine.-Sweet, let me see your face.

Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand

Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar:

I am your husband, if you like of me.

Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife: [Unmasking.

And when you lov'd, you were my other husband. Claud. Another Hero!

Hero. Nothing certainer :

One Hero died defiled; but I do live,
And surely as I live, I am a maid.

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd.

F. Fran. All this amazement can I qualify:
Whenafter that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
Meantime, let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair, friar.-Which is Beatrice ?
Beat. [Unmasking.] I answer to that name.
What is your will?

Do not

Bene. Why, then, your uncle, and the prince,
and Claudio

love me?
Why, no; no more than reason.

Have been deceived; for they swore you did.
Beat. Do not you love me?

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No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her; For here's a paper, written in his hand,

A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.


And here's another, Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.-Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

Beat. I would not deny you;-but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.

Bene. Peace! I will stop your mouth.71

[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy" thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.

Claud. I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double-dealer ;73 which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends.-Let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterward. Bene. First, of my word; therefore, play, music! -Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,

And brought with armèd men back to Messina. Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow: I'll

Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead devise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up,

for me.

69. I do give you her. This speech is wrongly assigned in the old copies to Leonato; and Theobald first showed that it belongs to Antonio, who has just promised to perform the part of "father" to Hero, and "give her to young Claudio."

70. Whenafter. An old form of 'when;' like 'whenas,' whenever,' &c.


[Dance. Exeunt.

71. I will stop your mouth. This speech is also assigned to Leonato in the old copies; one of the many manifestly misprinted prefixes to be found there. See Note 11, Act ii.

72. Giddy. Used for fickle, variable, inconstant, unstable. 73. A double-dealer. A term for those who were false to their vows in love or marriage. See Note 20, Act v.

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SCENE I-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 brasen tombs,3
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,

1. The first known copy of this play is one published in quarto, 1598; the title being as follows :-" A pleasant Comedie called Love's labor's lost. As it was presented before her Highness this last Christmas. Newly corrected and augmented. By W. Shakespeare. Imprinted at London by W. W., for Cuthbert Burby." It stands seventh in the Folio 1623; whose order of succession for the plays, by-the-by, we follow in the present edition. The words "newly corrected and augmented," in the 1598 Quarto, give support to a belief we entertain that this play was one of Shakespeare's very early productions; one of those which we mentioned in our first note to "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" as being, according to our theory, already sketched out, if not actually written down, when he first went up to London in 1586. Like the "Two Gentlemen," the "Love's Labour" has a perfect air of youth about it; it "smells April and May." The story is a mere thread to string pearls of graceful love-making upon; the characters are purely elegant,-more personages than characters,-the leading ones pleasing, gaymannered, accomplished; the subordinate ones odd, grotesque; while the wit and diction have just that touch of stiffness and elaboration which mark the first efforts of a youthful writer. We have always fancied this play the product of Shakespeare's student imagination, fresh from the schools, the introduction to images of social refinement in books, and the awaking admi

Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with


My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here:

Your oaths are pass'd: and now subscribe your


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 oaths, and keep it too.

Long. I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years' fast:

The mind shall banquet, though the body


Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.

ration of polish among high-bred men and women in the world, as he dreamed them to exist, judging from these perused models. It has been thought that Shakespeare either borrowed his plot from the Italian stage or from some French romance: the titles of "Braggart" (given in the Folio to Armado) and "Pedant" (given in the Folio to Holofernes) making for the former idea, because these characters figured in the old Italian drama; while the names of the king, princess, lords, and ladies make for the latter theory. But it is probable that Shakespeare had met with some translated French story or play, which had its source from Italian origin; as most of the French plots of that day (witness, among others, many of the productions of Molière) were directly derived from the old Italian comedies.

2. Biron. This name is spelt in the old copies 'Berowne,' to signify that it was to have the accent on the last syllable, in accordance with French accentuation, and to give something like the way in which it was to be pronounced: which (from a couplet in Act ii., sc. 1, where the name rhymes with "moon") seems to have been 'Biroon.'

3. Brasen tombs. Here, and elsewhere, Shakespeare alludes to the custom of ornamenting the tombs of renowned people with plates of brass bearing figures or inscriptions commemorative of their worthy deeds.

4. Your deep oaths, and keep it too. Instance of Shake

Dum. My loving lord, Dumain 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 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: Oh, 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


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, Birón, and to the


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 so, 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 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;
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,s
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
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 fixèd star,
Have no more profit of their shining nights


Than those that walk and wot not what they


Too much to know, is to know naught 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! 10

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. Birón is like an envious sneaping" frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the

speare's use of a pronoun in reference to an implied particular. Here, "it" refers not to "oaths," but to that which you have vowed to do.'

5. With all these living in philosophy. Dumain speaks of himself in the third person, and then in the first; declaring that he will henceforth be dead to worldly love, wealth, and pomp, while living with them as they exist (ungrossly) in philosophy.

6. To feast expressly am forbid. "Feast" is misprinted 'fast' in the Folio.

7. Falsely. Used here for treacherously, insidiously. 8. Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed. Heed"

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seems to be here used in the sense of beacon, loadstar, or guiding light; and the sense of the whole passage to be- 'Whoever dazzles himself thus (by fixing his eye upon one more beautiful, a woman's), shall have that eye for his beacon to afford him light after having temporarily deprived him of sight.

9. Too much to know, is to know, &c. To know overmuch is not to be wise, but to get the name of being wise; and every godfather (like these earthly godfathers" that name the stars) can give a man a name for wisdom.

10. Proceeded well, to stop, &c. Dumain puns on the word "proceeded;" which is an academical term for taking a degree. 11, Sneaping. Nipping, checking.

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