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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

  • Copyright Timothy Billings. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Timothy Billings
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)

    Loues Labour's lost
    shall want no instruction: If their Daughters be capable,
    I will put it to them. But Vir sapis qui pauca loquitur, a
    soule Feminine saluteth vs.

    Enter Iaquenetta and the Clowne.

    Iaqu. God giue you good morrow M. Person.
    Nath. Master Person, quasi Person? And if one should
    be perst, Which is the one?
    Clo. Marry M. Schoolemaster, hee that is likest to a
    Nath. Of persing a Hogshead, a good luster of con-
    ceit in a turph of Earth, Fire enough for a Flint, Pearle
    enough for a Swine: 'tis prettie, it is well.
    Iaqu. Good Master Parson be so good as reade mee
    1255this Letter, it was giuen mee by Costard, and sent mee
    from Don Armatho: I beseech you reade it.
    Facile precor gellida, quando pecas omnia sub vm-
    , and so forth. Ah good old Mantuan, I
    may speake of thee as the traueiler doth of Venice, vem-
    1260chie, vencha, que non te vnde, que non te perreche
    . Old Man-
    tuam, old Mantuan. Who vnderstandeth thee not, vt re
    sol la mi fa: Vnder pardon sir, What are the contents? or
    rather as Horrace sayes in his, What my soule verses.
    Hol. I sir, and very learned.
    1265Nath. Let me heare a staffe, a stanze, a verse, Lege do-
    If Loue make me forsworne, how shall I sweare to loue?
    Ah neuer faith could hold, if not to beautie vowed.
    Though to my selfe forsworn, to thee Ile faithfull proue.
    1270Those thoughts to mee were Okes, to thee like Osiers
    Studie his byas leaues, and makes his booke thine eyes.
    Where all those pleasures liue, that Art would compre-
    1275If knowledge be the marke, to know thee shall suffice.
    Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee cõmend.
    All ignorant that soule, that sees thee without wonder.
    Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire;
    Thy eye Ioues lightning beares, thy voyce his dreadfull
    Which not to anger bent, is musique, and sweet fire.
    Celestiall as thou art, Oh pardon loue this wrong,
    That sings heauens praise, with such an earthly tongue.
    Ped. You finde not the apostraphas, and so misse the
    1285accent. Let me superuise the cangenet.
    Nath. Here are onely numbers ratified, but for the
    elegancy, facility, & golden cadence of poesie caret: O-
    uiddius Naso was the man. And why in deed Naso, but
    for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy? the
    1290ierkes of inuention imitarie is nothing: So doth the
    Hound his master, the Ape his keeper, the tyred Horse
    his rider: But Damosella virgin, Was this directed to
    Iaq. I sir from one mounsier Berowne, one of the
    1295strange Queenes Lords.
    Nath. I will ouerglance the superscript.
    To the snow-white hand of the most beautious Lady
    I will looke againe on the intellect of the Letter, for
    the nomination of the partie written to the person writ-
    1300ten vnto.
    Your Ladiships in all desired imployment
    , Berowne.
    Per. Sir Holofernes, this Berowne is one of the Votaries
    with the King, and here he hath framed a Letter to a se-
    quent of the stranger Queenes: which accidentally, or
    1305by the way of progression, hath miscarried. Trip and
    goe my sweete, deliuer this Paper into the hand of the
    King, it may concerne much: stay not thy complement, I
    forgiue thy duetie, adue.
    Maid. Good Costard go with me:
    1310Sir God saue your life.
    Cost. Haue with thee my girle.
    Hol. Sir you haue done this in the feare of God very
    religiously: and as a certaine Father saith
    Ped. Sir tell not me of the Father, I do feare coloura-
    1315ble colours. But to returne to the Verses, Did they please
    you sir Nathaniel?
    Nath. Marueilous well for the pen.
    Peda. I do dine to day at the fathers of a certaine Pu-
    pill of mine, where if (being repast) it shall please you to
    1320gratifie the table with a Grace, I will on my priuiledge I
    haue with the parents of the foresaid Childe or Pupill,
    vndertake your bien vonuto, where I will proue those
    Verses to be very vnlearned, neither sauouring of
    Poetrie, Wit, nor Inuention. I beseech your So-
    Nat. And thanke you to: for societie (saith the text)
    is the happinesse of life.
    Peda. And certes the text most infallibly concludes it.
    Sir I do inuite you too, you shall not say me nay: pauca
    Away, the gentles are at their game, and we will to our

    Enter Berowne with a Paper in his hand, alone.

    Bero. The King he is hunting the Deare,
    1335I am coursing my selfe.
    They haue pitcht a Toyle, I am toyling in a pytch,
    pitch that defiles; defile, a foule word: Well, set thee
    downe sorrow; for so they say the foole said, and so say
    I, and I the foole: Well proued wit. By the Lord this
    1340Loue is as mad as Aiax, it kils sheepe, it kils mee, I a
    sheepe: Well proued againe a my side. I will not loue;
    if I do hang me: yfaith I will not. O but her eye: by
    this light, but for her eye, I would not loue her; yes, for
    her two eyes. Well, I doe nothing in the world but lye,
    1345and lye in my throate. By heauen I doe loue, and it hath
    taught mee to Rime, and to be mallicholie: and here is
    part of my Rime, and heere my mallicholie. Well, she
    hath one a'my Sonnets already, the Clowne bore it, the
    Foole sent it, and the Lady hath it: sweet Clowne, swee-
    1350ter Foole, sweetest Lady. By the world, I would not care
    a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one with a
    paper, God giue him grace to grone.
    He stands aside. The King entreth.
    Kin. Ay mee!
    1355Ber. Shot by heauen: proceede sweet Cupid, thou hast
    thumpt him with thy Birdbolt vnder the left pap: in faith
    So sweete a kisse the golden Sunne giues not,
    To those fresh morning drops vpon the Rose,
    1360As thy eye beames, when their fresh rayse haue smot.
    The night of dew that on my cheekes downe flowes.
    Nor shines the siluer Moone one halfe so bright,
    Through the transparent bosome of the deepe,
    As doth thy face through teares of mine giue light:
    1365Thou shin'st in euery teare that I doe weepe,
    No drop, but as a Coach doth carry thee:
    So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
    Do but behold the teares that swell in me,
    And they thy glory through my griefe will show: