Act 1 - Scene 1
The king of Navarre's park.
Enter FERDINAND king of Navarre, BIRON, LONGAVILLE and DUMAIN
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 endeavor of this present breath may
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
And make us heirs of all eternity.
brave conquerors, for so you are,
That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world's
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
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 pass'd; 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,
to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
I am resolved; 'tis but a three years' fast:
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
have lean pates, and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
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.
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,
hope well is not enrolled there;
And one day in a week to touch no food
And but one meal on every day
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
Which I hope well is not enrolled there:
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see
ladies, study, fast, not sleep!
Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
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.
You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest.
By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
What is the end of study? let me know.
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