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Every fairy take his gait * ;
Make no stay ;
[Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Train. Puck. If we shadows have offended,
Think but this (and all is mended),
Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; cominon tradition had made them familiar, and Spencer's poem had made them great.--JOHNSON.
· PERSONS REPRESENTED.
Ferdinand, king of Navarre.
lords, attending on the princess of France.
Princess of France.
Officers and others, attendants on the king and princess.
SCENE I. Navarre. 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 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 académe, Still and contemplative in living art. You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville, Have 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 past, 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, . Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
Long. I am resolv’d: 'tis but a three years' fast; The mind shall banquet, though the body pine : Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits Make rich the ribs, but bank’rout quite the wits.