Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Timothy Billings
Not Peer Reviewed

Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)

Boy. Which the base vulgar do call three.
Arma. True.
Boy. Why sir is this such a peece of studie? Now heere is
three studied ere yele thrice wincke: and how easie it is to
put yeeres to the worde three, and studie three yeeres in two
360wordes, the dauncing Horse will tell you.
Arm. A most fine Figure.
Boy. To proue you a Cypher.
Arm. I will hereupon confesse I am in loue: and as it is
base for a Souldier to loue; so am I in loue with a base wench.
365If drawing my Sword against the humor of affection, would
deliuer me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take
Desire prisoner, and ransome him to anie French Courtier
for a new deuisde cursie. I thinke scorne to sigh, mee thinks
I should outsweare Cupid. Comfort mee Boy, What great
370men haue bin in loue?
Boy. Hercules Maister.
Arm. Most sweete Hercules: more authoritie deare Boy,
name more; and sweete my childe let them be men of good
375repute and carriage.
Boy. Sampson Maister, he was a man of good carriage,
great carriage: for he carried the Towne-gates on his backe
like a Porter: and he was in loue.
Arm. O wel knit Sampson, strong ioynted Sampson; I do excel
380thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me in carying gates.
I am in loue too. Who was Sampsons loue my deare Moth?
Boy. A Woman, Maister.
Arm. Of what complexion?
385Boy. Of all the foure, or the three, or the two, or one of
the foure.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion?
Boy. Of the sea-water Greene sir.
Arm. Is that one of the foure complexions?
390Boy. As I haue read sir, and the best of them too.
Arm. Greene in deede is the colour of Louers: but to
haue a loue of that colour, mee thinkes Sampson had small
reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
Boy. It was so sir, for she had a greene wit.
called Loues Labor's lost.