Love's Labor's Lost "Heirs Of All Eternity"
by William Shakespeare

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"Heirs Of All Eternity"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

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Context: King Ferdinand of Navarre and his lords in attendance, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine, take an oath to forsake courtly pleasures and to devote three years to studying and fasting, thus making of Navarre "a little Academe." Ferdinand suggests that fame will defeat death's devouring disgrace, and make of the scholars "heirs of all eternity."

KINGLet fame, that all hunt after in their lives,Live registered upon our brazen tombs,And then grace us, in the disgrace of death;When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,Th' endeavour of this present breath may buyThat 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.. . .