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ON THE Fable AND Composition of
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
HAVE not hitherto discovered 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.
In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar; and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspere. JOHNSON.
FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
Three Lords, attending upon the King in
BOYET, } Lords, attending upon the Princess of France,
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard.
DULL, a Constable.
HOLOFERNES, a Schoolmaster.
COSTARD, a Clown.
MOTH, Page 10 Don Adriano de Armado.
Officers, and others, Attendants upon the King and Princess.
SCENE, the King of Navarre's Palace, and the Country
This enumeration of the persons was made by Mr. Rowe.
LOVE'S LABOUR's LOST.
ACT 1. SCENE I.
Navarre. The Palace. Enter the King, BIRON, LonGAVILLE, and DUMAIN.
LET fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live registred upon our brazen tombs,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
Therefore, brave conquerors !—for so you are,
Our court shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names;
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years fast;
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortify'd ;
Biron. I can but say their protestation over,