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I have not been hitherto so lucky as to discover any novel on which this comedy seems to have been founded, and yet the story of it has most of the features of an ancient romance,
STEVENS. 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 Shakspeare.
FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
Princess of France.
Officers and others, attendants on the King and
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 edict 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,