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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (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.