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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Told our intents before: which once disclos'd,
    The Ladies did change Fauours; and then we
    Following the signes, woo'd but the signe of she.
    Now to our periurie, to adde more terror,
    2410We are againe forsworne in will and error.
    Much vpon this tis: and might not you
    Forestall our sport, to make vs thus vntrue?
    Do not you know my Ladies foot by'th squier?
    And laugh vpon the apple of her eie?
    2415And stand betweene her backe sir, and the fire,
    Holding a trencher, iesting merrilie?
    You put our Page out: go, you are alowd.
    Die when you will, a smocke shall be your shrowd.
    You leere vpon me, do you? There's an eie
    2420Wounds like a Leaden sword.
    Boy. Full merrily hath this braue manager, this car-
    reere bene run.
    Ber. Loe, he is tilting straight. Peace, I haue don.

    Enter Clowne.

    2425Welcome pure wit, thou part'st a faire fray.
    Clo. O Lord sir, they would kno,
    Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no.
    Ber. What, are there but three?
    Clo. No sir, but it is vara fine,
    2430For euerie one pursents three.
    Ber. And three times thrice is nine.
    Clo. Not so sir, vnder correction sir, I hope it is not so.
    You cannot beg vs sir, I can assure you sir, we know what
    we know: I hope sir three times thrice sir.
    2435Ber. Is not nine.
    Clo. Vnder correction sir, wee know where-vntill it
    doth amount.
    Ber. By Ioue, I alwaies tooke three threes for nine.
    Clow. O Lord sir, it were pittie you should get your
    2440liuing by reckning sir.
    Ber. How much is it?
    Clo. O Lord sir, the parties themselues, the actors sir
    will shew where-vntill it doth amount: for mine owne
    part, I am (as they say, but to perfect one man in one
    2445poore man) Pompion the great sir.
    Ber. Art thou one of the Worthies?
    Clo. It pleased them to thinke me worthie of Pompey
    the great: for mine owne part, I know not the degree of
    the Worthie, but I am to stand for him.
    2450Ber. Go, bid them prepare.
    Clo. We will turne it finely off sir, we wil take some
    King. Berowne, they will shame vs:
    Let them not approach.
    2455Ber. We are shame-proofe my Lord: and 'tis some
    policie, to haue one shew worse then the Kings and his
    Kin. I say they shall not come.
    Qu. Nay my good Lord, let me ore-rule you now;
    2460That sport best pleases, that doth least know how.
    Where Zeale striues to content, and the contents
    Dies in the Zeale of that which it presents:
    Their forme confounded, makes most forme in mirth,
    When great things labouring perish in their birth.
    2465Ber. A right description of our sport my Lord.
    Enter Braggart.
    Brag. Annointed, I implore so much expence of thy
    royall sweet breath, as will vtter a brace of words.
    Qu. Doth this man serue God?
    2470Ber. Why aske you?
    Qu. He speak's not like a man of God's making.
    Brag. That's all one my faire sweet honie Monarch:
    For I protest, the Schoolmaster is exceeding fantasticall:
    Too too vaine, too too vaine. But we wil put it (as they
    2475say) to Fortuna delaguar, I wish you the peace of minde
    most royall cupplement.
    King. Here is like to be a good presence of Worthies;
    He presents Hector of Troy, the Swaine Pompey ye great,
    the Parish Curate Alexander, Armadoes Page Hercules,
    2480the Pedant Iudas Machabeus:
    And if these foure Wor-
    thies in their first shew thriue, these foure will change
    habites, and present the other fiue.
    Ber. There is fiue in the first shew.
    Kin. You are deceiued, tis not so.
    2485Ber. The Pedant, the Braggart, the Hedge-Priest, the
    Foole, and the Boy,
    Abate throw at Novum, and the whole world againe,
    Cannot pricke out fiue such, take each one in's vaine.
    Kin. The ship is vnder saile, and here she coms amain.

    Enter Pompey.

    I Pompey am
    Ber. You lie, you are not he.
    I Pompey am
    Boy. With Libbards head on knee.
    2495Ber. Well said old mocker,
    I must needs be friends with thee.
    I Pompey am, Pompey surnam'd the big
    Du. The great.
    Clo. It is great sir:
    Pompey surnam'd the great:
    2500That oft in field, with Targe and Shield,
    did make my foe to sweat:
    And trauailing along this coast, I heere am come by chance,
    And lay my Armes before the legs of this sweet Lasse of
    If your Ladiship would say thankes Pompey, I had done.
    La. Great thankes great Pompey.
    Clo. Tis not so much worth: but I hope I was per-
    fect. I made a little fault in great.
    Ber. My hat to a halfe-penie, Pompey prooues the
    2510best Worthie.

    Enter Curate for Alexander.

    When in the world I liu'd, I was the worldes Com-
    By East, West, North, & South, I spred my conquering might
    2515My Scutcheon plaine declares that I am Alisander
    Boiet. Your nose saies no, you are not:
    For it stands too right.
    Ber. Your nose smels no, in this most tender smel-
    ling Knight.
    2520Qu. The Conqueror is dismaid:
    Proceede good Alexander.
    When in the world I liued, I was the worldes Com-
    Boiet. Most true, 'tis right: you were so Alisander.
    2525Ber. Pompey the great.
    Clo. your seruant and Costard.
    Ber. Take away the Conqueror, take away Alisander
    Clo. O sir, you haue ouerthrowne Alisander the con-
    queror: you will be scrap'd out of the painted cloth for